Vol. XXXVIII, No. 6 --- June 2001

CFMS Newsletter

Table of Contents

President's Message
Welcome to Paso Robles
CFMS Endowment Fund
PLAC Report
Information Release
Great Programs
Earth Science Studies at Camp Paradise
Safety Mesage
CFMS Jury of Awards for AFMS Scholarship
Safety Message - Heat Related Illnesses
Attention Committee Chairmen
Education thru Shairing
Golden Bear Award
Ouch - That's My Foot
OK, folks, Here's the Verdict
Hearst Castle Tour
Biconoid Article in Rock and Gem Magazine
Advance Notice - CFMS Safety Seminar
CFMS Obsidian Bonanza - 2001
Just Give Me the GPS Coordinates


By Bob Stultz, CFMS President
CFMS President

     At ZZYZX this year we saw a good example of the student becoming the teacher. A few years ago George Kurash took his first lesson in carving at ZZYZX. He carved a small bear. Since then, George has taken many trophies with his beautiful carvings and sculptures. George loves to share his knowledge with others, and this year he came back to ZZYZX as the Carving Instructor. He had many happy students who worked with him that week.

    Our first Club Website Workshop on "How to Build a Club Website" is being held in late May, hosted by the Culver City Rock and Mineral Club. It looks like there will be a good turnout and we should all learn a lot about this subject.

    Now we are into June, a very important month for the Federation. The American Federation Show and Convention will be held in Arlington, Texas on June 14 through June 17. I hope many of us will be able to attend.

    Our 62nd California Federation Show and Convention, hosted by the Santa Lucia Rockhounds, will be held at the California Mid-State Fairgrounds in Paso Robles on June 22, 23 and 24. Show Chairman Sherm Griselle tells me that everyone in his club is working hard, preparing a beautiful show for all our guests. For those of you who enjoy finding your own rocks, there is a great field trip planned on Saturday June 23rd to search for Stone Canyon Jasper.

    By this time I hope many of you have considered going into competition. It would be nice to see 75 or more competitive cases brought to the show. As this Show is located in the central part of the State, I'm looking forward to a good attendance at the Directors' Meeting. Don't forget, Western dress is fully acceptable at the Cracker Barrel gathering on Friday night and the Awards Banquet on Saturday. Hope to see you all there to enjoy this busy weekend.



By Bea and Sherm Griselle

     The Santa Lucia Rockhounds, the host society for the CFMS 2001 Show, is pleased to welcome you to the Federation's 62nd Annual Gem, Jewelry and Mineral Show June 22-24. Come and meet with hundreds of other gem, jewelry and mineral enthusiasts who will gather at our California Mid-State Fairgrounds. As you meet in Paso Robles, we are confident you will thoroughly enjoy a splendid three-day Show. The Show will feature over 130 excellent exhibits of magnificent minerals, fossils, petrified wood, gems and jewelry. A huge fluorescent display will be a major attraction. You will learn from demonstrators experienced in lapidary arts, fossil preparation, and use of tools and machinery utilized by rockhounds.

    Over 40 dealers will be present offering a wide selection of quality items for sale to amateur rockhounds and experienced collectors. Many will be demonstrators as well as dealers and will be showing how they fabricate their products.

    Attend the free Cracker Barrel get-together on Friday evening, which is open to all and will be an entertaining evening. The Banquet Saturday evening promises to be a very congenial event that includes the presentation of awards. The Editor's Breakfast on Sunday morning will be educational and entertaining and is a "must attend" for all society bulletin editors.

    There will be an extensive youth education and games area for young people. There will be a field trip on Saturday to the famous Stone Canyon site for collecting beautiful jasper. During the weekend a series of lectures will be held, ranging from fossils to jade to sandscapes, and more.

    Extend your visit while you are in Paso Robles so you can enjoy our magnificent Central Coast with its many natural attractions. Our beautiful rolling hills and valleys hold historic small towns, rivers and lakes, gorgeous oak forests, dozens of vineyards with wine tasting opportunities, golf courses and ocean beaches, fishing, and cruises. Other attractions include California Missions, Hearst Castle and the coastal towns of Cambria, Cayucos and Morro Bay. The area's restaurants, motels and mobile home parks are the best.

