tsa-la-tsi-s-gi gv-do-di ka-ne

dance - with - snake


Home ] Articles ] Club List ] Collections ] Rock Recipes ] Photo ]



Iowa - Minnesota - Ontario - South Dakota

Sunday, July 13th, 2003

June 2003 Trip Report

Saturday, June 14th, 2003 - Friday, June 27th, 2003


    First stop, Winterset, Iowa and the bridges of Madison County. After some research, making a few contacts, and eight hours of driving, Brandon and I arrived in Winterset. Our first stop was Roseman Bridge, circa 1883.


The bridge, like all of the bridges of Madison County, has been restored and is closed to vehicular traffic. This is the bridge featured on the cover of the book, and is one of the bridges where the movie was filmed. It is also the only one that has a gift shop, and the remains of the original homestead nearby. While we were marveling at the construction of the bridge, we were surprised when a young bat suddenly fell from the rafters overhead.


Unable as yet to fly, the young bat attempted to hide in the cracks of the beams, and was in danger of falling into the stream below and certain death. As good Scouts would, we rescued the young bat and returned it to a safe haven in the rafters.

    On the way to our next stop we had to go through Winterset and discovered that it was the birthplace and boyhood home of John Wayne, born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907, so we took a few minutes to see the home and browse the gift shop, and of course take a picture or two..


Our next stop was the Hogback Bridge, circa 1884, several miles away. Having somewhat the same structure as Roseman with the exception of the arched beam framework.


We traveled southeast of town to view another of the bridges, but when we got to the site we found that it had been burned, most likely by vandals. All that remained was a small portion of the charred structure. A sad end to it's 120 year history.


    We departed Winterset and set out for Rockford, Iowa and the Bird Hill Fossil Preserve. We arrived there with enough daylight left to do some collecting. Bird Hill is not marked by any signs, but is shown on the map. It consists of road cut across the lower end of the hill, with a parking area across the road. We collected most of the fossils in and near the parking area, and a few from the cut across the road. They consisted of small to medium sized Brachiopods, a few corals, and some Gastropods, all Devonian age.


As the light was failing we headed on into Rockford with the intent of spending the night nearby. We ended up driving the 35 miles to Charles City and staying at a motel there, returning the next morning to Rockford, and the Rockford Fossil and Prairie Park. 

Just on the west edge of town, the park was once a clay pit where the clay was extracted for brick production. The sediments at the park are Devonian in age, and literally full of perfectly preserved specimens as at Bird Hill.


We spent around four hours there collecting before heading north. Our next intended stop was to be at St. Paul, MN, and another brick plant / quarry. We had called in advance to obtain a permit to collect there from the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Dept. As we had some daylight left when we arrived, we decided to find the site and do a quick survey of the area before spending the night at St. Paul. After locating the park, we took a quick 30 minute hike into the plant and assessed the area. Finding very little evidence of surface collecting opportunities, we decided it best to head on north through Duluth to Two Harbors to spend the night. The following morning we checked out and headed north again. Finding a promising beach area just north of Two Harbors, we stopped and spent a couple of hours combing the beach gravels for agates.


It turns out that Lake Superior agates really are elusive, at least along the north shore. However, we did manage to find three small ones, one showing a nice eye. 


Keep in mind the largest one in the center is about the size of a quarter. We checked out several other beaches and made a stop at Raspberry Falls State Park 


on the way and finally arrived as planned at 5:00pm in Ely, MN where we would be setting up a  base camp for the next week. Our group of Scouts had arrived already and was preparing to set up camp. The majority of the 31 members of the group were staying down the road where they would be departing from the following morning for a six-day canoe trek into the BWCA, including my oldest son Travis (16). In all there were 11 Boy Scouts and 12 leaders on the trek, with 5 Boy Scouts and one sibling, and 3 leaders in camp counting myself.


After setting camp, we got settled in and planned our activities for the next week, which included fishing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and of course, for some of us, rock hounding. On Tuesday evening we had a thunderstorm roll in across Farm Lake where we were camped. Although it looked fairly menacing, for a group from Oklahoma, it was just another typical thunderstorm, fast moving, noisy, windy, and was over with fairly quickly. As it came in from the northwest, we were more concerned about the group out in the Boundary Waters. The storm did make for some nice photo ops though.


