Monday, November 2, 2009

Missing In Action........The Polished Pebble

It has been a long - but short month & a half since our last post. It can be funny how life takes it's twists & turns. Some you can see coming & even plan for them. Others, you just buckle down & hold on. This last 6 weeks has been a mix of both.

One of our planed events was our last trip to Wyoming. Each year for the first two weeks (or so) of October Randy & I travel to Wyoming for hunting season. He hunts Elk, I hunt rocks. Last year, I was the only one bringing anything home. This year, we brought home rocks & Elk meat.

From a hilltop near the Medicine Bow Mountains

The weather reports were not good as we approched the trip dates. And while the first few days were nice, the weather gods were ready to snow on my parade. And snow they did. And hunting for rock in the snow - well it just doesn't work. To top it off, Randy got his Elk (before the snow).

Looking out across the high plains.

Since we stay with family while we are back there, you just can't get there & then leave right way to go out rocking. So, the first day there was spent visiting & resting from the long drive. The next day looked good so out we went. Randy out hunting for Elk, me for rock. The weather report was saying good weather for a couple of days, so I took off for the farthest point I was planing on visiting this trip.

First stop was Agate Flats. Now, you would think with a name like that - you could just step out of your truck & find lots of stuff. WRONG!!!! This place has been pretty much picked clean. There are stories of wagon loads of "Sweetwater Agates" being carted out of here long ago. I knew that, but I still wanted to check it out.

Sweetwater Agates from Agate Flats - Wyoming

Well, they were right. That place was picked clean. The picture above is all I found & I spent quite a few hours there poking around. Sadly, I left that morning without my camera - so I have no pictures of the flats. But they look much like the high plains.

You might ask why I stuck around if the pickings were so slim. Well, it is hard to explain. I love getting out & walking & looking. And when I do it just seems that the time flies by. Plus, you never know when you might stumble across something that others might have overlooked in their haste.

By the time I got out of that area & back on the highway there was not time to drive into the Jeffery City area. I was alittle over 2 hours from the ranch & needed to be back for dinner. So I took another side road & found some interesting rock - and then headed back.

A road to the middle of nowhere.

The weather forcasts were still saying I had a couple of days of fair weather. So I went out again the next day. I was going to be going to one of my favorite collecting areas (so far). Visiting a ranch that I have permission to collect on & checking out some more BLM land near it. This trip is a hour plus drive on a dirt road out in the middle of the high plains. While making this trip I am always watching the weather. If a rain storm blow in - the roads turn to snot. And even with 4wd it can be impossible to drive.

I go directly to the ranch first. They have graciously allowed me to collect on their property, with the understanding that I will NEVER reveal the location of what I collect there. And I won't, ever - so don't ask!

So, what exactly is it that I find there? Geodes! Glorious, beautiful geodes & agate nogles.

Cut and Polished Geode from 2008 trip

Above is one of the largest I have found to date. It is about the size of a softball, most are about quarter size. I have not had a chance to cut any othe the ones from this years trip yet. I spent the whole day there, hunting geodes & other agate pieces. They are not plentiful - but well worth the time & effort. Luckily the weather held & it was a perfect day.

The next day, the weather was supposed to turn bad late - so I got out and made a trip toward the Medicine Bow mountains. I love the mountains, with their trees & streams. I am happiest when I am in a grove of trees with a stream. I started my hike in a area that is prime hunting (Elk, Deer etc.). There were a number of hunters camps set up where I parked.

Since I do my rock hunting during the busiest big game hunting time - I wear my "Great Pumpkin" outfit. Depending on the weather, it can consist of an orange safety vest, and a orange fishing hat. Or if it is colder, with wind - I have a heavy Blaze Orange coat & a Blaze Orange knit cap. I even have Orange gloves! I don't hide when I am out there.

This day, I was doing more exploration than anything. As I left the parking area, I caried my backpack, with food, water, rope, cell phone (yes, I had service), firstaid kit, extra jacket & my rock hammer. I got many a funny look from confused hunters - where was my rifle? And why was I out there by myself? Those that ask - I just tell them I hunt rocks not animals.


Up the mountainside I went. It was a beautiful day & I did a number of miles in my travels. Found a couple of interesting rocks (nothing to write home about) & saw lots of wildlife. Since I went the opposite way as the hunters I saw a couple of deer, a fox, lots of squirrels & a BIG BEAR track. With the camera protected in my pack as I was climbing, no pictures. And I was kind of in a hurry to ge out of the area I saw the bear track in - as it looked fairly fresh.

Small creek running down the mountain.

Alittle closer look.

Thru the trees, looking out.

Working my way down the mountain.

I kind of made a circle in my travels on the mountainside, so when I got back to the parking area, I came in from the opposite side. As I was walking to my truck, a couple of hunters said a few of them were concerned that I was gone so long (guess they thought I souldn't have been there in the first place). I told them I was a big girl, was perfectly fine & had a great time exploring. I didn't tell them about the deer - they can find them for themselves.

I came back to the ranch that night & Randy had gotten his Elk.

The next day loomed gray & WINDY. Before long the rain & snow rock hunting today.
And it snowed, & snowed. And then some rain & MORE SNOW!

Just a little dusting.......

Here it comes!


And more.....

It just kept snowing......

A little break....


Now, those of you that get snow alot are probably thinking - What a baby? No, not really. I didn't have a big problem with it. My problem was I was stuck in someone elses house for FOUR days. It isn't such a big deal if you are home & you can go about doing your stuff. Bless those who we stayed with. I was nice & warm & dry....but, I was ready to come home.

I have lots of rock to cut from the trip. Tomorrow I will post some more pictures.

Glad to be back!
Checkout the website for new treasures from our trip soon - at

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