    Get your calendar out and write in the CFMS 2001 Show, June 22-24, along with some extra days to visit our Central Coast and its many entertaining, historic and educational places and activities. I know that when you return home you will take with you wonderful memories of the Show and your visit to the Paso Robles area. Welcome to Paso Robles.

Santa Lucia Rockhounds
Bea and Sherm Griselle
the griselles@tscn.net
(805) 238-4366


By Ray and Florence Meisenheimer

     The CFMS Endowment Fund will have a sales table at the Show in Paso Robles. There will be faceting material and cabochons which have been donated by the family of a deceased gem dealer.

    Needed are donations of gems, jewelry, silver work, minerals, polished material, slabs, wood, fossils, etc. Since table space is limited, I will not be able to handle too much rough material.

Contact Ray - (805) 643-3155
Ray and Florence Meisenheimer, Chairs
CFMS Endowment Fund

Can you help?


By Jim Strain,
Public Lands Advisory Committee Chairman

     Hearings for the NECO Plan were held April 23 through May 7. Due to the short lead time (the notice was received April 16) we were unable to notify everyone through the CFMS Newsletter.

    Public meetings were scheduled at Needles, Yucca Valley, Blythe, Desert Center, North Palm Springs, El Centro, Rancho Bernardo, Riverside and Pasadena. We were able to have CFMS representation at all of the meetings except Blythe and Desert Center.

    Reports have not been received from all the attendees as of this date (May 3), so we do not have a complete analysis yet.

    In discussing the plan with BLM staff, we brought it to their attention that the proposed Desert Wildlife Management Areas (DWMA's) included all of the Hauser Geode Bed Area where we have a Memorandum of Understanding which assures our digging and collecting rights and responsibilities.

    BLM has done some research on the collecting areas they have shown on their records, and found that 25 percent of the collecting areas were lost when the new National Parks and National Preserve were created, and 25 percent were included in the Wilderness Areas where access is very difficult due to elimination of vehicle routes.

    Of the 50 percent remaining, some areas are in Areas of Critical Concern, where collecting is restricted or controlled, some have access cut off because the routes of travel crossed through Wilderness Areas, and some are adjacent to the closed areas where the boundaries are not accurately defined nor clearly marked.

    BLM staff stated that they do not intend to further restrict our collecting areas. They do acknowledge that they know there are collecting areas they do not have recorded, and ask that we identify additional areas so they can "protect" the areas by not adding further restrictions. We will have a copy of their map at the Directors' Meeting in Paso Robles and ask that you review the map and be prepared to identify collecting areas that are not shown so we can negotiate with BLM in finalizing the NECO Management Plan.

    At the meeting in El Centro, a lawyer representing the Quechan Indian Nation expressed concern about our stopping, parking, or camping within 300 feet of the approved routes of travel throughout the Desert due to the potential of our disturbing or damaging Cultural Resources. This is the first time this has been mentioned at a public meeting, insofar as we know. BLM staff felt that the order signed by President Clinton should not impact areas remote from existing Indian Nation lands. If this should conflict with the management plan, we can probably expect future negotiations or even litigation.

    We are hearing that additional litigation by the Center for Biological Diversity may be pending. Several desert user groups have filed documentation that the orders issued by the San Francisco Judge were violated by bypassing the normal National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) requirements. If this is upheld, the closure of land in Imperial County and other areas may be reversed.

    It sure would be nice if we could revert to the "good old days" when we had access to almost all public lands with very few restrictions


By Jack F. Williams,
Second Vice President

     It has been brought to the attention of the Federation Executive Committee that some information about Society members is being released to websites and other publications without having the person's clear permission to do so. Members submit their names, addresses, phone numbers or e-mail addresses to club officials for club use only. Be sure to get a release before sending this information to outside websites or publications. Do not cause you or your society to become liable.

    This notice is written by the direction of the CFMS Executive Committee


By Anne Schafer,
Program Aids Chair

     In the past few months, I have received four more Program Report and Questionnaire forms back in the mail. My sincere thanks go out to the following people for taking the time to share their experiences:

Billie Joe Birchfield -
        Vista Gem and Mineral Society
Marion Fowler -
        Santa Cruz Mineral and Gem Society
Karla Shannon -
        Roseville Rock Rollers
Carlie McDonald and John Murphy -
        South Bay Lapidary and Mineral Society

    That brings the total number of reports to 14.