The following morning found myself, Brandon, our neighbor and fellow Scouter, Julie Davis and her 9 yr old son James headed out at 4:30am for Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, and a couple of day of collecting. We arrived in TB around 9:30am and contacted Chuck Anderson, whose mine we would be collecting at that day, and Raymond Heitapakka, who was going to accompany us and be our guide while we were there. Chuck had left directions on his answering machine to get to the mine, and as soon as Raymond arrived, we headed north again. Keep in mind that Chuck's mine is a private claim and for the most part the area is isolated and unimproved. We finally located the landmark Chuck had mentioned (an old green truck), but had no idea where to go from there. We deduced from tire tracks, that the mine must be down the track to our right and decided to walk the rest of the way in, not knowing the condition of the road. As we were unloading our equipment, an old van came into view from the direction of the mine, it was Chuck. After introductions were made, Chuck directed us on to the mine, turns out we could drive all the way in, so we loaded up and headed on to the digs while Chuck and his wife went to go take care of some other business. Arriving at the mine, we found a large excavation, and more amethyst and smoky quartz than I've ever seen in one place. A lot of the material would be considered low grade or worthless to those looking for gem quality stones, but for the mineral collector, and those looking for the unusual, or for shelf specimens, it was an ideal location.  Since our visit, Chuck has unearthed some extraordinary and unusual specimens at the mine combining amethyst, galena, and barite!

The main pit.      


This was an exposed vug approximately four feet long and two feet high.


From left to right: Julie Davis, Grizzly, Linda Anderson, Raymond Heitapakka, and Chuck Anderson. After a couple of hours of collecting, we had collected close to 150# of material including amethyst, smoky quartz, druzy quartz, and stromatolite


Druzy Quartz


The large rock to the top and left of center has amethyst, citrine, and druzy quartz. The citrine could be due to heat treatment from a forest fire.

This specimen is covered with smoky quartz.

After giving Chuck and Linda some specimens of Oklahoma minerals, Chuck gave me an Inukshuk


to take home to my wife. Chuck creates these for the local gift shops and souvenir industry around Thunder Bay. You can also find them on his auctions at UBid.

    After departing Chuck's digs, we headed still further north and west to the Black Sturgeon River for a spot of fishing. Now this much I will say, had we been in Oklahoma, we would not have been doing what we did here. We ended up bushwhacking our way down a steep bluff to get to the river. This seemed old hat to Raymond, problem was the deadfall from a blow down several years earlier, and a more recent forest fire, made this prospect somewhat interesting. The overgrowth was so thick if you let anyone get ten feet from you, you couldn't find them. To top it off, you couldn't really see the deadfalls buried in the thick vegetation, so it was a matter of feeling your way down the bluff by trial and error. After about 30 minutes of climbing over logs and bulling our way through thickets, we finally got to the river bank. We spent the better part of a couple of hours doing our best to find the fish Raymond says are there, but to no avail. We decided it would be best to work our way along the river back to the old bridge site where we were parked, fishing as we went. This turned out to be quite an experience also. Same deadfalls, thickets, and thick undergrowth. Turns out it was nearly  a mile along the river back to the truck, what with all the twists and turns. We spent a few more minutes fishing the rapids below the old bridge site before heading back to TB for the evening.

That's Raymond off across the way desperately trying to prove there are pike and walleye in the river.

The rapids below the old bridge site. Keep in mind we are 20 or so kilometers back in on logging roads to get here.

There used to be a bridge here on the logging road.

    After spending the night at the student housing at Lakehead University (on Raymond's recommendation), we got a fairly early start. By 8:00am Raymond arrived and we met Crazy Don, the local Lapidary Club president, and we got on our way to the Notyours Mine. This is Raymond's amethyst claim. On the way to the mine, Raymond showed us the only exposure of Unakite that he is aware of in the area, and we collected nearly 100# of material here before continuing on to the mine. When we arrived at the mine after traveling some 15 to 20 kilometers of less than well maintained logging roads, traversing washouts and steep rocky inclines, we found the pickings to be even better than the previous day. Though not being actively worked at this time, the Notyours Mine had plenty of attractive material to collect. Raymond made sure we got some good facet-grade amethyst form here. In addition to the amethyst, we collected some facetable green quartz, and probably 50# or more of tumbler grade material ranging from deep purple to lavender amethyst, and green quartz that seemed to make up the matrix of the veins. The green quartz is often overlooked as lapidary material due to the demand for the high quality amethyst. We also found some small specimens of citrine, again probably due to forest fires sweeping the area and the proximity of the crystals to the surface. We also recovered some nice amethyst points and some of the infamous Canadian Amethyst that is typical of the Diamond Willow mine locality that has the red (hematite?) coating just under the surface of the crystals.

