Spruce Grove Field Trip Report

by Kevin and K.C. Larsen


The first annual field trip to the Lost Boot claim turned out to be one to remember. Lots of Topaz was found, and everyone had a great time getting up in the mountains, enjoying the cool sunny mornings, and the thunder storms in the afternoon.

The trip was led by Bob Loeffler, and met at the Spruce Grove camp group entrance at 9AM Saturday morning. We camped at spruce grove the night before and got a head start up to the claim with Jim and his son Sam, who had camped there also. Bob got there shortly after with the main group.

Jim found a small piece of topaz right away sitting on top the dirt from an old hole from last year. K.C. and I continued on to a spot I was digging in last fall. While digging out dirt from some cracks, and poking around in some old holes, K.C. started finding topaz in a pocket that looked initially like it had been cleaned out. However after poking around she found a lot of the pocket was missed, and started pulling out one piece of topaz after another.

Bob and Chris were digging close by, and he also found a nice terminated piece in a crevice. We were so busy digging out our pocket we did not get around to walk around and see how everyone else was doing. After getting hailed and rained on off and on in the afternoon we decided to quit for the day, and come back the next morning.

On Sunday it was just me, K.C., Bob, Chris, and Tom. K.C. and I attacked the same pocket, and pulled out another nice piece of topaz. While pulling out some of the pocket muck, I saw what looked like a piece of mud covered feldspar, but before I tossed it I decided to rub off some of the mud. To my surprise it showed a crystal edge that looked like topaz. This turned out to be the largest piece of topaz we have ever found. When done cleaning this piece weighed out at 318 carats. After getting hailed and rained on a few more times we decided to call it a day and head back home. We ended up with 17 pieces of topaz out of that pocket totaling 673 carats.

Overall this turned out to be a great field trip, and should have at least one specimen for the towel show. The afternoon clouds and rain kept it from getting too hot for digging, and the view from the claim is a lot better than most places we go collecting.