Vol. XLIII, No. 1 --- January 2006

CFMS Newsletter

Table of Contents
President's Message
Dues Due
AFMS Newsletter Reminder
All American Club
The Mass Mailer
Gold Rock Ranch FT
Gold Rock Ranch Story
Field Trip False Fossil Oddities
Ask and You Shall Receive


By Colleen McGann, CFMS President

CFMS President

I would like to introduce myself to CFMS clubs. I have been a rockhound all my life, and I joined my first rock club in San Diego in 1980 for field trips and lapidary. When my company moved me to the San Jose area, I joined Peninsula Gem & Geology Society in Los Altos. I have been Field Trip chair, Federation Director, Secretary, and President. I love field collecting for rocks, minerals, and fossils. To share my favorite rocks and minerals, I developed several displays for my club and other clubs in the area. My favorite educational display is Cinnabar, the ore of mercury. For CFMS, I attended Earth Science Seminar at Zzyzx for many years where I participated in field trips, lapidary, beading, and wire wrap art. I chaired Education Thru Sharing, then moved up to the officer chairs, and here I am your 2006 President.

I am excited about the enthusiasm seen at the November Director's meeting in Visalia. We have a great team of committees ready to serve the CFMS clubs. I will be emphasizing expanding communication between the Federation and member clubs and show competition. We are adding a new ad hoc committee on Membership to help our clubs attract new members, keep existing members and attract new societies to join CFMS. The Publicity committee will be providing articles that also assist member clubs with publicizing their activities to the community. This direction came out of the Directors' discussion. The CFMS acts upon your Directors' requests. I eagerly anticipate leading the CFMS far forward in 2006.


By Pat LaRue, Exec Sec/Treas

Pat Larue

It's time to send your dues and insurance for 2006. Published in last month's newsletter was a form to enclose with the check. Please note that there was a typo•  the list of members is for the end of 2005.

I also included an officer change form. Please take a few minutes to fill this out completely. As stated, we will not publish the names and addresses of your club officers/committee chairs if you don't want us to. However, to assure that the three complimentary newsletters are sent to the correct persons, please provide their complete mailing address. These will not be published. We prefer to mail the newsletter directly to the personal address but if preferred, it can go to the club mailing address. Please double check that this is current. You never know when we need to contact you!!!

See the Show, Visit the Mother Lode

There is more than just the CFMS Show in Angels Camp next June. Much more!!! We have a whole county full of things to do and see.

When you come up to attend the 2006 CFMS show in Angels Camp be sure to allow enough time to visit our many attractions. While I know it's difficult to pry your eyes off the awesome displays and intriguing items for sale stay a day longer and treat those eyes to what us fortunate locals enjoy. You will be minutes away from 2 state parks: Big Trees State Park with its huge sequoias and Columbia State Park which is a working gold rush era town.

We are also home to a growing wine industry and many offer tasting rooms. One winery you can't miss is Ironstone Winery which is located 15 minutes away in Murphys as it houses a giant 44 pound ( yes pound) nugget inside their museum. They also have stamp mills and water wheels on the beautiful grounds.

For those who play golf, there are several great courses including Greenhorn Creek in Angels Camp, Forest Meadows in Murphys and Saddle Creek in nearby Copperopolis. If you feel adventurous you can cool off in one of our many caverns such as Moaning Cavern or California Cavern that is just 15- 20 minutes away. There are 2 casinos approx. 30 miles away (when you need to win some money to purchase another rock), just follow the signs to Jackson Rancheria or Black Oak Casino.

And don't forget the wonderful National Park that is in this area: Yosemite, so bring the kids and vacation in the beautiful Sierra Mountains. This area boasts of many lakes and hiking and biking trails so there is truly something for everyone at this year's Federation Show. For more info see www.gocalaveras.com Remember to practice hopping those frogs and definitely hop up to Calaveras this June 9,10 & 11.

Seasons Greetings Mineralogical Members!