Unakite in the foreground.



A better section of logging road near the Unakite exposure.     The Notyours Mine.

A couple of better examples of the points from the various mines.

    After we were done collecting at the Notyours Mine, we made a stop just down the road at the Danbill Mine. Raymond informed us that most of the mines north of Thunder Bay are all on the same fault line, and you can literally draw a line for 120 kilometers on the map that would intersect the majority of the mines. The Danbill is located down in a valley in respect to the Notyours Mine, which sits atop a hill one kilometer away. There was no one around at the Danbill, but as Raymond knows everyone around there that owns a claim, he assured us it would be ok to tour the mine and collect a few pounds of material from there. We spent some time marveling at the amazing vugs of crystals up to three inches across, and collected a few points, and some more high grade green quartz, as well as some banded crystals that graduated from clear or milky quartz to green, then terminated in amethyst. Before leaving we left payment in the travel trailer at the top of the hill at my insistence. By now it was time to head back into Thunder Bay to drop Raymond off, and with his direction, we planned to stop at Silver Mountain on the way back to Ely. When we got back to TB and Raymond's house, he showed us some samples of material from Silver Mountain, including this sample of quartz matrix with Tourmaline.


The larger crystal upon closer inspection appears to be Dravite, while the smaller crystal to the left is black tourmaline. An interesting note, although not seen here in this picture, the smaller crystal has a thread of native silver in it's center that the crystal has formed around. He also gave us some large pieces of Mary Ellen Jasper (stromatolite), and a large piece of Zebra Stone.

After leaving Raymond's place, we headed south and west for Silver Mountain following a map and instructions provided by Raymond. When we got to the area, there was no sign as Raymond had indicated. As there were only two roads turning off the highway in the area, we decided that the lesser traveled goat trail must be the one to the mine. I drove in on the trail crossing over one hill and down through a valley, across a meadow, at one point being challenged by a local resident (Grouse) that seemed intent on protecting his or her territory, to the extreme of wanting to attack my Suburban..


Note the front of my truck to the right side of the picture. After quelling this attack, we quickly came upon a steep and rocky traverse up the side of the next mountain. Somewhere along here was supposed to be the mine adit, but it was apparently obscured by underbrush, and we didn't locate it. Continuing on to the top of the mountain, we found a good place to park the truck where we could turn around. By now we were approximately one and one half kilometers off of the highway. The boys headed down the road to look for the tailings pile, and returned presently with a handful of calcite specimens. We followed them back to the tailings and collected some samples of calcite and fluorite, and a few samples of ore. As it was getting late in the day, we didn't spend too much time exploring the area, and headed back down the mountain to the highway, and on to the US border. The drive back to Ely was fairly uneventful, until we finally got to Hwy 1. This particular highway is narrow and winding for about 30 of the 60 miles to Ely from Hwy 61 at the north shore of Lake Superior. I kept myself awake and alert watching for deer which were plentiful, and seemed to like standing at the edge of the road. I could generally spot them by watching for their eyes at the extent of my headlights. It was close to midnight by the time we got back to camp. The next several days were spent hanging around base camp with an occasional excursion looking for local material, yard rocks, and inspecting a road cut near Winton where Kawishiwi Trail cut through a native iron deposit. We also visited the International Wolf Center at Ely. On one of our grocery runs we were treated to a sighting of a timber wolf along Kawishiwi Trail. The wolf came out to the highway and loped along the shoulder for fifty yards before seeking the safety of the timber. According to the Rangers at the Wolf Center this was an unusual treat. One of them has been there for two years and not seen a wolf in the wild yet. The center has several wolves in captivity.

 Brandon running with the wolves, or rather wolf sculptures...


One of the captive wolves at the center. On Friday evening we planned a small party for James's 10th birthday. While doing the shopping I picked up the makings for a chocolate layer cake. Now how would one go about baking a birthday cake in camp you ask? Why, a couple of dutch ovens and some charcoal of course!

One of our constant camp companions and mascot was a Franklin ground squirrel the boys named Sammy. As any good mascot would, he kept the guys amused for the entire week with his search for scraps and squirrelly ways.

