2006 Field Trips
This is the list of field trips for 2006. Times/dates/info are subject to change.
For old trips (1997 - present), please see our Field Trip Archives page.

  Index:

March 9 - 12 Deming, New Mexico
April 15 Holcim Quarry, (Portland, CO)
April Ted's Devil's Head, CO (Non-club) Trip
April 25 - May 4 Eldon's Utah (Non-club) Trip
May 13 - 14 Book Cliffs (Grand Junction, CO) #1
May 27 - 29 Topaz Mtn. and Dugway (Delta, Utah)
June 10 - 11 Calumet Mine and Turret area (Salida, CO)
June 24 - 25 Spruce Grove/Tarryall Mtns. (Tarryall, CO) #1
July 1 - 4 Big Sandy Reservoir (Farson, Wyoming)
July 22 Glen Cove (Cascade, CO)
August 5 - 6 Creede, CO
August 18 - 20 RAMS Club claim (Lake George, CO)
August 26 - 27 Wolf Creek Pass, CO
September 2 - 4 Mt. Antero (Nathrop, CO)
September 30 Stoneham, CO
October 7 - 9 Book Cliffs (Grand Junction, CO) #2
October 7 - 9 Yellow Cat and Cisco, Utah
October 21 - 22 Spruce Grove/Tarryall Mtns. (Tarryall, CO) #2
November 11 - 12 New Mexico Mineral Symposium (Socorro, NM)

Rockhound Roundup (Deming, New Mexico) Trip
March 9 - 12
Trip Report

Days: Thursday thru Sunday
Where: (contact the leader)
Time: (contact the leader)
Land owner: (contact the leader)
To Collect: Thundereggs and agate
Leader: Dale Gann
Fee or Donation: (contact the leader)
Health Hazards: heat; cold; wind; snakes; scorpions.
Terrain: desert
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: (contact the leader)
Vehicle Suggested: Any
Equipment Suggested: (contact the leader)
Camping: (contact the leader)
Water: (contact the leader)
Nearest Town for Supplies: Deming, NM
Nearest Motel is in: Deming, NM
Additional Comments: The Rockhound Roundup spans several days and there will be field trips to a couple of the claims in the area.

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Holcim Cement Quarry (Portland, CO) Trip
April 15
Trip Report and Pictures

Days: Saturday
Where: (see the April newsletter)
Time: 9am
Land owner: Private property (club members have permission)
To Collect: Pyrite balls, sharks teeth, calcite and clam fossils
Leader: Roger Pittman (Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society)
Fee or Donation: none
Health Hazards: Sunburn; heat; falling rocks.
Terrain: Steep shale cliffs and dump piles; active mining quarry.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation: high plateau (~5000 ft)
Vehicle Suggested: Any
Equipment Suggested: Bring collecting bucket, rock hammer, water, food, sunscreen, etc.
Camping: n/a
Water: Not Available. Bring plenty of water.
Nearest Town for Supplies: 5 miles in Florence, CO.
Nearest Motel is in: n/a
Additional Comments: We will dig from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Collecting at Holcim can be as easy as walking around and picking up the pyrite balls to as difficult as sawing sharks teeth out of the solid rock. Some people bring sledge hammers to break up boulders. An RMFMS field trip release form will be available at the North Jeffco meeting on April 14th and at the quarry for all to sign. Everyone must sign it. It will then be given to the quarry foreman. Hard hats, long pants, safety glasses and safety shoes (steel or approved fiber toes) are required! No tennis shoes, shorts or pets. Regular hiking boots might not be permitted! We will have some extra hard hats, but bring your own if you have one. Children are welcome as long as they wear steel-toed boots, hard hats, long pants and safety glasses just like everyone else. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times! This is an active mine so you must stay in the area they assign to us. Everyone must leave at noon. Joint trip with the CSMS club.

