Monday, November 9, 2009

Rockhounding Trip to Rainbow Ledge (Ridge) for Beautiful Agate...........The Polished Pebble

As promised, I have pictures & more from our rockhounding trip yesterday 11-8-09 to Rainbow Ledge (Ridge) for some of the well known beautiful agate. Since the location is a couple of hours away, our day started early. And lunches had to be made & packed beforehand, so I was up at 5am.

We left town at 6am. Traveling over the mountains into the desert is aways an interesting drive. I like getting out early. Less traffic & every now & then a spectacular sunrise. And on this trip we saw an eerie sunrise. It was foggy going over the Tehachapi Mountains. And the wisps of fog caused the rising sun to play peek-a-boo thru the different layers. I wish I had stopped & taken a picture, but with the truck traffic it would not have been very safe - so we drove on.

We were traveling to Ridgecrest. Where the Indian Wells Valley Gem and Mineral Society was having their annual show. It was there that we were supposed to meet up & be guided to Rainbow Ledge. The Indian Wells club owns the claim on this area & non members are only allowed to collect at certain times. This was going to be our first time there, so we were excited to actually see the site.

Arriving early, we relaxed outside the show area until we saw people moving around. Once we got inside, we registered for the field trip & were told that the member running the trip would make an anouncement when we needed to gather to go. We checked out the offerings availble from the different vendors. The assortment was great & there were some pieces I would have loved to buy. But, things are too tight right now - so all I could do was look.

It seemed like it was getting pretty late & one of the vendors said that he thought that the trip should be going soon. We looked over at the clubs table & everything for the field trip was gone. We went over & asked & were told they already left! WHAT??? No one made any announcement - I guess the leader just met people outside & thought he had everyone. Luckly, we were able to scramble some directions from some other club members & off we went.

Now, we didn't break any land speed records - but they had about 20 min. on us. We found the right turn off onto the dirt road & went 4 wheeling. I knew that they were not going to be going very fast in with a group. And we could see their dirt trail up ahead. We caught up to them, just as they were reaching the claim. So I guess, no harm no foul.

Up The Hill

Now, I have been to plenty of rock collecting sites. And while many are on flat land, it seems that the best stone is almost always up a mountain or a canyon. And you just have to work your way up to find the best pieces. Rainbow Ledge is that kind of place.

A Long Way To The Top

The weather was perfect. Nice & sunny, with just the slightest breeze. Now, if I could just find the right rocks! My helper on this trip was my youngest, Andy. He was just looking to get out of town for the day, HA. At first he was grumbling about the climbing to get to the rock - but after a while he was enjoying himself. And it was alot easier with him to help carry stuff back to the truck.

"There's got to be some good rocks here."

As you climbed closer to the top, the rock rubble became more of a challenge. And you didn't want to fall on this stuff. It was sharp!

Rock & Stone everywhere

But, the real work was finding good quality pieces with solid structure, not all fractured up. And nice color combos. You couldn't just pickup anything, you really had to look.

The Top!

Andy made it to the top of the mountain. By time to go - I was still not there. No loss, we still brought home lots of pretties. I would have stayed another couple of hours but the field trip leader wanted to get us all out of there...... All in all, it was a great day.

What did we bring home?

And some closeups.......


My saw will be humming for quite a while of these beauties.....

Remember, for your Gemstone Cabochons

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