    I just had to throw this in. The lodge where we were camped  (Timber Trail Resort, Lodge and Campground) kept drawing the boy's attention to the fact that  they serve pizza. Not what you or I would call pizza (Tony's in the box). Now you need to understand that the rules of our Scouting campout more or less prohibit the boys from going to the lodge to order pizza as we were doing all of our cooking in camp. A couple of them thought they could get away with ordering a pizza while they were supposed to be doing something else. Needless to say they got caught. They didn't get their pizza, and as the lodge had already put it in the toaster-oven, they lost part of their money as well. I decided that on our next to last night in camp, we would have pizza as the main course for dinner. Not Tony's mind you, but Sergeant Richards Dutch Oven Deep-pan Pizza from scratch. now mind you that I have prepared some amazing dishes in a dutch oven, I as yet had not prepared a gourmet deep pan pizza in one. Never tell Sgt. Richards he can't cook something in a dutch oven, I live for that challenge!

Each one of these pizzas was two inches thick and weighed around five pounds each! Pizza Hut, eat your heart out!

    We invited the lodge owner and his wife to dinner on Monday evening and I prepared marinated chicken breasts, barbecued in the dutch oven, seasoned potato wedges, rolls, corn and green beans for our last meal in camp. We found out our host was also an Okie, born just down the road in Muskogee, OK.

    Tuesday morning found us breaking camp bright and early and preparing to depart. While the group was preparing to head home, Brandon and I decided we would take advantage of the remainder of the week to travel to South Dakota and do some collecting there around Custer in the Black Hills. The trekkers had returned the previous evening from the BWCA to the outfitters down the road. After breaking camp and loading the equipment on the bus, we followed the bus back to where the rest of the group was waiting. We waited for them to get gear and themselves loaded after taking the group pictures for posterity before heading out.


Note: You'll find me to the left in the back of the group in the green shirt, The tallest one in the group to the right and behind is my sixteen year old son, Travis. (6'-7").

    Brandon and I headed for Sioux Falls, SD, via two-lane highways through Minnesota. Our travels took us through iron country, and Itaska County, home of the third largest free-standing sculpture, the Iron Man.


Itaska County is the heart of iron country, and the surrounding area is literally one huge iron ore deposit, We stopped and collected samples from one of the many spoils piles which were literally hundreds of feet high.


The native iron occurs as veins of nearly pure iron and as nodules in some samples while the host rock is laden with iron oxide compounds. Further along we took time to stop at Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone, MN. This area was known to the Native American peoples for generations. They would come here to mine the pipestone which occurs in a thinly bedded layer below a heavy quartzite cap rock. They would mine the pipestone to carve their peace pipes and other ornamental items and effigies. Before mining the pipestone they would make offerings to the Three Maidens,


a series of huge granite boulders carried there by glaciers from Canada, and deposited nearby when the glacier melted. The granite boulders were once one huge boulder over fifty feet in diameter before being broken apart by the glacier. The Three Maidens sit adjacent to the largest quarry in the area. One has to wonder how the native Americans managed to mine the pipestone from under several feet of hard quartzite.


We got this piece from a nearby shop. Approximately 6" x 10" x 3/4" thick.

    Shortly after leaving Pipestone we noticed the sky was looking very menacing to the east. As we headed south, we could see the storm coming as the winds picked up across the open plains. We didn't get far when the storm caught up with us. Suddenly there were hailstones the size of golf balls splattering on the highway at a 45 degree angle, and the only thing I could do was pull off of the road and wait it out.


Several of the hailstones smacked into the truck, hitting the windows and the roof. Fortunately, it passed quickly and didn't do any lasting damage. However, later in the evening as it moved into South Dakota, the storm spawned a tornado and did some damage in east central SD. As we headed on south to Sioux Falls, I listened to weather reports as there were numerous tornadic storms moving north out of Nebraska into SD. We decided we would go to Mitchell, SD to spend the night which is about 60 miles west of Sioux Falls, Halfway between Sioux Falls and Mitchell, the storms caught up with us again. We were forced to take shelter at a rest area on the interstate while one severe storm pounded the area. High winds, hail, and heavy rains kept us stranded for about half an hour. As we headed for Mitchell, the weather reports for the area had tornados all around the area, including the Mitchell area, Sioux Falls, and everywhere in between, in short, we were surrounded! Despite the storms, we got to Mitchell and finally found the only motel room left in town. Seems everyone was vacating the highway the night of June 24th. The one benefit of getting the last available room in town was the whirlpool tub, a welcome luxury after a week and a half of camping and rock hounding.

