Big Sandy Blue Forest
July 4 2008
by Dale Gann
Seven of us arrived at the Big Sandy campground on July 3. Members from 3 Denver clubs were represented, North Jeffco, CMS and Littleton. After setting up camp several of us went over to the Big Sandy digging area. We surface collected for a while and went back to camp. Friday morning we headed back to the same area, this time we had 12 members representing the 3 clubs. We stopped at several places and tried our luck. Towards the end of the day Marge Regal found indications of a large log that was vertical in the ground. Marge asked for some help digging it out and several of us followed her to the spot to help. The first pieces came out fairly easily but were broken. The log was about 12" in diameter. As we dug deeper it was evident that this was going to be more difficult than we had first thought. The log was encased in the same kind of rind that surrounds the wood in the Blue Forest. Rob had a big breaker bar he called "Biog Bertha". She was big and bad and did the trick. We eventually recovered 2 unbroken full rounds and one that was broken but could be glued back together. While we were digging two vehicles stopped and the occupants came over to see what we had found. One couple was trying to find the "Rainbow Gathering" and asked us if we knew where it was. We pointed them in the general direction, (Wind River Range northeast of our location). We explained to them that we had found a large petrified (PW) log and were digging it out and that the area had a large concentration of PW. As they left the Rainbow couple said we "Rocked". Pretty cool for a bunch of dirty rockhounds. A while later another truck came by and it was Virgil and his family. They are from Texas and I had met him in a Yahoo group formed around petrified wood.
By this time we were all dead tired and Marge offered to buy us ice cream at the Big Dip. I was wrong when I said it had closed. I guess it closed during the off season.
Saturday we went to the Blue Forest digging area. We started in the southern area which is the most heavily collected area. We all went our own way and started digging. I found a like spot on the edge of an old hole. It didn't take long to find evidence of a log. It eventually turned out to be a 3 foot long log about 2.5 inches across and 3 feet long. It has a blue rind and some calcite. This is the first Blue Forest log that I found and dug myself.
After I got it out I went over to see what Paul LyVere had found because he was digging like crazy. It turned out that his son Codey has found a log next to where Paul was digging. It turned out to be a very nice log. We then packed things up and headed to the northern digging area. I had not been to this area before. When we got to the area it was obvous that it had not been dig as much as the southern area. Right off the bat Eldon found a log in the middle of the trail. Very nice log.
Sunday we decided to try the palm/cane area of Big Sandy. Again we got to the digging area and went our different ways. There was palm on the surface. I started digging and hit a big rind. This one was not weathered and it was very hard. Needless to say it's still there but I did get GPS coordinates and I will go back some day to finish digging it up. I hope its palm. We went to another area and everyone found some more nice materal.
All in all it was a great trip except for the wind.