Rocks and specimens from Oregon

Rooster Rock


Rooster Rock, Crown Point, and the Vista House (top right, on top of Crown Point). Photo by Lyn Topinka, http://columbiariverimages.com/Regions/Places/rooster_rock.html

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Photo by Thomas Kuo, from Google Maps. This is Crown Point and the Vista House seen close up from the other side.

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.

Sources: http://columbiariverimages.com/Regions/Places/rooster_rock.html http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=126

Joplin Mining Equipment

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.


Everyone listening to Marv. Photo by Stephanie Reed


Ore buckets as far as the eye can see! Photo by David Reed


Ore crusher. Photo by Stephanie Reed


Most of the things outside are from the Picher Museum. Photo by Stephanie Reed


Ore buckets, a crucible, and one of the only 2 remaining drill bit buckets. They were sold for scrap metal when the Picher Museum was having hard times. Marv got them from the scrap metal place. Photo by Stephanie Reed


This is not an ore bucket. This is a dewatering bucket. Photo by Stephanie Reed


The inside of a dewatering bucket has a plunger inside. Photo by Stephanie Reed


A drill. Photo by David Reed


Photo by David Reed


Calcium carbide and some lamps. Photo by David Reed


These long scoops are used to clean out the holes before putting in the dynamite. If you hit some debris while loading the dynamite it might explode. Photo by David Reed


Wooden paddles for opening boxes of dynamite. It is too dangerous to use a metal implement. Photo by David Reed


Lamps, containers of carbide, and mortars and pestles. Photo by David Reed


An impressive display of blasting caps. Photo by Stephanie Reed


Guy’s dropper lamps. These were used before carbide lamps were invented. Photo by Stephanie Reed


Marv in his workshop. On the table are some slabs that will soon be cut into cabs, and there is a curved plate that can be coated with ink and used to label boxes of Hercules dynamite (with removable plates for dates, lot numbers, etc.). Bucyrus Erie is a mining equipment company. Photo by David Reed


Marv also makes jewelry. Photo by David Reed


Some of his freshly tumbled rocks. Photo by David Reed


Part of Marv’s rock collection. Photo by David Reed


Lots of Owyhee Jasper from Oregon and Idaho. Photo by David Reed


A device for crimping blasting caps. It is extremely rare. Photo by David Reed


This is a pigtail, which is a blacksmith-made hook for ore buckets. It is specially curved so that the bucket won’t fall off while it is being raised up. Photo by David Reed

Thank you Marv for inviting us on your property and into your home to see your amazing collection!

Fossil Sweet Gum

A big slab of petrified wood that is green

Photo by Stephanie Reed

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?

Thunder Eggs

Three round geodes in small, medium, and large. The smallest one is a flat slab with a blue inside and brown outside. The medium one is a hemisphere that's black on the inside and gray on the outside. The largest one is a hemisphere that is purple amethyst crystals on the inside and brown on the outside.

Photo by Stephanie Reed

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.

Thunder Eggs

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.

Moss Agate

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