    Wednesday morning again found us on the road headed for the Badlands National Monument. Our first planned stop of the day. We made one stop at the Petrified Gardens, and found it to be a private enterprise, with a nice collection of petrified logs from the Badlands area. Their admission price was something like $3 a head to see the collection and tour their private museum. 


This is the largest of their specimens. We continued on to the Badlands which also charges a fee to enter the area. We entered the park and stopped at the first parking area we came to. Seems funny, but I believe I have a thirty year old photograph of myself standing in the same place from where I took this photo of Brandon.


Funny how you remember things like that, the view hasn't changed much in thirty years. The following picture was taken as we were exiting the park and heading for Rapid City. I never can pass up  a chance to get Old Glory in a photo..


Our next stop was Mount Rushmore, how can you visit the Black Hills without stopping to view one of the most monumental mountains in the world?


 Mt. Rushmore was carved between 1927 and 1941 by Gutzon Borglum and over 400 workers. We picked up souvenirs in the gift shop for the family before heading off to see the progress on the Crazy Horse Memorial. The stop there was very informative. I was not aware that the Crazy Horse Memorial was a private enterprise. Actually, it's a labor of love and a way of life for the widow and eight of ten children of the sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, who was an apprentice of Borglum during the carving of Rushmore. The carving of Thunderhead Mountain began with the first blast in 1948. You can read the entire history of the Crazy Horse Memorial here: http://www.crazyhorse.org/story.shtml. There is also a live web cam. When visiting the memorial, rock hounds and visitors will be pleased to note that for a small donation, they can take home a piece of the mountain. There is a hopper near the studio exit where you can pick out a piece of the blast rock to take home. The mountain is primarily granite pegmatite, and your piece of the mountain may contain a wide range of minerals, including Lepidolite and tourmaline. 


    We went on into Custer after leaving Crazy Horse and found a room for the night. After getting checked in we decided to go scout the area we planned to collect in the next day. Following the only reference we had, we set off in search of Teepee Canyon. Finding what we thought was the road into the canyon and the dig sites, we found that recent rains had left the road somewhat challenging for a two-wheel drive. Backtracking, we decided to check out the area just west of Jewel Cave National Monument at the Hell Canyon trailhead. As we were pulling into the parking area at the trailhead we met a family of rock-hounds just preparing to leave. The father enlightened us as to what they had found and showed us some of the material they had collected. The dry creek bed in the canyon floor was yielding fortification agate, jasper, and surprisingly, a nice specimen of orange calcite from a boulder that had been previously demolished by another collector. We headed off to scout the canyon floor and collect a few samples before dark. We were able to locate the calcite remnants which included a 15# segment of the original boulder which must have been in the range of 50 pounds or more of orange calcite. There was evidence of dogtooth termination at the surface of the specimen, and the internal structure appeared to have a cone-in-cone formation to it's growth. We collected samples of the calcite, including the 15# fragment. We also collected samples of fortification agate, and jasper before heading back to the truck. Some of the pieces weigh in over 10#. You can find additional pictures of some of the specimens at the following link: http://home.att.net/~stonebones/HellCanyon.htm. I'm now being told that what I believed to be Teepee Canyon Agate may not be such, or at the least not good quality specimens as there is very little banding in the agates. We decided to come back the following morning and collect below the highway toward the lower end of the canyon. The following morning we made a stop at Wild Bill's Antiques and Rock Shop just west of town and checked out what they had there. We picked up a couple of local specimens there, one is a piece of Tuffa Stone (petrified moss) which apparently can only be found near Hot Springs, SD.


We also stopped at a couple of road cuts on the way back out to Hell Canyon for quartz, muscovite, and black tourmaline specimens. In addition, I also found a 10# specimen of feldspar, which is mined in the area for commercial uses. 


Also present were biotite mica and schist, as well as some low grade rose quartz. Note: there is only one operating rose quartz mine now around Custer, the Scott Rose Quartz Quarry. Wild Bill's gets their material from the quarry, and it is some of the best I've seen for color and size, with virtually no fracturing. I noted boulders of rose quartz at various places around town, and at Wild Bill's that were in the 500# to 1000# range, nearly four and a half feet in diameter. Thinking I would have time to visit the quarry, I didn't purchase any specimens there. We headed on out to Hell Canyon and discovered we had run out of buckets to put material in, so before collecting we headed off to Newcastle, WY just across the state line to find some. On the way we were amused by a cloud formation that happened to be about the only cloud in the sky, Use your imagination here...