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Ted's Devil's Head, CO (Non-club) Trip
Late April
Trip Report and Pictures

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Eldon's Utah (Non-club) Trip
April 25 - May 4
Trip Report

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Book Cliffs (Grand Junction, CO) Trip #1
May 13 - 14 (Mother's Day weekend)
Trip Report and Pictures

Days: Saturday and Sunday
Where: (see the May newsletter)
Time: 10am
Land owner: BLM
To Collect: Barite and Calcite
Leader: Ron and Judy Knoshaug
Approximately: 4 hours from Denver to the meeting place
Fee or Donation: None
Health Hazards: Heat; wind; snakes; scorpions; sunburn (no shade).
Terrain: Low barren hills.
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: ~4,000 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, rock pick, rock hammer, prybar, chisels, scratcher and something to hold your collected specimens. Barite crystals are very heat-sensitive, so they should be kept cool and moist so they don't fracture. Then let them gradually dry at home. You might want to bring a small cooler to put the barite crystals in to keep them from rapid temperature changes.
Camping: Near the site
Water: Not available
Nearest Town for Supplies: Grand Junction (20 miles away)
Nearest Motel is in: Grand Junction (20 miles away)
Additional Comments: A 2-wheel drive vehicle is sufficient for the road to the digging area as long as the road is dry. If the roads become wet, the clay roads will become EXTREMELY slippery and impassable even for a 4-wheel drive vehicle; may have deep ruts and wash-outs after rain storms. The Grand Junction Show is the same weekend.

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Topaz Mtn. and Dugway, Utah Trip
May 27 - 29 (Memorial Day weekend)
Trip Report and Pictures

Days: Saturday, Sunday and Monday
Where: (see the May newsletter)
Time: 10am
Land owner: BLM
To Collect: Topaz, Red Beryl, Garnet, Pseudobrookite and Geodes
Leader: Eldon Hunewell
Approximately: 550 miles (10 hours) from Denver
Fee or Donation: none
Health Hazards: Desert conditions (can be hot, cold and/or windy); may snow; scorpions and bugs; possible rattlesnakes; sunburn.
Terrain: Barren, rocky desert mountains. Remote and arid. Scrub-covered rhyolite mountains surrounded by salt flats.
Difficulty: Easy to Extreme
Elevation: ~5300 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any (some rough roads)
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, rock hammer, chisels, crack hammer, 1/8" steel rod (curled), screen, screwdriver and something to hold your collected specimens in (eg. egg cartons or flats).
Camping: within sight of digging area
Water: none available!
Nearest Town for Supplies: Delta, UT (50 miles to the southwest)
Nearest Motel is in: Delta, UT (50 miles to the southwest)
Additional Comments: Plenty of rugged campsites, but no facilities. Bring plenty of water. The Dugway Geode Beds location is north of Topaz Mtn. Some hiking is necessary to reach the best spots, but specimens can be found close to roads. Which collecting locality we visit first depends on the weather.

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Calumet Mine and Turret area, CO Trip
June 10 - 11
CANCELLED!!!

Days: Saturday and Sunday
Where: (to be announced)
Time: 9am
Land owner: (to be announced)
To Collect: Epidote, Magnetite, Quartz, Uralite and Pyrite (Calumet Mine); Peridot (Turret area)
Leader: (to be announced)
Approximately: 3.5 hours to the meeting location
Fee or Donation: None
Health Hazards: Small cactus; sun; heat; sunburn; rattlesnakes; insects.
Terrain: Steep mountains (Calumet Mine); Mountains and pine trees (peridot location).
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation: ~9400 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any, although there could be washouts caused by rain.
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, pick, 1/8th inch mesh screen, scratcher and something to hold your specimens.
Camping: near the peridot location
Water: Not available
Nearest Town for Supplies: Salida (10 miles away on dirt road)
Nearest Motel is in: Salida (10 miles away on dirt road)
Additional Comments: Toilets not available. Bring insect repellent. Bring plenty of water.

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Spruce Grove/Tarryall Mtns., CO Trip #1
June 24 - 25
Trip Report and Pictures

Days: Saturday and Sunday
Where: (contact Bob Loeffler)
Time: 9am
Land owner: National Forest Service
To Collect: Topaz and Smoky Quartz
Leader: Bob Loeffler
Approximately: 2 hours from Denver
Fee or Donation: $11.00 per night if camping (subject to change without notice)
Health Hazards: Mosquitos!!!
Terrain: Rocky mountains and hills; pine and aspen trees
Difficulty: Moderate to Extreme
Elevation: ~8700 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, pick, hammer, prybar, screen and something to hold your specimens.
Camping: at the Spruce Grove Campground; 1 1/4 miles from collecting site.
Water: Available at campground
Nearest Town for Supplies: Lake George, CO (15 miles away)
Nearest Motel is in: Lake George, CO (15 miles away)
Additional Comments: Paved road to campground; may have potholes. 1 1/4 mile hike over moderate to difficult terrain to collecting site; one or two steep hills. Or, we may be able to wade across the river to cut the hiking time in half. Depends on how deep the river is. Toilets available. Bring lots of mosquito repellant! A short class about pegmatites will be taught just before the hike up to the digging area on Saturday morning. Digging will be on the "Lost Boot" mining claim.