    Just what kind of programs did these clubs offer last year? Here is a quick summary:

  • 31 expert speakers on many topics
  • 29 talks or slide shows by club members
  • 16 dinners, banquets, potlucks, and picnics
  • 16 video programs
  • 11 CFMS slide shows
  • 10 silent auctions, plus 1 live auction
  • 7 demonstrations (clock-making, faceting, tagua nut carving, glass bead making, bead carving, and first aid in the field)
  • 4 member participation show'n'tells
  • 2 workshops (related to Show preparations)

    What does it all mean? In a nutshell, if your club is like this sample, your members want to listen to live speakers or see slide shows by people who have been to the places or who have done the work featured in the slides. The occasional video is OK, but it had better be first class. Food is also important-but that shouldn't be news to any rockhound!

    Where do all those good speakers come from? The Experienced Program Chairperson (EPC) is a devious creature.

  1. The EPC will sneak into other clubs' meetings, watch their programs, and ask the speaker afterwards if he/she would mind doing the program for the EPC's club.
  2. The EPC will beg their own club's newsletter editor to exchange bulletins with lots of other gem and mineral societies, so the EPC can steal ideas and the names of speakers.
  3. Last year, record numbers of EPCs played detective, using the phone or the Internet to make initial contact with a variety of subjects.

    Follow-up was crucial, and EPCs successfully twisted the arms of college professors, naturalists, geologists, museum curators, dealers, presidents of adjoining clubs (oh ho!), policemen, nurses, scientists, artists, retired school teachers - no one was safe! So, if you wish to become known as an Experienced Program Chairperson, go forth and do likewise.

    Tip #1: If your club is pleasantly located far away from California's population centers, you may need to rely more upon the CFMS slide programs. Here are a several I can recommend:

  • F-42 Agate and Petrified Wood from Big Bend, Texas, and Mexico (field trip and material)
  • F-49 Topaz Mountain (old, but good - give a prize to the person who can identify the most vintage vehicles•  )
  • F-67 Gems and Ornamental Minerals, Part I
  • F-91 Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Arts
  • F-122 South Dakota Sampler (field trips)
  • F-125 Thundereggs (the state rock of Oregon)

    Try to augment the program with show'n'tell items brought by your members whenever possible, or give away a door prize or two that matches the program topic. Contact CFMS Slide Librarian Rich Fuller, thirty days in advance, at (408) 379-3195 to order a program.

    Tip #2: Go to the CFMS Show in Paso Robles in June! Not only will you have a great time, you will have the opportunity to meet dozens and dozens of rockhounds, exhibitors, dealers, demonstrators, and other wonderful folk who might just be persuaded to visit your club sometime in the future to share their knowledge. It never, ever, hurts to ask.

September 9-16, 2001

By Cal Clason and Ray Meisenheimer Co-Chairmen
Earth Science Studies

     It's not too early to start making plans to attend the Earth Science Studies at Camp Paradise. It is a very popular study opportunity -a great chance to enjoy the outdoors, learn new lapidary skills, or improve on your current methods. You'll have time to spend with old friends and make new friends. It is a beautiful place to spend a week.

    Workshops offered are wire wrap, faceting, casting, stone carving, cabbing, bead stringing, silversmithing, glass bead construction, and perhaps others. There will be programs and/or speakers in the evenings. Camp Paradise is located about 45 miles northeast of Marysville, on Highway E-21. A map to the area will be provided..

    The facility offers rustic dormitories and double rooms, with bathrooms inside. There is ample room for RV's among the tall pines, with shower rooms nearby.

    There is a modern kitchen and beautiful dining set-up. Food is also sent out on field trips.

    This is a church owned facility. NO alcohol is permitted. For health reasons, bring an extra sheet or blanket to put over the mattresses, under your bedding.

    Field trips will include sightseeing, collecting, and gold panning. If anyone wishes to go into camp a day or two early, you will be responsible for a camping fee until the designated time for arrival.

    The fee for this fun-filled week is $220.00 per person. There is an application to join us included in the newsletter, or on the Forms Page.


By Chuck McKie,
CFMS Safety Chair, 2001

     Give a loved one the gift of life. Include this Heart Healthy IQ in your loved one's birthday card. The following statements represent a heart-healthy lifestyle that can reduce your chances of cardio-vascular disease. Check each statement that reflects your lifestyle.

