2010 Field Trips

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This is the list of field trips for 2010. Times/dates/info are subject to change.

For old trips (1997 - present), please see our Field Trip Archives page.

  Index:

April 17-18 Jet, Oklahoma Trip (CANCELLED due to RAIN)
May 1 - 2 Book Cliffs, CO Trip #1
June 5 Harris Park, CO
June 26 - 27 Blue Forest (Farson, Wyoming) Trip
July 17 - 18 RAMS Claim, CO
July 31 - August 1 Missouri Hill, CO Trip
August 6 - 8 Last Chance Mine, Creede, CO (several locations)
August 7 Topaz Gem mine, CO Trip
August 21 - 22 Spruce Grove/Tarryall Mtns., CO Trip
September 4 - 6 (Labor Day weekend) Mt. Antero (Nathrop, CO)
October 2 Baculite Mesa, Pueblo, CO
October 9 - 11 (Columbus Day weekend) Book Cliffs (Grand Junction, CO) #2

Book Cliffs, CO Trip
May 1 - 2
Trip Report (PDF file) and Photos Pages

Days: Saturday and Sunday
Where: (contact the trip leader)
Time: 10am on Saturday
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 and sunburn (there is no shade). Bring adequate protection from the sun such as sunscreen. Some people bring a tarp to shade themselves; wind; snakes; scorpions (every trip Ron sees several); no water (bring plenty of water). Always a possibility of heavy rain.
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: Dry camping near the site; no shade
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 usually 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. Due to all the oil and gas exploration activity, the motels have been full recently. Joint trip with the RAMS club.

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Harris Park, CO Trip
June 5

Days: Saturday
Where: (contact Bob Loeffler for details)
Time: 9am
Land owner: Private mineral claim
To Collect: Amazonite, Smoky Quartz, Fluorite, Albite, etc
Leader: Jim Hooten (Littleton Club)
Approximately: 45 minutes to 1 hour from Denver to the meeting place
Fee or Donation: None
Health Hazards: Sunburn; cold; insects.
Terrain: Mountains and pine trees.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation: ~9,500 ft
Vehicle Suggested: 4WD required
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, pick, rock hammer, prybar, chisels, scratcher and something to hold your collected specimens.
Camping: Not applicable
Water: Not available
Nearest Town for Supplies: Harris Park has limited supplies; Bailey has more.
Nearest Motel is in: Not applicable
Additional Comments: We will be digging with the Littleton club on their "Honey Bee/Queen Bee" claim. Toilets not available. Bring insect repellent and plenty of water.

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Blue Forest (Farson, WY) Trip
June 26 - 27
Pictures!

Days: Saturday and Sunday
Where: (contact the trip leader; see June newsletter)
Time: (contact the trip leader; see June newsletter)
Land owner: BLM land
To Collect: Blue Forest Wood
Leader: Ron and Judy Knoshaug
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. Another time someone’s tent nearly became a balloon.
Terrain: Remote grass lands
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation: ~7200 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any vehicle except low-clearance vehicles (lowered cars, etc)
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, pick, long thin pole for probing in the ground, and collecting bags.
Camping: Not sure – maybe at the Green River Campsite or at the Big Sandy Campsite
Water: Not available; bring PLENTY of water.
Nearest Town for Supplies: Farson, WY
Nearest Motel is in: RockSprings, WY
Additional Comments: Facilities at either campsite include outhouses. We may look for wood at Blue Forest, Big Sandy Reservoir, Wood Top, Territorial Site. Where we explore for wood depends somewhat on the weather. The roads can become very muddy if it rains much. This happened last year in June on our wood trip to Farson. Planns had to be made on the fly.

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RAMS Claim, CO Trip
July 17 - 18
Pictures!