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Big Sandy Reservoir in Farson, WY
July 1 - 4 (July 4th weekend)
Trip Report with Pictures

Days: Saturday thru Tuesday
Where: (contact the trip leader)
Time: (contact the trip leader)
Land owner: Public property
To Collect: Blue Forest Wood, Eden Valley Wood, Agate and maybe Fossil Fish
Leader: Ted Gildea
Fee or Donation: None
Health Hazards: Heat; sunburn; mosquitos and ticks; can be extremely windy. Wyoming weather can be extreme in any direction – hot, cold, windy. Please prepare for almost anything. We have experienced sleet on July 4th. Anoher time someone’s tent nearly became a balloon.
Terrain: High desert
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: ~7200 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any, 4WD vehicle not required.
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, pick, long thin pole for probing in the ground, and collecting bags.
Camping: Near collecting sites
Water: Not available; bring PLENTY of water.
Nearest Town for Supplies: Farson, WY
Nearest Motel is in: Farson, WY
Additional Comments: Toilets available at camp site. One motel in Farson; more in Rock Springs which is 35 miles to the south. Can be extremely windy! Joint trip with the RAMS club.

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Glen Cove (Cascade, CO) Trip
July 22

Days: Saturday
Where: (see the July newsletter)
Time: 9am SHARP!
Land owner: National Forest Service
To Collect: Topaz and Smoky Quartz
Leader: Richard Parsons
Approximately: 2.5 hours from Denver
Fee or Donation: $10 per person to drive up the Pikes Peak Highway toll road
Health Hazards: Falling rocks and loose talus (it's next to a very tall cliff); sunburn; afternoon lightning storms; rain
Terrain: Rocky mountains and cliffs; pine and aspen trees
Difficulty: Moderate to Extreme
Elevation: 11,400 ft!!!
Vehicle Suggested: Any
Equipment Suggested: Pick, rock hammer, crack hammer, chisels, screen, small prybar, scratcher and something to hold your collected specimens.
Camping: n/a
Water: might be available at gift shop near collecting area
Nearest Town for Supplies: Cascade, CO
Nearest Motel is in: Cascade, CO or Woodland Park, CO
Additional Comments: Located on Pikes Peak, Glen Cove is one of North America’s highest gemstone localities. Perhaps most famous for topaz of exceptional quality, the Cove still produces smoky quartz and there is the odd bit of amazonite. It is a classic locality, well worth visiting, and there was a large, gemmy topaz in the "Prospectors" case at the Denver Show last fall, collected last summer. Most pockets found at the Cove have been in the cliffs, worked by intrepid folks rappelling down the face. Good specimens are still being found in the talus, however.

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Creede, CO Trip
August 4 - 6
Pictures

Days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Where: (see the August newsletter)
Time: (to be announced)
Land owner: The mine is private property; the fossil area is unknown ownership at this time
To Collect: Amethyst, sowbelly agate and sulfides at Last Chance Mine; plant and insect fossils
Leader: Bill Harrison
Approximately: 5+ hours from Denver
Fee or Donation: $2.00/pound (?) of material at the Last Chance Mine
Health Hazards: Old mine dump conditions (e.g. boulders, old timbers, rusty metal, etc.)
Terrain: Mountains
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation: N/A
Vehicle Suggested: Any
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, pick, rock hammer, chisels, scratcher, prybar and something to hold your specimens.
Camping: Various places near Creede and South Fork.
Water: Not available
Nearest Town for Supplies: 2 miles away in Creede
Nearest Motel is in: Creede or South Fork
Additional Comments: Everyone can go to the FREE Mineral County Rock & Mineral Show on Friday and evenings. We will only be allowed to collect at certain spots on the dumps. Joint trip with the RAMS club.

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RAMS Claim Picnic (Lake George, CO) Trip
August 18 - 20
Trip Report and Pictures

Days: Saturday and Sunday
Where: (see the August newsletter)
Land owner: National Forest (claimed by the RAMS club)
To Collect: Amazonite, Smoky Quartz and Goethite
Leader: (to be announced) RAMS club member
Fee or Donation: none
Health Hazards: Heat, cold, wind; sunburn if sunny; rain.
Terrain: Mountains and hills; pine trees.
Difficulty: (to be announced)
Elevation: approximately 8500 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, pick, rock hammer, crack hammer, chisels, prybar, and collecting bags.
Camping: at the digging site
Water: Available in Lake George, CO
Nearest Town for Supplies: Lake George, 10 miles away
Nearest Motel is in: Lake George, 10 miles away
Additional Comments: Joint trip with the RAMS club. Picnic lunch at 12 noon on Saturday - bring a dish to share. Dry area - no water or restrooms.