  • I do not smoke and I try to avoid inhaling the smoke of others.
  • I eat a balanced diet that limits my intake of saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • I participate in continuous, vigorous physical activity for 20-30 minutes at least three times a week.
  • I have my blood pressure checked regularly.
  • I maintain an appropriate weight.
  • I know my family history of heart disease.

    If you checked most of these statements you are doing great! Keep up the good work! If you checked only a few you should make an attempt to improve your lifestyle right away.

    Know the warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest.

via the American Red Cross

    Keep your blood pressure down and keep the load off your heart. When some stupid jerk, even if it is me, does something that irritates you when you are driving, hold your temper, say these letters; W.W.G.D. (What would God Do?)

Heart Health


By Jack F. Williams, Chairman
CFMS Jury of Awards for AFMS Scholarship

     Each year the California Federation selects one individual to be honored by placing with that individual the privilege of selecting the university of his or her choice for the selection of two students to receive the American Federation Scholarship for that year. The individual, the California Federation's Honoree, assists in the selection of the students then studying for his or her Master's or Doctor's Degree, and in need of financial assistance of this scholarship.


    Through the names of individuals submitted to the CFMS Jury of Awards Committee by our member Societies. Your Society could have that privilege and honor!


    First, the person whose name is to be submitted never should be advised that his/her name is being presented for consideration by our Committee.

    Second, the individual a) should be one well versed in the Earth Sciences education-wise, and should have, over the years, extended services to individuals, societies, etc. in mat-ters relating to our hobby and its various facets; b) should have contributed to the furtherance of our hobby and the Earth Sciences in general; and c) should have shared his or her knowledge of the Earth Sciences with the layman and the rockhound. The person need not be a member of a CFMS Society..


    Documentation of the individual's background -- the more, the better. This is tough sometimes, as some of our very worthy individuals are very close mouthed to you and to me about their efforts, their endeavors, their partaking of their vast store of knowledge. There are many individuals who could and would be considered for this Honor, but we need the submission of that documentation. There are ways and means of obtaining the necessary information. Newspaper clippings, or family and friends who can be depended upon to be discreet.

    Libraries are good sources of information - "Men of the West", "Who's Who", and a number of other like publications. I repeat, there are a good number of people within our Federation boundaries worthy of this honor.


    Your documentation should be sent to the undersigned as chair of the CFMS Jury of Awards Committee. The current year's Second Vice President chairs the Committee, and the current President and the immediate Past President complete the committee.

    The Commitee will meet and review all documentation submitted and make a decision of the individal to be so honored that year. The material submitted by our Societies is never discarded, so if your nominee is not chosen one year, there is always a chance he or she will be considered another year.

    November 1, 2001 is the latest date that nominations may be received, but please don't wait until the last minute to send in your names. There are many people who are deserving of this award, and the Committee would like to have several names to consider when making their selection.


By Your Editor

     I have it on good authority that the CFMS Nominating Committee will be looking for a qualified person to run for CFMS Secretary in the Fall election.

    If you know of such a person, who will agree to serve if elected, please submit his or her name to the Nominating Committee at least 45 days prior to the Fall Meeting. No self nominations, please. Write down your qualifications, and ask your Federation Director to nominate you.

    See the CFMS Operating Regulations, page 4, for the duties of the Secretary's position.


By Chuck McKie
CFMS Safety Chair, 2001

     It's summertime, and that means rockhounding activities and fun under the sun! Whether you love putting on shorts and feeling the warm outdoors, or find it hot and sticky, everyone must be careful not to let a heat-related illness spoil the day. Normally, the body has ways of keeping itself cool, by letting heat escape through the skin, and by evaporating sweat (perspiration). If the body does not cool properly or does not cool enough, the victim may suffer a heat-related illness. Anyone can be susceptible, although the very young and very old (NOT ME! I'm YOUNG AT HEART) are at greater risk. Heat-related illnesses can become serious, or even deadly, if unattended. Stages of Heat-Related Illness - Field Trip Leaders, watch for this on your trips. Heat-related illness usually comes in stages.

    The signal of the first stage is heat cramps in muscles. These cramps can be very painful. If you are caring for a person who has heat cramps, have him or her stop activity and rest. If the person is fully awake and alert, have him or her drink small amounts of cool water or a commercial sports drink. Gently stretch the cramped muscle and hold the stretch for about 20 seconds, then gently massage the muscle. Repeat these steps if necessary. If the victim has no other signals of heat-related illness, the person may resume activity after the cramps stop.