By Patt McDaniel
McDaniel Insurance Services

You may have noticed a new form this year at renewal. It is called Insurance Coverages and Responsibilities. Because we are working directly with the clubs and societies this year, it is important for us to know that you, as our clients, are informed regarding certain features of the coverage and that you know what your responsibilities are as insureds under the program. Because there are so many of you, we have asked that someone who is authorized to sign on behalf of each respective club or society, sign this form and return it to us so that we can be sure this critical communication has been made. We have had most of the clubs and societies return these forms but there are still many that have not been returned. We have sent out a second mailing but, apparently, some of the addresses we have are not current. If your organization has not sent this in, please download a form from the CFMSI website or call us to mail or fax one to you. Be sure to include current contact information when you return it! Thank you all so much for all your work in renewing the CFMSI insurance. •  and may you all have a wonderful holiday season!


CFMS clubs are reminded that AFMS also wants to keep you informed of what's happening. Each AFMS affiliated club (and that means you!) is entitled to receive three complimentary newsletters. It is suggested that your club's president, editor and federation director receive these although you can designate anyone in your club. You should mail this information to the AFMS Central Office to assure that you are included on the mailing list. Do not mail these to the Exec. Sec/Treas. I wear many hats...maintaining the AFMS mailing list is not one of them! Please send to:

AFMS Central Office
PO Box 302
Glyndon, MD 21071-0302

Subscriptions are available for $4.50. Please make check payable to AFMS and remit to address above.

All American Club News

By Dot Beachler

Dot Beachler

With a new year upon us, it is time to recheck the All American form. Have you collected information for each section?

Section 1 should contain your club information. This would be club name, address, meeting place, purpose of club, number of members. All of this is easily obtained.

Section 2 refers to service to members or guests. This is a large section including the following:

  • Number of meetings and attendance
  • Lists of officers and chairmen
  • Programs
  • Board meetings,junior meetings
  • Show meetings
  • Special Group meetings (beading, cabbing, faceting,etc.)
  • Special Features (club library, workshop, traveling displays)

Section 3 turns to publicity of your club:

  • Club bulletin Meeting notices and where
  • Show information,fliers and where

Copies of supporting materials include fliers, media articles about your club activities, show ads and where it happened. Most of this information can be obtained from the secretary's minutes, club newsletter and club chairmen.

Next month there will be a brief review of Sections 4-7.

Remember, due date is Feb.28, 2006.

Editor's note: The entry forms will be available on the CFMS website at www.cfmsinc.org.

Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana.
A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
    Puns by Carolyn Weinberger in AFMS Newsletter

The Mass Mailer

By Stephen Blocksage, Publicity/Public Relations

There are a number of companies in my area, the San Fernando Valley, that will do mass mailings for about 4 cents per address as an added cost for bulk rate mailings. Bulk rates can be assigned to any company doing not for profit mailings as long as proof of the 503 status in produced. The total cost then for a mailing is around 14 cents for bulk rate third class mail. These companies already have all the addresses in a zip code and will address the mail, as occupant but every address within the zip code will receive the mailing. If several zip codes are covered the cost for such a mailing drops and that drop in cost varies from company to company. If you have developed a mailing list complete with specified addresses and have it computerized, all the better, then the mailing goes out with names and addresses. There is slight additional cost for this service again relating to individual companies but the mail is more likely to get delivered and not tossed when it has addressee status vs. occupant.

Third class mail tends to get to its objective later than 1st and 2nd class mail and there is built in delay from the mailing company. Allow an additional week for the mailing to get to its objectives. Many of these companies offer a publishing and formatting service if your club doesn't have someone who can format your flyer professionally again charges vary. The mailing company will deliver your addressed and stamped bulk rate mail to the nearest post office in a formatted manner, in special trays, so that the sort time for the mail can be cut in half. This is where the savings over individually addressed 1st class mail comes. This rate is for single sheets of 81/2" by 11" usually colored piece, your choice, of paper. That paper can however be heavier than the 20lbs rag bond normally found in stationary stores, as it tends to survive the mail processing centers and their machines better.

