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Trip Report from Owens Valley Area, Calif.

Hey rock heads!
Just wanted to share a report from a recent collecting trip i made with my brother and cousin to the Owens valley area of california. We started out by exporing the wonderful travertine formations near Bridgeport, Ca. and of course soaking in the hot spring pools there as well. In a word: fantastic! the soaking is great and the many travertine mounds, some activly flowing, others not, are really cool to see. many banded colors are visible in the layers of deposits. I recomend it to rockhounds as well as anyone who loves geothermal activity!
Next off to Deep Springs Valley for some quartz crystals. This place is remote, and the views are fantastic! The valley is just east of Big Pine and near the Nevada border. We found this site listed in several of the rockhounding books i have, and is well known for it's plentiful crystals. the one error we found in the books is the fact they say "smokey quartz" and all there is is clear and some citrine.
It's hard rock mining for sure, but pockets, when found, are worthy! We found some nice points there! Worth a trip just for the views, and a good place to camp a few nights!
Then off to "Crystal Ridge", just east of Independence, Ca. this site is also well known and listed in many books. We really hooked up there! Many wonderful points coated with specular hematite and some great clusters with matrix. We used a screen and found it to be a great way to process a lot of material. The digging areas are easy to find and there are many spots to choose from. We found the coatings to range from near black, red, and even a few rainbow/metalic coated points. Three nice scepter crystals were found, awesome!, and some great needle like slender crystals too that remained unbroken despite the obvious heavy mining there.
Finally we were off south to just east of Lone Pine,Ca. to the site known as "gem valley" or the "haystack". This area has nice microcline feldspar (amazonite) and some great smokey quartz associated with it. Blocky material is everywhere, but some well formed crystals with quartz were found, and they had a beautiful teal green color and gemmy! You can also find some nice blue beryl in quartz viens up in the hanging valley. A few well formed crystals were found, mostly small but gemmy! some crystals have been found up to 1/2" diam. and about 2" long! some rock breaking is needed to expose the small pockets in the vien.
All in all a great trip! Get a book and head out there! early spring is the time and you can always sooth your aches and pains and remove the dirt in a great hot spring called Keoughs Hot ditch just south of Bishop on hwy 395.
thanks for the vine....rock on......KG

From Kid Gambit - March 26, 2010 at 21:40:24
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