    The signals of the next, more serious stage of a heat-related illness (often called heat exhaustion) include:

  • Cool, moist, pale skin (the skin may be red right after physical activity).
  • Headache.
  • Dizziness and weakness or exhaustion.
  • Nausea.
  • The skin may or may not feel hot.

    The signals of the late stage of a heat-related illness (often called heat stroke) include:

  • Vomiting.
  • Decreased alertness level or complete loss of consciousness.
  • High body temperature (sometimes as high as 105oF).
  • Skin may still be moist or the victim may stop sweating and the skin may be red, hot and dry.
  • Rapid, weak pulse.
  • Rapid, shallow breathing.

    This late stage of a heat-related illness is life threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. If you are on a field trip, get the person to the nearest medical center.

    General Care for Heat Emergencies:

  • Cool the Body
  • Give Fluids
  • Minimize Shock

    For heat cramps or heat exhaustion:

  • Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position.
  • Give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes.
  • Do not let him or her drink too quickly.
  • Do not give liquids with alcohol or caffeine in them, as they can make conditions worse.
  • Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths such as towels or wet sheets.

    For heat stroke:

  • Heat stroke is a life threatening situation! Help is needed fast. Call 9-1-1 or your local EMS number.
  • Move the person to a cooler place.
  • Quickly cool the body.
  • Wrap wet sheets around the body and fan it.
  • If you have ice packs or cold packs, wrap them in a cloth and place them on each of the victim's wrists and ankles, in the armpits and on the neck to cool the large blood vessels. (Do not use rubbing alcohol because it closes the skin's pores and prevents heat loss.)
  • Watch for signals of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear. Keep the person lying down.

    Preventing Heat-Related Illness

  • Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.
  • Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat.
  • Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. You can still collect rocks, just slow down and work easy.
  • Stay indoors when possible. (I can see rockhounds doing this!)
  • Take regular breaks when engaged in physical activity on warm days. T
  • ake time out to find a cool place.
  • If you recognize that you, or someone else, is showing the signals of a heat-related illness, stop activity and find a cool place.
  • Remember, have fun, but stay cool!

    Know What These Heat-Related Terms Mean

  • Heat Wave: More than 48 hours of high heat (90 degrees F or higher) and high humidity (80 percent relative humidity or higher) are expected.
  • Heat Index: A number in degrees Fahrenheit that tells how hot it really feels with the heat and humidity. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees F.
  • Heat cramps: Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. They usually involve the abdominal muscles or the legs. It is generally thought that the loss of water and salt from heavy sweating causes the cramps.
  • Heat Exhaustion: Heat exhaustion is less dangerous than heat stroke. It typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a warm, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Fluid loss causes blood flow to decrease in the vital organs, resulting in a form of shock. With heat exhaustion, sweat does not evaporate as it should, possibly because of high humidity or too many layers of clothing. As a result, the body is not cooled properly. Signals include cool, moist, pale, flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.
  • Heat Stroke: Also known as sunstroke, heat stroke is life-threatening. The victim's temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Body temperature can be very high--sometimes as high as 105 degrees F.
Via the American Red Cross


By -Editor

     You will no doubt want to schedule your Committee meetings on Friday, the 21st, or on Saturday, following the Directors' Meeting.

    A room has been set up for this purpose in the south end of the Floral Building. on the Fairgrounds, the same building to be used by the Judges, who will be meeting in the north end of the building.

    A sign "Committee Meetings" will be placed on the table to identify the room. A schedule of reserved meeting times will be hung outside the door.

    Currently, the room will be available for meetIngs from 10:00 a.m to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, and from 3 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.

    To schedule a meeting, please contact JoAnna Ritchey at (626) 359-1624, or by e-mail at j.ritchey@verizon.net.

    JoAnna will be in Arlington, Texas at the AFMS meeting and Show from June 11 through 17. Please try to contact her with your request by June 10, or after the 17th.


By Colleen McGann,
Committee Chair

     The month of June will be full of sunshine on the coast, as we all attend the CFMS Show at Paso Robles. I look forward to meeting the club Directors at the Director's meeting on Saturday. You can send them with your nominations to give to me at the meeting. This column has been full every month this year and I love the momentum. Please continue your support for your club members through use of this wonderful recognition award.