Reproduction costs again go down with bulk and the break point is usually 500 pieces again varying from company to company. Another break occurs at 1,000 and then 2,500 and so on. For 500 and below about 8-10 cents for black photocopy printing single side. Offset printing yields a nicer result but the break points for it are much higher since it is costly set up a run and that cost gets included on each copy made. Usually 2,500-5,000 is the break point and then 10,000 pieces. If you're printing from a computer, laser printing holds up much better than ink jet and is getting almost as cost effective. Inkjet printing inks are getting more and more fade and color fast as well as being semi waterproof while laser is waterproof and smudge resistant and just looks crisper. Color does not get thrown away as easily as black printing because there is an association with color costing more and therefore the message contained must be more important.

What is the effect of mass mailings campaigns? The mailing companies will give you these statistics that about 5% in general respond to such ads especially if there is a gift or discount to ticket cost included. Often the company sending out the mailer is interested in the effectiveness of each mailer to gauge the public's interest in their product and to see how effective each ad is so accurate statistics are available. Usually these mailers are sent to high-end zip codes where spending possibilities are the greatest. The good news is that the potential attendee has written set of instruction as to where and when and the possible costs involved in attending any event. Nobody knows the number of people who want to go to a show but can't remember the time of date of head out and don't actually get the show site for lack of information. You can get away with stapling your clubs show dates and meeting times cards in threefold letter these are great to put on the refrigerator.

Cost benefit ratios are easy to calculate based on about 22-26 cents to get out a mass mailer per piece and the spending ratio of the 5% who actually attend. Usually each attendee spends from $20-65.00 at the show whether that's based on an admission cost or whether the event is free and additional money is spent in the show. So $22.00-26.00 for each 100 mailed vs. a minimum of $100.00 spent for five people attending slightly less than 4 to 1 in cost ratio. Is this worth the cost of advertising?

The dollar you put away in 1940 is only worth 1•   cents today.
    From Grubstake, 4/97

CFMS Fieldtrip to Gold Rock Ranch
Dec 2-4 (near Yuma, AZ)

By Janice Krause, San Juan Capistrano RMC

The trip to Gold Rock Ranch, CA was a great success. Approximately 20 rockhounds from 7 different Southern California Clubs were in attendance. The weather was perfect on Saturday Dec 3rd and Sunday the 4th was very pleasant with a stiff breeze to keep the rockhounds cool while collecting the Petrified Palm and Dumortierite. The collecting areas are close by Gold Rock Ranch and the collecting material is plentiful enough for everyone to pick and choose what they want. The campground is very large and has everything one needs for tent camping, RV's and even fully furnished bungalows for those who don't want to rough it in a tent or RV.

Saturday started bright and early in the desert. After everyone had breakfast, we lined up to caravan out to the collecting areas. The group headed out by 8:20 am California time. We started the day collecting kyanite crystals. The kyanite crystals are plentiful and occur within a quartz matrix. The kyanite comes in a few colors, mainly blue and green. In the same area, pyritohedron goethite crystals which are pseudomorphs (goethite after pyrite) could be found. One lucky rock hound found a very nice one about the size of a quail egg. Several in the group were looking for big boulders of kyanite crystals in the matrix which would be suitable for spheres and they were not disappointed. Many collected the smaller material for grab bags for their club fund raisers. Whether the material being collected was big or small. There was plenty of it and after 2 hours we were ready for the next spot. The next area was a old gold mine which didn't have any gold even though we all tried our best to locate some. The site did have plenty of malachite stained rocks for those who wanted nice garden rocks. The last site of the day was a pebble terrace from the ancient Colorado River. At this location we looked for fossils and agate. Many found a variety of marine and land fossils. I even found what looks to be a baseball size piece of Arizona Petrified Rainbow Wood. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!!! Many mollusk impressions and marine fossils were found with an assortment of other shell and coral like impressions. One rock hound with excellent eyesight even found a crinoid stem imbedded in a rock. By 3:30pm, most were ready to head back to the Ranch and get ready for dinner and the evening entertainment the Ranch was providing. Once back at the Ranch, everyone relaxed until dinner time. After dinner, there was dancing at the Rec. Hall or sitting by the campfire telling tall tales of past rock collecting adventures. Around the campfire, everyone had tales to tell of their rockhound version of a snipe hunt and laughs and giggles went on into the late evening until everyone wandered off to bed anticipating what the next day would bring.

