July 4th - 9th, 2006
Spruce Pine, NC
What could possibly
possess nearly forty seemingly sane people to drive for hundreds of
miles to gather covertly atop the Blue Ridge Mountains in a secluded
glade miles from civilization? Rocks... Nuthin' but rocks, pure and
simple... Well, that's the common interest anyhow. I suppose the real
reason is to spend time with friends, really great friends from all over
the country, and indeed even the other side of the globe!
Once again the members
of McRocks gathered at Bear Den Campground just off of the Blue Ridge
Parkway north of Spruce Pine, NC for fellowship, food, fun and yea,
ROCKS! This being the 4th year for the gathering, and my second time in
attendance, I have to say that meeting with all of my friends has to be
the highlight of the trip. I was honored to finally meet some of those
whom I have known for several years now, but only just met at the
gathering this year. There were some new faces this time, but no
strangers, not with this bunch! If I took time to name all the new
faces, I'd fill this page with 'em! Instead I'll link to Mike
Streeter's Group Photo page, use your browser's back button to
return here for the rest of the report!
| My wife
(Regina) and I left from Broken Arrow, OK around 2:00pm on July 4th and
headed for Spruce Pine. Our plan was to drive at least to Memphis and
stop for the night so we could check out a Miocene exposure for Selenite
crystals that both fluoresce, and phosphoresce on Wednesday morning
before continuing on to Spruce Pine. As hoped, we were able to drive to
Jackson, TN that evening, where we spent the night. The following
morning we got an early start and got to the site in short order.
We spent nearly an hour searching the
site for crystals to no avail. It had just rained most of the day before
and that morning, in fact, we seemed to following the rain eastward.
After looking and not finding any Selenite, I began noticing some small
concretions in the washes of the shale that seemed to be more than just
concretions. I found one that was split in two, and to my wonder, I
found it contained the claw of a Miocene age crab! Hey! I never found
any crabs before, this was even better than the Selenite! I found
several more that contained claws, and collected many complete
concretions to work on at home.
Just as we were about to give up on
the Selenite and head back to the car, I suddenly discovered a small
area strewn with them. In short order, we collected fifty to
seventy-five fairly good crystals. By now it was around 9:30am, and due
time to get headed for Spruce Pine! We cleaned up the crystals in a
water puddle and wrapped and stored them appropriately for the extended
trip and got on our way once again.