Days: Saturday and Sunday
Where: (contact the trip leaders)
Time: (contact the trip leaders)
Land owner: National Forest land
To Collect: Amazonite, Smokey Quartz, Fluorite and Microcline
Leaders: Ron and Judy Knoshaug; Don Beamer
Fee or Donation: None
Health Hazards: Sunburn; mosquitos and ticks; possible rain in the afternoon.
Terrain: Mountains and pine trees
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation: ~9000 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any vehicle except low-clearance vehicles (lowered cars, etc). 4WD suggested in some areas.
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, pick, crack hammer and chisels (if you will be breaking rock), and collecting bags.
Camping: within a half-mile of digging area
Water: Not available; bring PLENTY of water.
Nearest Town for Supplies: Lake George, CO
Nearest Motel is in: Lake George, WY
Additional Comments: We have been invited by the RAMS club to join them for their annual summer picnic and dig at their mining claim. There will be a potluck picnic on Saturday at lunch time at the campsite. Bring whatever you want to eat and drink.

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Missouri Hill (west of Salida, CO)
July 31 - August 1

Days: Saturday and Sunday
Where: (contact the trip leader)
Time: 9am (we will be leaving there promptly at 9:30)
Land owner: unknown
To Collect: Quartz crystals
Leader: Jim Hall
Approximately: 2.5 hours from Denver to the meeting place Fee or Donation: none
Health Hazards: Cold; wind; sunburn (no shade); high elevation and requires a hike up a steep hillside, so not good for kids or people in poor health. Other areas (old mines) nearby have easier access.
Terrain: Rocky mountain
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult. Nearby areas are Easy.
Elevation: unknown (very high)
Vehicle Suggested: High clearance (4WD recommended)
Equipment Suggested: Shovel, pick, rock hammer, prybar, chisels, scratcher and something to hold your collected specimens.
Camping: unknown, but there should be National Forest campsites nearby
Water: Not available
Nearest Town for Supplies: Poncha Springs, CO
Nearest Motel is in: Probaby Salida, CO
Additional Comments: High ground clearance is recommended, 4x4 even better, but probably not required. The site is at high elevation, and requires a hike up a steep hillside, so probably isn't good for young kids or people in poor health. There are other mines along the road however that you can drive to (no hiking), but the leader hasn't looked around them much.

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Last Chance Mine, CO Trip (several locations)
August 7 - 8
Pictures and Trip Report!

Days: Saturday and Sunday
Where: (see the August newsletter)
Time: (see the August newsletter)
Land owner: The mine is private property (Jack Morris is the owner). Other areas unknown.
To Collect: Amethyst, sowbelly agate and sulfides at the mine; Fossils at another location; Quartz crystals at another location; Thundereggs at another location.
Leader: Eldon Hunewell
Approximately: 6 hours from Denver
Fee or Donation: $2.00/pound of material at the Last Chance Mine; no fee at other locations
Health Hazards: Old mine dump conditions (e.g. boulders, old timbers, rusty metal, etc.)
Terrain: Mountains
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation: ~11,000 feet; unknown at other locations
Vehicle Suggested: Any
Equipment Suggested: Pick, rock hammer, chisels, scratcher, prybar and something to hold your specimens.
Camping: Various places near Creede and South Fork. 2 small cabins at the mine site MIGHT be available for our use. Contract the trip leader for details and availability.
Water: Not available at the mine; available in cabins.
Nearest Town for Supplies: Creede (5 miles away from the mine)
Nearest Motel is in: Creede or South Fork
Additional Comments: Everyone can go to the FREE Mineral County Rock & Mineral Show on Friday and weekend evenings. We will only be allowed to collect at certain spots on the dumps of the mine on Saturday. We will also go dig fossils at another location Saturday afternoon. Thundereggs at the Del Norte location and Quartz crystals at the Crystal Hill mine near La Garita, both on Sunday.