Sunday morning began a bit cooler and with a breeze but still good collecting weather. Once more we gather for breakfast and headed out for the day by 8:15 am. The collecting area we were headed for had petrified palm and dumortierite. Once we arrived at the collecting area. Everyone spread out and looked for and found the petrified palm and dumortierite. The dumortierite we were searching for is a deep intense blue. But you needed to learn what to look for because the outside of the rock had a layer of desert varnish on it but the blue is still there but very subdued. The material was much more plentiful away from the road. Our wonderful and very helpful leader Bob Fitzpatrick was only a short distant from the road when he practically tripped over a football size dumortierite. If I had been in front of him instead of trailing behind him with my bag of palm wood, perhaps I might have stumbled over the largest and best piece of dumortierite collected that day. However, Bob put in so much time and effort setting up the trip, he certainly deserves the best material to be found.

All in all, this was a very well organized trip without any problems and everyone seemed to have a very good time. All the people in attendance were a great group of people and the more experienced rockhounds went out of their way to help the new ones. Many thanks to Bob for setting up another great trip. He puts in so much time and effort setting up these trips. Thanks again Bob!!! I had a fantastic time and can't wait to go on the next trip!

Yet Another Story About Gold Rock

Submitted by Eva

It was cold, at least according to my dog "Gecko". Either the nights are getting colder or Gecko is getting older. When he came out of the tent in the mornings, he would shiver. Even his new doggie jacket (which he hates with a passion) was not able to keep him warm. I finally found the best solution was to pack him into the truck and cover him with a few blankets until the sun came up and warmed up the land for him. That method also allowed me to eat breakfast in peace without having to keep an eye on him and prevent him from stealing any illicit food. Overall, the trip went well. Gecko got in a bit of shivering in the mornings, but it never actually reached a point that I needed the tent heater.

On our first day, we scouted out the locations for Saturday and Sunday to make sure the roads were still good and I found some of the nice blue dumortierite that is reminiscent of blue lapis.

On the second day, we went for light blue crystal like kyanite, a whole hill full of it actually, so easy enough to find. I picked out a number of pretty boulders. In amongst the kyanite can also be found smalloctahydron shaped pieces of limonite after pyrite. One man found one the size of a walnut! All its smooth faces were in good condition too. Next time I come, I am going to be sure to inspect that area where he found it first!

Then later that day, we searched for decorative yard rocks with seams of greenish blue malachite and chryscolla. Since I had been there last year, I remembered that we had picked over the area carefully the previous time. All that was left near the vehicles were some very large boulders that would require extensive chiseling to yield any prize, so I headed towards a more distant hill on which I remembered seeing some good stuff the last time. I scouted from the bottom of the hill for signs of color, scrabbled up the hill and then threw the rocks downward so they would roll all the way to the bottom for me. Then all I had to do was drag them to the road somehow. Finally, in the last hours before dark, we made a quick run to pebble terrace where an ancient sea bed has deposited acres of ocean rounded stones and fossils. Turning over the rocks, I never knew what kind of twisted hint of ancient life might be stamped into a stone. That night, the wind picked up with a vengence and screamed through the valleys at 30 mph.

Gold Rock Ranch runs a $5.00 dinner on Saturdays so after a trip to fill up my gas tank at a nearby station, I hurried back to the ranch to take a $1.00 shower and blow dry my hair using the handy outlet in the laundry room. However, on a quick trip back to my tent after my shower, I noticed a crowd gathered around a small trailer. A nice couple were giving away petrified palm wood! I forgot all about my hair and by the time I got back to the laundry room, the wind had already blown my hair dry for me. It was time to go in for a dinner of chicken, vegetables, bread, salad, and pudding and the best part about it was I didn't even have to prepare it! After dinner, some of us huddled around the fire and chatted while others attended a musical show put on by the ranch. That night, many people found it difficult to sleep as the wind tore at the tents and rocked the trailers.

