Celebrate the new Year of the Rooster by going to Rooster Rock State Park in Portland, Oregon. Rooster Rock is a large basalt feature located on the Oregon side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 129, just below the base of Crown Point. It is also called Woutoulat or Crow’s Roost, sometimes. There is a Vista House on top of the Crown Point, which is a lava flow. The state park has many amenities including: a boat ramp into the Columbia River, fishing, swimming, windsurfing, hiking, ADA accessible picnic shelters, parking lots, restrooms, two disc golf courses, and a clothing-optional beach. Also, Lewis and Clark camped there on November 2, 1805.
In November 2016, we went to see Marv Dahmen’s collection of vintage Joplin/Tri-State mining equipment and minerals. He talked about it for 5 hours but there was never a dull moment. We managed to record some of it, although it was so long Stephanie and David ran out of space on their phones. Here are some photos.
Thank you Marv for inviting us on your property and into your home to see your amazing collection!
This is a cross-section of a fossilized sweet gum tree from the Hampton Butte in Crook County, Oregon. We saw it at the Rice Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon where it is in the petrified wood room. I hardly ever see petrified wood that is green like this; usually it’s red, orange, or brown. Anybody know what makes it green?
Some thunder eggs from the personal collection of David Reed. The largest one has purple amethyst crystals on the inside. It was originally from the collection of the late David White, who lovingly polished it by hand to a reflective shine. The medium one is from Oregon. The smallest one is a slab cut from a thunder egg and was from the Show-Me Rockhounds gift exchange.
The thunder egg was declared the official state rock of Oregon in 1965, because there are quite a lot of them there. A thunder egg is a rounded nodule or geode with agate in the center. Thunder eggs can also contain quartz, chalcedony, crystals, or opal. The inside parts can be opaque or transparent – there are almost as many possible designs as there are agates. This unusual thunder egg shown above is from Oregon and has plume inclusions. Some thunder eggs are also geodes but this one is not a geode because it does not have crystal points. A more typical thunder egg would look similar, but with bands or a single color on the inner part.
This unique agate was found in Malheur County, Oregon. It has a scale-like layer that resembles the skin of a snake.
The name moss agate is a bit of a misnomer, because they contain no moss. Moss agates have green inclusions that look like moss or seaweed. The green color comes from manganese oxide or other green minerals. It is the most common type of agate inclusion. Moss agates are most commonly found in Montana and Wyoming. The one pictured is from Maury Mountain, Oregon.
Source: The Gemrock (IGAMS newsletter), 7/2014