   Having purchased a few 2 1/2 gallon mop buckets we headed back to Hell Canyon and spent the better part of four hours collecting in the canyon below the highway. Our specimens again included fortification agate, jasper, and a small boulder containing Lepidolite. Inside of one rock I broke apart to extract a fair amount of red jasper, I also found dendrites in a light green matrix of softer material as yet unidentified.


The sample also contains dog-tooth calcite crystals.

    Another specimen that Brandon found in the canyon was a large specimen approximately 10" in diameter and around 2" thick of dolomitic limestone with a perfect 2" circular vug that runs completely through the specimen and is lined with 1/4" dog-tooth calcite crystals. 





    We headed out around 2:00pm planning to stop at the Scott Quarry on our way out of town, but apparently missed a turn and ended up in Custer State Park. We decided to continue on our way. Heading south from the park we entered Cave of the Winds National Park. On our way through the park we got a surprise when I rounded a curve and found a very large buffalo ambling out into the roadway. He paid us no mind as we followed along until it was safe to pass, and still our presence didn't seem to concern him a bit. He kept right on ambling as we stopped long enough for Brandon to get a picture of his front side verses the one of his backside I had taken while waiting for a safe place to pass.

Further along we passed a large prairie dog town, you could hear them calling and barking as we drove through their territory.  Further still we passed an entire herd of buffalo grazing alongside the highway. 

    Our next planned stop was Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in northwest Nebraska. It's name belies it's content as Brandon discovered. The monument is located at Agate, Nebraska, and it's focus is an ancient freshwater shoreline now standing far above the surrounding countryside. The main focus of the monument is the corkscrew burrows 

of prehistoric beaver, or so it is believed. While interesting and informative, the monument lacks staying power for the average visitor, unless you're just going for the hike of course. There are several interactive trails. So much for Nebraska. We stayed on the road for several more hours, stopping to sleep in the truck at a rest stop west of North Platte. Friday morning we were back on the road by 7:00am headed for Monument Rocks National Landmark in western Kansas. We stopped in Oakley, KS about 20 miles north of there to visit the Fick Fossil Museum which features among other things a collection of over 11,000 sharks teeth collected in the area. The majority of the fossils are Cretaceous in origin and were collected by Ernest and Vi Fick, as well as some collected by the Sternberg family, the namesake and major contributors to the Sternberg Museum at the Fort Hays State University campus in Hays, KS. More info can be found at the following link: http://www.oakley-kansas.com/fick/. The Fick museum is worth visiting if you find yourself in Oakley.

    We continued on to Monument Rocks National Landmark and spent a while exploring there and taking pictures.


The monument rocks are home to an aviary of swallows, not being a bird watcher, I couldn't tell you what kind, but they build their nests using mud and grass high up on the sheer walls, quite industrious birds they are as the next photo shows.


    This was our last stop before heading back home to Broken Arrow. Nearly two weeks has passed during this period, and still I was ready to keep driving, keep collecting, and keep exploring unexplored dig sites. I'm not so sure Brandon agreed, I think he was ready to go home. We drove straight through that evening and were home before dark. On a closing note, one of the best things about this trip was spending time with my son doing something we both enjoy. Although there were times we disagreed as to whether to keep collecting or go find food, (it's a long time between breakfast and dinner, who has time for lunch?) I suppose I can get a little carried away sometimes, and finding that next good piece of rough that I know is just another ten feet away makes me forget all about needing food. Occasionally I would hear the usual questions or comments of "When are we going?" or "Dad, I'm hungry!" but for the most part, we had a great two weeks together. I hope it will make a lasting impression on him and be an experience he can look back on one day with a smile...

    I also need to thank Herb ("Mr. B"). When I arrived home I had a package waiting for me from Japan. Herb sent me a wonderful selection of Jomon artifacts he has collected, and they now proudly reside displayed in my living room.

Thanks also to Donna Hansen from Walla-Walla, Washington who sent me a package with petrified wood from Saddle Mountain near Matawa.

And so concludes this two week episode in the life of a rock-hound.

E-mail virgil.richards@dances-with-snakes.com








Return to McRocks