    The Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society recognizes Karen Dawes. "Karen was voted 'Volunteer of the Year' for the Fallbrook G and M Society for the year 2000. As Volunteer of the Year, Karen has joined the ranks of others who have consistently devoted a significant portion of their time, energy, and skills for the betterment of our Society and for the education of the public in the knowledge of minerals and gems. It can be said that volunteerism is a way of life for Karen. Her commitment to supporting the causes of scientific and educational organizations extends well beyond the Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society." Submitted by John P. Frey, Federation Director.

    The El Dorado County Mineral and Gem Society recognizes Stan and Dorris Stillson. "Since Stan and Dorris, members for 17 years, joined the El Dorado County M and G Society, their contributions have been numerous and constant. The have man-aged major Club events, each serving as Gem Show Coordinators and several times co-chairing the Club's County Fair exhibits. Stan functioned as "Rock Man", keeper of the Club's door prize and mineral assets, for a couple of years and held the office of Club President. Both Stan and Dorris have assumed multiple roles on the Club's Board of Directors and have chaired committees. Stan's lapidary and scrimshaw talents and the couple's vast collection of minerals, fossils, and seashells have all contributed to their reputation for high quality exhibitions in numerous gem shows throughout Northern California each year. Accomplished exhibitors, the Stillsons share their expertise on setting up display cases with the Club and provide informational programs about their interests for several schools and organizations. The Stillsons collect with the intent to share their samples, and are always generously giving of their time and talents." Submitted by Fred Ott, President.

    The Ventura Gem and Mineral Society wishes to honor valuable club member Richard Bromser for his devotion to the Club. "He has been on the Board of Directors for a number of years, keeping excellent financial records, planning the budget, etc. Richard is helpful in all jobs, helping with school tours of the club's Earth Science Museum and doing many jobs on clean-up days or class days. During the Club show, Richard does the hauling of equipment and material from storage, and hauls it all back when the show is over. If there is any job to be done, Richard will do it. Richard has also made many helpful suggestions that have made this a better club. We appreciate all that you have done, Richard." Submitted by Florence Meisenheimer.

    Please note that I have had a change of mailing address:

Colleen McGann
P.O. Box 224,
Santa Clara, CA 95052-0224.
New phone number is (831) 476-8689.


By Grant and Toni Ewers, Co-Chairs
Golden Bear Committee

     We have received a considerable number of nominations for the Golden Bear Award. Wow! What these folks have done! Ballots will be mailed to the members of the Golden Bear Committee for voting and returned to us in time for us to send the selected name(s) to Frank Mullaney for engraving, and presentation at the Awards Banquet on Saturday night, June 23.

    Think about whom you would want to nominate for 2002. It pays to plan ahead!


By Mel Albright,
AFMS Safety Chair

     Ever stub a toe while wandering through a rock field? Have you ever tried to pick up a rock and dropped it on your toes? Have you ever had a rock fall or roll onto your toes?

    How about a friend with heavy boots who clomps on your feet? Had a rock roll off the workbench and hit your toes? Dropped a tool that hit your toes?

    No fun, is it?

    Did you know that there are safety shoes available? What are they? They are ordinary looking dress or work shoes or dress or work boots that have a steel guard built into their toe. This guard protects your toes from bangs large and small. It is cup shaped and covers the front of your shoes from side to side and 3-4 inches back. With them on, you can drop-kick a small rock over to a friend with no injury or pain. The only ways to tell that the guard is there are to bang on the toe of the shoe with something heavy, test them with a magnet, or go through airport security.

    How do you get safety shoes or boots? There are several ways. First, let me say they are sized exactly like regular shoes or boots. If you wear a 9B normally, you'll wear a 9B safety shoe. They'll feel normal, but heavier. If you are around a larger city, you will find an industrial safety company there. They'll have the shoes. If you have some industry nearby, their safety people can direct you to a source. If you search on the Internet with the words "safety shoes", you will find a number of sources for ordering them.

    Cost? About the same as ordinary shoes or slightly more. One internet company has a very wide variety of styles for $85 to $100.

    By the way, if your work involves heavy stuff and you do not wear safety shoes, now is the time. They're a lot cheaper than medical care.

From AFMS Newsletter, May 2001

To abolish or not to abolish the term "Rockhound"?

