Teresa and I where driving down Interstate 15 towards Baker and as we came down the last hill into the valley we approached Basin Rd. off ramp, and became very excited about our Cady Mountain collecting expedition. We had an excitement that can only be met by few pleasures in life. The sunrise was awesome, with shades of violet, red, and orange. As we approached the off ramp we noticed many Rockhounds anticipating our arrival. 48 Rockhounds rearing and ready to go greeted us eagerly. We had a short demo with pictures and rocks to further educate everyone on what to look for. We had a brief discussion about the desert and how to respect it. Leave only footprints behind, nothing else.
On our agenda were several spots to collect for the day: sagenite, yellow plume and fluorite. Some of the group wanted to go to the fluorite mine and others wanted to skip it all together, so Shep agreed to take a group to the mine and I lead the rest to one of many sagenite collecting areas we know in the Cady’s.
At the appointed time I got my group back on the road to meet up with Shep’s Group at the designated site. As it turned out, this was a great sagenite area. Many people found sizable sagenite. One was about 10-12 lbs with red sagenite running around the entire rock. Wow! What a find! Ed and Helen Gardener found a 14-pound sagenite nodule with blue and brown needles. Jason Badgley found a large sagenite nodule with cream and green colored spray about the size of his hand, nice find!
After the sagenite and the fluorite groups came back together, we traveled to the yellow plume area and stopped for a quick lunch and headed in for the plume. It gave me a warm feeling to see strangers helping strangers find and retrieve beautiful rocks. I saw two guys who barely knew each other help dig out a very large yellow plume with fluorite in the middle. Kevin who had a quad, not only helped John dig 50 lbs, plus rock out, but he used his quad to deliver it to John’s jeep. Now that is what a fieldtrip is about, coming together and sharing the experience even if you don’t get to keep the rock. New Friends!
The day turned out great! No one got hurt and we all found rocks. Can’t get better than that! We ended the day with a wonderful sunset and some final collecting in a third spot called ‘Baxter’s Wash’. We all had a long day and a nice slow walk in the wash was just what we need. Nothing like getting one more rock for the road. Special thanks to John and Rosa Pickett who became my anchorman at the end of pack and ate the dust! I guess they got their reward because Rosa was walking in the wash at the end of the day and found a 10 lbs sagenite. After cutting this rock it showed a beautiful sagenite spray in quartz. Way to go!
I was sent some comments from our guests and would like to share them with you. See below:
The Field Trip to the Cady’s organized by Adam Dean & Teresa Felix last Saturday was one of the best ever. Teresa's enthusiasm made the trip extra fun for all of us. Helen and I (Mr. Ed) found many great rocks and a really nice big Sagenite weighing in at 14 pounds. Although it was a one-day event there were several of us that arrived at the Afton campground a few days early to scout out minerals in that area. It was great to see old friends and appreciate the opportunity to meet new ones. Again, thank you Adam and Teresa for a great fieldtrip.
Mr. Ed & Helen
The October 18 CFMS field trip to the Afton Canyon area outside of Barstow was a wondrous trek. Donna Rodriguez and I left Friday morning from Bakersfield on a road trip to be remembered. Our first stop was to be the Rainbow Basin area near Calico, after a little 40 mile side trip, which gave us the chance to get up close to some amazingly green hills, I landed our destination, just as the sun was heading down in the west and creating the best possible light for photographing. We made it to Barstow by dark, and left by 7 am on Saturday for the CFMS trip. There were about 70 people who met at the Basin Road off ramp from I-15. I drove my Ford Focus wagon in to the rail yard where Donna and I were so very fortunate to get a ride from Michelle, a member of the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society. She drove a Honda Pilot 4-wheel-drive. With Michelle at the wheel we followed behind a Subaru Forester and caravanned out onto the desert floor. Shep Koss and Adam Dean were outstanding in their leadership of this large group. The group split in two, one group going to look for fluorite and the other group for sagenite. A mysterious rock to me until I looked the word up online and found it means an agate with crystal intrusions. Adam had shown us a sample of a beautiful sagenite that had crystal columns growing in it (geode like) and at the ends of the columns that were broken off there was a blue line circling the column. I was fascinated by it, and did find a small piece. We stopped at four different places and found yellow plume agate, basalt with common opal streaked on it, calcite rhombs, green lace agate, and the list goes on. Many thanks to our leaders, and my undying gratitude to Michelle for being our driver and helper.