The next morning, not liking the sand whipped into his eyes, my dog again found it more pleasant on his pillow in the truck. The wind had not abated and perhaps because of that, our wagon train had grown shorter as many people had already gone home. That day, we spent more time looking for dumortierite. Most of the good stuff was several football fields distant from the road over hills and gullies and required picking carefully around the sharp fangs of the desert cholla cactus. Most of these rocks are weathered to a dark brown on the surface so you have to learn to spot the distinctive fissures and patterns of the dumortierite instead of relying solely on the color. Once you suspect a brown rock of harboring something special inside, you take your rock hammer and chip off a corner to see if you hit the jackpot and find bright blue underneath. Other times, you can look in the washes and find some material already polished clean and color visible by the winter runoff.

Once you find something, it is a looonng walk back and of course it always seems like you start finding the most stuff once your bag is already full! I was able to find quite a bit of nice dumortierite as well as some colorful petrified palm wood that can also be found in the area. There must once have been a massive forest of palm trees in that area, even though now it's nothing but cactus, a few scrubby bushes, and miles of brown desert varnished rocks baking in the sun.

We ended our hunt shortly after noon. The roads had been good and my 2wd truck had made all the outings with no problem. Overall, with the ranch bathrooms and food and the hard packed roads, this was an easier trip than many and most if not all of us came away with some nice rocks. All of us had packed up before leaving that morning so we were able to leave directly from the hounding site towards our homes. We said our goodbyes and those of us that would be taking the 8 freeway home headed towards a small restaurant in El Centro to consume huge meatfilled tacos together before finally heading our separate ways. Overall, I think we all had fun. Special thanx to Bob Fitzpatrick for yet again leading this successful CFMS trip to Gold Rock Ranch.

Upcoming CFMS Fieldtrip
Jan 21-22 Thursday Mine

By Thomas Hess, CFMS Field Trip South, Co-chair

This trip is open to all rockhounds who agree to abide by the AFMS Code of Ethics, the directions of the field trip leader, and practice safe rockhounding. A Consent and Assumption of Risk Waiver of Liability form must be signed upon arriving at the campsite for both the CFMS and the Thursday Mine Note: Special rules or conditions apply at this fieldtrip. Children under 18 are not allowed without birth parent or parents signing the hold harmless agreement.

TRIP LOCATION: The area known as Rodreguez Canyon, near Banner, CA.

WHEN: January 21st and 22nd. Camp over allowed.

SPONSOR: CFMS Field Trip, South, the claim holders of the Thursday Mine And the Diehard Rockhounds.

COST: FREE, thanks to the Thursday Mine Owners, certain restrictions apply.

MATERIAL TO COLLECT: Schorl (Black Tourmaline), Rubellite (Pink Tourmaline),Verdite (Green Tourmaline), Aquamarine, common beryl and the best lepidiolite in the world. (We think so.) It is possible to panfor gold in the washes or run offs in the canyons all around. There are several well known gold mines in this area.

LEADER: Thomas Hess, CFMS, Yucaipa Gem and Mineral club member, Founder of the Diehard Rockhounds.


  • Meet at the Stagecoach Inn on January 21st at 8:00am.
    • Address is 43851 hwy. 79 south, Aguanga CA 92536.
    • Phone no. 951-767-9466.
  • We leave at 9 am to go to the mine.
  • At about 9:15-9:30 am we will arrive at the Banner R.V park and store.
  • We will pick up any others wishing to meet here instead at that time.
  • 9:45 sharp we take the dirt road near the R.V. park up to the Thursday Mine.

  • On January 22nd at 10:am an additional escort will be provided for those wanting to go Sunday only.
  • At 10.30 we leave for the Thursday Mine.
  • Fieldtrip will end at dark on Sunday.
  • Digging will be allowed during the Evening. Lights are provided


VEHICLE: A high clearance truck or 4x4 is recommended. No non 4x4 vehicles will be allowed up the last stretch of the road to the mine...about 1/16th of a mile.Most vehicles always make it to the bottom of the mine.

CAMPGROUNDS & FACILITIES: This is a dry camping area, no water, no services, no hookups, no toile.

TOOLS: Collecting bags and boxes, digging tools, rock hammer, eye gear, spray water bottle, etc. Be sure to bring your camp chair to sit in at night around the fire at night. as well as pry bars, sledge hammers (hard rock mining!)

SAFETY CONCERNS: Do not lick the rocks, use sun screen, stay away from rattle snakes, use bug spray, be aware of flash floods, be extra careful and don't get lost.

