Sunday, March 31, 2019

Rocks and Fossils

I recall a moving company questioning whether I really wanted them to load a garbage can full of rocks into the truck for a move across country.  I said, "Yes, of course."  Since then, I have been more cautious in collecting rocks.  This last week, I was tempted again.

Richardson's Rock Ranch in central Oregon allows guests to dig for geodes past where the cattle graze.  A friend and I hoped to go find of the few small geodes, but the spring thaw had flooded the roads to the site.  Instead, the two of us wandered the aisles of the rock store and when the rain let up, walked through the piles of rocks in the front yard. (First photo above.)  Few of rocks were from Oregon.
Decidous leaf fossil found at Fossil, Oregon's digging site. 
The previous day, Adele and I had met in Fossil, Oregon and spent an idyllic couple of hours chipping away with out rock hammers looking for leaf fossils for Adele's classroom.  The dig site is located next to the town's high school football field.  For five dollars per person, one can search for two handfuls of fossils.  When we arrived, the principal of the high school was helping a family from Japan.  He found a fossil for them and then left to return to his administrative duties.  The fees collected for fossil hunting benefit the school's art program and other needs.

I tried to keep my collection to mostly artistic snapshots.  The rocks in these three photos are all tiny. The new grass and shadow of dried flower heads give them scale.

If you live anywhere within a day's drive to the Fossil area, I encourage you to take a trip there.  The  John Day Fossil Beds National Park comprises three separate parks.  Adele and I visited the Painted Hills area. 

We stayed on the designated trails, unlike some thoughtless soul with their thick-soled shoes.

Adele and I left only our fleeting shadows.

Adele Bining gets the photo credit.
Back home, I emptied my pocket of the rocks collected.  I had given Adele the ones with good leaf prints, so this was what remained.  Not enough to fill even a Coke can.  But I can't wait to return for another round of rock collecting.  Besides, the burger in Fossil was good, the Coke in an iced mug in Mitchell was perfect, and the chili in a Maupin bar was delicious.  Small towns rock.

1 comment:

  1. I love reliving that day/those days here. Thanks for catching the essence and sharing!


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