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Wolf Creek Pass, CO Trip
August 26 - 27
Cancelled!

Days: Saturday and Sunday
Where: (see the August newsletter)
Time: 9am
Land owner: National Forest Service
To Collect: Geodes
Leader: Dale Gann
Fee or Donation: none
Health Hazards: (to be announced)
Terrain: Mountains and pine trees
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: ~8,000 - 9,000 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any
Equipment Suggested: (to be announced)
Camping: There are 2 forest service campgrounds near the site.
Water: Bring your own. Campgrounds may or may not have water.
Nearest Town for Supplies: Pagosa Springs, CO
Nearest Motel is in: Pagosa Springs, CO
Additional Comments: Collecting is on an old logging road that is closed to vehicles. The geodes are weathering out of basalt. Some can be found on the ground and others have to be broken out of the basalt. This is the same formation that people have collected from along the highway but it is a lot safer and has not been over-collected.

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Mt. Antero, CO Trip
September 2 - 4 (Labor Day weekend)
Pictures

Days: Saturday, Sunday and Monday
Where: (see the August newsletter)
Time: 9am on Saturday
Land owner: private claims on National Forest Service land
To Collect: Aquamarine, Fluorite, Phenakite and Smoky Quartz
Leader: Don Beamer
Approximately: 3 hours from Denver to the meeting place
Fee or Donation: None
Health Hazards: Extremely high altitude; cold; very windy; rain, snow, hail; lightning in afternoon; sunburn; rockslides (loose talus rocks).
Terrain: Steep, barren, rocky mountains; above the tree-line.
Difficulty: Extreme
Elevation: 11,500 - 13,500 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Hi-Clearance, 4WD REQUIRED
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, pick, rock hammer, prybar, crack hammer, chisels, garden scratcher and something to hold your collected specimens.
Camping: 2 miles from digging site
Water: Not available
Nearest Town for Supplies: 20 miles away in Buena Vista (takes a couple hours due to bad road)
Nearest Motel is in: 20 miles away in Buena Vista (takes a couple hours due to bad road)
Additional Comments: Afternoon storms (lightning, rain, snow and hail) are common. Elevation at camp is 11,500 ft. All collecting areas are above 12,500 ft. Buena Vista is a couple hours away due to extremely rough dirt and rocky roads that can have potholes more than a foot deep.

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Stoneham, CO Trip
September 30
Trip Report and Pictures

Days: Saturday
Where: (see the October newsletter)
Time: 9:30am
Land owner: Claim on private property, permission REQUIRED (club members have permission)
To Collect: Blue Barite and Calcite
Leader: April Pullen
Approximately: 2 hours from Denver
Fee or Donation: None
Health Hazards: Can be hot, cold and/or windy; Sunburn (no shade); possible rattlesnakes.
Terrain: Grassy plains and barren cliffs..
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: ~4500 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any.
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, crack hammer, chisels, prybar, pick, wedges and something to hold your delicate specimens (such as egg cartons and tissues).
Camping: at the digging site
Water: Not available
Nearest Town for Supplies: Ft. Morgan, CO (36 miles to the south) or Sterling, CO (to the east).
Nearest Motel is in: Ft. Morgan, CO (36 miles to the south) or Sterling, CO (to the east).
Additional Comments: Digging is in rock-hard clay. No open fires. Fill in holes. If wet or muddy, do not drive on access road; park on main road and hike in. Frank Bendrick, the claim owner, will let us in and out of the gate.