CLIMATE & WEATHER: We are planning on nice weather-sunny days, cold clear, star filled nights may be present The mine is at 4500 feet above sea level. But remember it can rain this time of year so be prepared and plan ahead.

CLOTHING: Appropriate for this time of year.

GENERAL INFORMATION: Come and join us for the day or camp out with us. Bring food, lots of water, cell-phone, walkie-talkies, GPS, first aid kit, camera, flashlight. For additional information:

Email me at Thomascarlhess@yahoo.com
Or call 951-677-3007 after 6 pm.

SPECIAL CONDITIONS: Every one must bring a 5 gallon bucket and place their name on it in bold letters. There is a limit to the amount of lepidiolite that is removed for free. The Limit is 50 lbs. We figure that is about a 5 gallon bucket full. All other lepidiolite is available for $2.00 per pound.

Thursday Mine High Fire warning. No open fires will be permitted at the Thursday Mine. Only propane grills will be allowed.

I want to take this time to thank all those who have made it possible for me to lead CFMS trips. I hope to bring you many adventures. While also realizing my dreams coming true, let's be safe this upcoming year!

Any one who may own a mine or collecting site may contact me if you might consider some good ole USA rockhounding.


Original source not known, via Ghost Sheet, 11/96

Dendrites are perhaps the most common geologic oddity which resembles a tiny fern frond or colony of algae. The term "dendritic" refers to the branching figure resembling a fern frond, branch or tree. They are usually formed in thin, hard-bedded shales and limestones.

Concentrations of the manganese mineral called pyrolusite percolate into the fissures of shale and limestone, leaving behind a residue which forms the dendritic patterns.


By Chuck McKie, Safety Chair

Chuck McKie

Quick Quiz

More than 90% of the disasters the American Red Cross responds to are:

  1. floods
  2. tornadoes
  3. residential fires
  4. hurricanes

Answer: C!

While catastrophic disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes grab the headlines, the American Red Cross works diligently behind the scenes day in and day out ensuring that families whose homes are destroyed or damaged by fire have their basic comforts taken care of as they begin to repair their lives. Be it new clothing, a place to rest their heads or a warm meal, more than 800 chapters around the country are on-call, waiting to provide aid to their neighbors in need.

Home fires are almost always preventable. Yet sadly every year, more than 4,000 people die in home fires and over 25,000 are injured.

Fire Prevention

Instruct children to tell an adult right away if they find matches or lighters or see someone playing with fire, matches, or lighters.

Children should also know that candles are a frequent cause of devastating fires in homes. Candles must be kept well away from any combustible/flammable items or materials and must never be left unattended. The increasing popularity of candle usage has led to a dramatic increase in the number of tragic fires. In case of a power outage, families should use flashlights for emergency lighting, not candles. In 2002, more than 18,600 fires started with candles.

Make Your Home Fire Safe

Install a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home. If people sleep with doors closed, install smoke alarms inside sleeping areas, too.

Use the test button to check each smoke alarm once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

Vacuum away cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarms monthly. Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time. Replace your smoke alarms every ten years.

Consider having one or more working fire extinguishers in your home. Get training from the fire department in how to use them.

Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home.

Plan Your Escape Routes

Determine at least two ways to escape from every room of your home. Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.

Select a location outside your home where everyone would meet after escaping.

Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.


By Shirley Leeson, Historian

Shirley Leeson

In the November CFMS Newsletter, I asked for copies of the February 1979, November 2004 and September 2005 CFMS Newsletters. At the Fall Business meeting in Visalia I received the November 2004 from Jack Williams and the September 2005 from Anna Christiansen. Many thanks to both of you for coming to my rescue. I also received a bonus of a 1967 Program from the CFMS 28th Annual Convention and Show, July 13-16, 1967, Host: Sacramento Mineral Society from Gloria Tomczyk. Of interest was the fact that Mike Kokinos was Vice President, Minerals at the time. I'm still looking for the February 1979 CFMS Newsletter. Would you ask your club historians if they might have a copy they could copy for me, PLEASE. Also, I have been in contact with the family who formerly owned our Golden Bear. They have been asking family members for information on the early history of the bear. Will keep you all informed.