The trip out to the Cady Mountains that Adam Dean had lead was great! I had a great time finding good quality agates. Everyone else had a great time too. We need to save this place and leave it open to collecting. If lost, it would be a big shame for everyone, as it is one of the best places to go collecting in the state.
Bel Aire Gem & Mineral Club
The trip started out perfectly with a great group of people, people from Las Vegas, Northern California and all other corners of So Cal. I truly enjoyed old friends and some really new ones I made on this trip. It is extremely difficult to pull off a trip of this complexity. Many people and a challenging terrain, I was very impressed with the organization splitting in to two groups was ingenious. Some excellent material was obtained and most people seemed delighted of their treasures. Once again the true measure of a good field trip is the great people who attended. Kudos to Adam and Teresa! Looking forward to future adventures.
Best Wishes Robert and Sharon
Searchers Gem and Mineral Club
Adam did a great job on leading this Federation trip into the cady's. I think everyone went home happy with sagenite and Yellow plume. This was a great group to be with on this outing. The Cady's is a little cleaner then we found it, as several people, especially Teresa did their part in picking up trash left by others in the past. Everyone needs to do what ever they can to keep the Cady's open so we can all seek the treasures of nature yet to be found in the Cady's. Hats off to Adam.
My group broke off from the main body to collect fluorite and found float and veins ranging in color from sun bleached clear to deep forest green. Also in the area were veins and chunks of a silver-lace onyx.
Doing mostly hard rock mining, we also managed large chunks and found a few pieces of onyx veined with deep green fluorite, which should make nice display slabs. Some of us made our blood sacrifice with errant hammers, but it was worth it. Also found were pieces of fortified agate/onyx matrixes, some with druzy lined vugs containing dogtooth spar! After exploring the old mine “Adit” and a shaded lunch break, we reconnected with the main group to head out to the yellow plume site
C.F.M.S. CO-CHAIR FIELD TRIP SOUTH 2008
At 6:00am we met with Adam Dean and Teresa Felix at Peggy Sue's who would lead us to paradise for the Day. Adam mentioned that it was time for him to share two of his favorite fishing holes in the North Cady’s, which included a sagenite and a yellow plume area. He also mentioned that Shep Koss would be leading a special trip to a fluorite area. A few Rockhounds met for breakfast but most of them were staged at the Basin Road off-ramp, eagerly awaiting the adventure. There were 23 vehicles in total, one of the vehicles had five Rockhounds & didn't include the gear they brought with them. We all signed in and were safety briefed & reminded to respect the delicate environment we were about to enjoy. We were all encouraged to pick up trash in the field & Adam mentioned that karma has rewarded him with beautiful agates in the past for picking up litter. Excitement grew exponentially when Adam shared sagenite, yellow plume and fluorite specimens with the group not only in the form of photographs, but also physical samples from his personal collection. After debrief concluded we were off on our journey, the some young, some old and others physically limited. Basin Road quickly became a BLM route, marked `Open Route'. This trip would not be possible without open roads and easy access. We made our way to the RR Tracks approximately 5 miles from the Freeway and conducted an additional safety check before heading out and reaching our destination. We entered BLM wash road that led us to rainbow colored hills that gave me a feeling that I was on another planet right smack dab in the middle of an old Lost in Space episode. From the looks of the hills you could `just tell' that any rock you pick up in the area will be interesting. The Day was highlighted with large and small well define sagenite found by the least expected folks. Must be something to do with the karma that Adam alluded to earlier because we picked up trash along the way all day long… Thanks for a great trip Adam, Teresa and Shep!
John and Rosa Pickett
I hope you enjoyed the letters as much as I did. They made me blush! Thanks to everyone who wrote to me or posted their letter in LA Rocks.
Best wishes and better rock hunting,
The Agate Hunter