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Book Cliffs (Grand Junction, CO) Trip #2
October 7 - 9
Pictures

Days: Saturday, Sunday and Monday (?)
Where: (see the September newsletter)
Time: 10am
Land owner: BLM
To Collect: Barite and Calcite
Leader: (to be announced)
Approximately: 4 hours from Denver to the meeting place
Fee or Donation: None
Health Hazards: Heat; wind; snakes; scorpions; sunburn (no shade).
Terrain: Low barren hills.
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: ~4,000 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, rock pick, rock hammer, prybar, chisels, scratcher and something to hold your collected specimens. Barite crystals are very heat-sensitive, so they should be kept cool and moist so they don't fracture. Then let them gradually dry at home. You might want to bring a small cooler to put the barite crystals in to keep them from rapid temperature changes.
Camping: Near the site
Water: Not available
Nearest Town for Supplies: Grand Junction (15 miles away)
Nearest Motel is in: Grand Junction (15 miles away)
Additional Comments: A 2-wheel drive vehicle is sufficient for the road to the digging area as long as the road is dry. If the roads become wet, the clay roads will become EXTREMELY slippery and impassable even for a 4-wheel drive vehicle; may have deep ruts and wash-outs after rain storms.

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Yellow Cat and Cisco, Utah Trip
October 7 - 9
Trip Report and Pictures

Days: Saturday, Sunday and Monday
Where: (see the September newsletter)
Time: 12:00pm (noon) on Saturday
Land owner: BLM
To Collect: Agates, petrified wood and barite pseudomorphs
Leader: Dale Gann
Fee or Donation: none
Health Hazards: Desert conditions (can be hot, cold and/or windy); scorpions and bugs; possible rattlesnakes; sunburn.
Terrain: Barren, rocky desert mountains. Remote and arid.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation: ~4000 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any vehicle can get to the camp site. A high-clearance vehicle is needed to get to some of the more remote sites.
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, rock pick, rock hammer, prybar, chisels, scratcher and something to hold your collected specimens.
Camping: Dry camp near collecting areas
Water: Bring all you will need! The closest water is 50+ miles away.
Nearest Town for Supplies: Moab, UT and Green River, UT which are both about 50 miles away.
Nearest Motel is in: Moab, UT
Additional Comments: We are going to dry camp at the site shown on the map, but no facilities. We will have a "Porto-Dale" for everyone to use. Bring plenty of water, ice and fuel because it's a long drive to the store. The Yellow Cat/Cisco area has many collecting possibilities. Each mesa has a different color agate. Some hiking is necessary to reach the best spots, but specimens can be found close to roads. We will meet at the camp site and head out from there after lunch. Several of us are staying a week and hitting other areas.

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Spruce Grove/Tarryall Mtns., CO Trip #2
October 21 - 22

Days: Saturday and Sunday
Where: (see the October newsletter)
Time: 9am
Land owner: National Forest Service
To Collect: Topaz and Smoky Quartz
Leader: Tom Miller
Approximately: 2 hours from Denver
Fee or Donation: $11.00 per night if camping (subject to change without notice)
Health Hazards: Mosquitos!!!
Terrain: Rocky mountains and hills; pine and aspen trees
Difficulty: Moderate to Extreme
Elevation: ~8700 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, pick, hammer, prybar, screen and something to hold your specimens.
Camping: at the Spruce Grove Campground if it's open; 1 1/4 miles from collecting site.
Water: Available at campground
Nearest Town for Supplies: Lake George, CO (15 miles away)
Nearest Motel is in: Lake George, CO (15 miles away)
Additional Comments: The campground closes for the winter months, so it may or may not be open at this time of year. Paved road to campground; may have potholes. 1 1/4 mile hike over moderate to difficult terrain to collecting site; one or two steep hills. Or, we may be able to wade across the river to cut the hiking time in half. Depends on how deep the river is. Toilets available if the campground is open. Bring lots of mosquito repellant! Digging will be on the "Lost Boot" mining claim.

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New Mexico Mineral Symposium (Socorro, New Mexico) Trip
November 9 - 12

Days: Field trip on Thursday and possibly Friday
Where: (contact the trip leader)
Time: (contact the trip leader)
Land owner: (contact the trip leader)
To Collect: Fluorite and ???
Leader: Ted Gildea
Fee or Donation: none for the field trip
Health Hazards: Sunburn; heat; scorpions; rattlesnakes.
Terrain: Steep, rocky mountains; desert.
Difficulty: (contact the trip leader)
Elevation: low desert (~3000 ft)
Vehicle Suggested: Any; High Clearance suggested.
Equipment Suggested: Pick, rock hammer, chisels, prybar and collecting bags.
Camping: (contact the trip leader)
Water: Not Available. Bring plenty of water.
Nearest Town for Supplies: (contact the trip leader)
Nearest Motel is in: (contact the trip leader)
Additional Comments: (contact the trip leader) Joint trip with the RAMS club.

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