By Beverly Moreau, Editor

     After throwing out the question to my readers in the April and May issues, I have had only a handful of responses. None of them supported the viewpoint "to abolish".

    Actually, I was disappointed to have only a select few respond. I thought perhaps it was a "hot" topic that we had been downplaying. I guess not. Some comments from our members (both written and verbal):

  • "I am a rockhound and proud of it. I often get down on my hands and knees to "sniff" out rocks and minerals, as do many of my fellow rock-hounds. •   I hope this person will step forward and tell us what is really bothering him/her."
  • "I have belonged to clubs in various states include-ing California. Among all those people, I've never heard anyone complain about the term (although I think some serious mineral collectors prefer to be called 'mineral collectors')."
  • "This person needs to get a life."
  • "The dictionary says: hound - one who avidly seeks or collects something."
  • " My nose was three inches from the ground when I pulled those rocks out of the ground." (From a mineral dealer).
  • " Has this person really ever been on a field trip?"

     It seems to me that anyone who had strong feelings about the term "rockhound" being negative would have stepped up to speak about it. Thanks to those who did take the time to write or e-mail me.


By Bea and Sherm Griselle

     A TOUR OF Hearst Castle has been scheduled during the CFMS SHOW 2001 in Paso Robles. If you haven't visited magnificent Hearst Castle, this is your best opportunity to do so in comfort and at a very reasonable cost.

    On Saturday morning, June 23, a comfortable 30 passenger tour bus leaves at 8:45 a.m. from the main gate area of the California Mid-State Fairgrounds. After a six-hour adventure, the bus will arrive back at the fairgrounds at 2:45 p.m. The tour will focus on gems and minerals in the Hearst collection, a film on "Building the Dream" and a special surprise dramatic presentation

    The cost is $37.50 per person and this includes bus transportation, entry fee, theater and castle tour. Food and drinks are not included. For more information, call (805) 226-8513. Space is limited and reservations are required. It is imperative that you mail your check prior to June 3, 2001. Mail to address below, and make your check payable to:

Santa Lucia Rockhounds
P.O. Box 1672
Paso Robles, CA 93447


(Abstracted with permission, Copyright Miller Magazines, Inc. 2001)

     The June, 2001 issue of Rock & Gem carried an article with color photos about bicoinoids found southwest of Paso Robles, California. Perfect examples of biconoids are rare. Perfectly formed biconoids (bi - two; conoid - cone-shaped) are symmetrical, with the appearance of two joined cones. Biconoids that have been cut and polished are a wonder to behold. Every biconoid has its own individuality, and this uniqueness adds to their mystique.

    This side-slabbed biconoid shows a banded agate interior and radial "skirting" on the exterior.

    The Rock & Gem article was authored by Bea and Sherm Griselle, members of the Santa Lucia Rockhounds, who are co-chairs of the committee planning the CFMS 2001 Show in Paso Robles, June 22-24. The biconoid is the symbol for their Club and is depicted on Club pins and jackets. Attend the CFMS 2001 Show and marvel at these wonders called biconoids, one of the treasures of California.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2001

By Chuck McKie

     Chuck McKie says to be on the lookout for an official announcement and registration form in the August issue of this Newsletter. The seminar will be hosted by the Santa Clara Valley Gem & Mineral Society and the location will be Los Gatos, California.

    The seminar will start at 8:00 a.m. and run to 3:00 p.m. with an hour and a half lunch break. The $5.00 registration fee will include lunch.

CFMS Obsidian Bonanza -- 2001

By Richard Pankey,
Field Trips - North

     The dates are set, the plans are made, now it's just the wait until we head north for the CFMS Obsidian Bonanza in July. The announcements, fliers and details were in the February and May Newsletter. I hope all of this information got passed along to your field trip chairman and bulletin editors and, ultimately, to your members. If not, please do it now.

    My wife, Betty and I are looking forward to a great field trip. We love obsidian and the collecting is great at both locations. In addition to great collecting, we will have talks by Forest Service personnel, evening happy hours, potluck dinners, pancake breakfasts, and great times with a lot of wonderful rockhounds.

    Davis Creek/Lassen Creek is located in the Warner Mountains, in the Modoc National Forest north of Alturas, CA. This is a beautiful area of pine forests, meadows, small streams and obsidian. This has been a popular area for rockhounds and knappers for many years. We will be camping at the Lassen Creek Campground that is surrounded by two small streams and wooded hillsides. It can accommodate a large number of trailers, motor homes and tenters. My wife and I are enchanted by the beauty of the area and fascinated by the abundance and variety of obsidian. We have returned there many times with organized field trips and just on our own.

