Book Cliff Field Trip
May 18 - 20, 2007

by Ron Knoshaug


Judy, Balou (the dog), and I headed to Grand Junction on May 18th to meet the other participants in the Book Cliff field trip on May 19-20th. The Beamers had gone a day earlier to explore the barite areas. We arrived in the Book Cliffs about 1:00 PM to find another RAMS member, Tom Miller, already digging in a set of nodules. Since it was quite hot on Friday, Tom had a tarp rigged up to shade his digging area. We selected a nodule and proceeded to mole through the shale. Nothing of much interest was found. The Beamers, however, were in another barite area and having some success.

On Saturday morning, I met Bruce Skelton (RAMS), Dennis and Linda Gertenbach (Flatirons) , and Brett Medici (North Jeffco) at the Super 8 Motel at 10:00 AM and we headed to a dig site. We met the Beamers at the dig site, where they had erected a tarp to stay out of the sun. After a brief introduction as to what to look for in searching for barite, the group scattered to search for promising nodules. Bruce, Don and Gail found a few nice barites while I found a fossil shell. Brett went exploring for a nodule a few hills away and eventually found a nodule that “looked good”. As we were about ready to quite for the day, Tom arrived to show us his cooler full of nice barites. He had a very productive day.

Sunday looked like another scorcher. Don & Gail, Bruce, Judy and I went to the area that Tom had been having success finding barite. Brett returned to the area he found the day before. Judy & I and Don & Gail set-up tarps to protect us and Balou from the sun Another hot day with little success. Don & Gail found a few small, but nice, barite crystals and Tom continued to pull them out of the area he was in. About noon, Brett came by with a large chunk of barite, maybe a pound or so, which was terminated. It was a nice find. By the end of the day, the heat had worn us out and the bugs (gnats, no see-ums, or what ever) had enjoyed a feast on feeding on us all weekend. Bruce and Tom headed back to Denver; Brett headed to Utah to meet-up with the Yellow-Cat field trip group, Don & Gail and Judy & I headed back to the motel to cool down and get ready for the Yellow-Cat trip Monday morning.