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Topaz Gem mine, CO Trip
August 7

Days: Saturday
Where: (see the July newsletter)
Time: (see the July newsletter)
Land owner: Private mining claim!
To Collect: Topaz and Smoky Quartz crystals
Leader: Jim Hall
Approximately: 2 hours from Denver (contact the trip leaders)
Fee or Donation: $40.00 fee for a bag of gravel (see Comments below)
Health Hazards: Cold; sunburn; mosquitos
Terrain: Mountains
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: ~8,800 feet
Vehicle Suggested: Any
Equipment Suggested: A garden rake with heavy tines. Use the rake to rake the piles and loosen up the gravel. Bring your own screen (mesh no larger than 3/8" or you will lose some good topaz), a small hand rake, good shovel or pick (to loosen the ore piles), small rock hammer with good point, and a small bag or canister for your finds. Bring appropriate clothing, water, sunscreen, and insect repellant. Wear boots (with good traction), gloves, hat for the sun, possible coat for cold weather, and rain gear as it sometimes rains in the afternoon.
Camping: Forest Service land and a couple campgrounds are nearby if you want to camp.
Water: Not available; bring water.
Nearest Town for Supplies: Lake George
Nearest Motel is in: Lake George
Additional Comments: You have to buy a bag of gravel for $40, but it has some topaz in it. Then you can also screen/wash, but the owner can keep anything you find if he wants. But you can buy it back (topaz) at the owner's going rate. You can keep all quartz. Please read all of the rules on their website at: http://www.pinnacle5minerals.com/GlacierPeakWeb/Visits/TopazVisits.htm

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Spruce Grove/Tarryall Mtns., CO Trip
August 21 - 22
Pictures!

Days: Saturday and Sunday
Where: (see the August newsletter)
Time: (see the August newsletter)
Land owner: National Forest Service
To Collect: Topaz, Smoky Quartz, Microcline Feldspar and Fluorite
Leader: Kevin and K.C. Larsen
Approximately: 2 hours from Denver
Fee or Donation: $11.00 per night if camping at the campground (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 to the campground; 4WD or High clearance if driving to the "shortcut" (to wade across the river)
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 mosquito repellant! Digging will be on the "Lost Boot" mining claim.

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Mt. Antero, CO Trip
September 5 - 7 (Labor Day weekend)

Days: Saturday, Sunday and Monday
Where: (see the August newsletter)
Time: (see the August newsletter)
Land owner: private claims on National Forest Service land
To Collect: Aquamarine, Fluorite, Phenakite and Smoky Quartz
Leader: TBA
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: High 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 (almost a 30 minute drive)
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. Joint trip with other clubs.

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Baculite Mesa, Pueblo, CO Trip
October 2
Pictures

Days: Saturday
Where: (If interested contact Bob Loeffler for details or check North Jeffco Field Trip Calendar)
Time: 9am
Land owner: Private property
To Collect: Fossils (ammonites, baculites, inoceramus clams, etc)
Leader: Dan Alfrey (Lake George club)
Fee or Donation: None
Health Hazards: High desert conditions (can be hot, cold and/or windy); landslides; scorpions and bugs; possible rattlesnakes; sunburn.
Terrain: Barren, arid.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation: ~5,200 ft
Vehicle Suggested: Any
Equipment Suggested: Hat, long pants and boots are REQUIRED; Shovel, rock pick, rock hammer and something to hold your collected specimens.
Camping: n/a
Water: None available; bring all you will need.
Nearest Town for Supplies: Pueblo, CO
Nearest Motel is in: Pueblo, CO
Additional Comments: (see the e-mail that was sent to all members with e-mail access)

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Book Cliffs (Grand Junction, CO) Trip #2
October 9 - 11 (Columbus Day weekend)

Days: Saturday, Sunday and Monday
Where: (contact the trip leaders)
Time: (contact the trip leaders)
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: Cold, so bring a coat/jacket; sunburn (there is no shade). Bring adequate protection from the sun such as sunscreen, hat and longsleeve shirt. Some people bring a tarp to shade themselves; wind; snakes; scorpions (every trip Ron sees several); no water (bring plenty of water). Always a possibility of heavy rain, so bring a rain coat.
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: Dry camping near the site; no shade
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. Due to all the oil and gas exploration activity, the motels are often full. Joint trip with the RAMS club.

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