    Glass Butte, Oregon lies about 180 miles north of Davis Creek. The material to be collected here is similar to that at Davis Creek/Lassen Creek. However, the material from each area is different and unique. Glass Butte is exactly what its name says, a mountain of glass. There are no established campgrounds at Glass Butte, but there are many good places for dry camping for our group. This is high desert country with sparse vegetation. Many of the collecting sites are within walking distance of camp. The others are only 1 to 3 miles away.

    Make your plans soon and mark your calendar for the first weekend in July (the 6th through the 8th) for Davis Creek/ Lassen Creek, and the second weekend (the 13th through the 15th) at Glass Butte. Join us for just one weekend or join us for both. I know this is a long trip for people from southern California; it is a long trip for us in northern California, but it will be worth it. Come join us for this Obsidian Bonanza, July 2001!

    Please notify me by 7/2/01 if you plan to attend. Call if you have questions or need more information:

Dick Pankey
4310 Kingsly Dr.
Pittsburg, CA 94565
Ph. (925) 439-7509
Email: dickpankey@juno.com

    Support and practice the AFMS Code of Ethics.


By Richard Pankey,
Field Trips - North

     I'm sure most rockhounds have had this experience more than once. A friend tells you, "Just follow the second gravel road about 5 and a half miles, or so, then turn left, no right, towards the big hill between the 2 little hills, the one with the big light colored ash area on it, and go about another quarter to a third of a mile. Park at the pile of rocks. Walk up the bigger wash to the left until you see the "digs". You can't miss it. I was there three years ago and it was spectacular." So off you go to find that great geode bed with the beautiful agate filled geodes. The road is more like a rocky path, and there are four lesser paths off to the left, and all the hills look big, there are piles of rocks everywhere along the road that is surrounded by washes, and if there ever were any digs, they were surely washed away by El Nino. You spend hours checking out each turnoff and all the washes. You have a full day of driving and hiking and no geodes to show for it.

    There is an easy fix to this frustrating scenario - GPS. The Global Positioning System was introduced to the public in 1988. It was developed for the military but is a great tool for the outdoors enthusiast, especially rockhounds. The tool is actually a GPS receiver, which is a small hand held device about the size of a cell phone.

    How can GPS work for me?

    A GPS receiver's most significant functions are: 1) the ability to determine your current location, and 2) the ability to determine the bearing and distance to your next destination. GPS applications include things like recording the location of collecting sites, where you are going (if you enter long/lat coordinates), where you parked the truck, key points and turns along a previously traveled road, which direction to head from where you are to where you want to go, and much more. A GPS receiver can store large amounts of data, including waypoints, which are checkpoints that you program into the receiver to help plan or retrace your route. Entire routes can be programmed and stored. Most GPS receivers are pre-programmed with a lot of useful reference information that makes navigation both easier and fun.

    I bought my GPS receiver, an Eagle Explorer, three years ago, and I love it. I take longitude and latitude coordinates at the parking areas or collecting sites on all the trips that I have led or attended. I also collect GPS coordinates from other rockhounds that use GPS receivers. GPS coordinates are a precise location that helps take the guesswork and uncertainty out of which way to go and locating a collecting site. They supplement, not replace, maps and written directions. A GPS receiver is relatively inexpensive. Basic units start at under $100 but can cost over $500 depending on how many "bells and whistles" you want. GPS receivers are available at K-Mart, Wal-Mart and sporting goods stores.

    In short, a GPS receiver is a tool every field trip leader and rockhound should have. However, not everyone needs to have a GPS. But it is a very useful tool to the dedicated rockhound who likes to explore and gets off the beaten track. And I strongly recommend one to all field trip leaders. They are especially useful when going to new areas and collecting sites, especially if you are fortunate enough to get coordinates from a previous collector.

    Our next step is to develop a database of GPS coordinates for collecting sites. It would be nice if the authors of field trip articles and collecting guides would include GPS coordinates. If you have a GPS, start taking WPT readings for collecting sites, camping sites and special points of interest on all your future field trips.

    Make your plans now to join us on the CFMS Obsidian Bonanza in July.