April 20th, 2024 Biggs, Oregon Field Trip Report

On Sat. April 20th we had a field trip to a private quarry near Biggs Junction, Oregon for Biggs Jasper and Agate. Jay Carlson of Sherman County Rocks in Rufus, OR, manages the operation and is doing field trips for rock clubs only. We had a beautiful clear day and started out by picking through the piles of material at his shop – Wascoite, Grainite, China Hollow, and Biggs Jasper/agate. Jay also has some beautiful finished material inside his shop. There were 20 people in 12 vehicles that went up to Beers Mtn. A few things I picked up from Jay’s explanation last year of the material is that it’s a mudstone formation formed millenia ago by thick mudpools under and over basalt lava flows. There were gas bubbles burping through the thick goo causing the intricate patterns to form as it was going through a hardening process. Bands of limonite (a type of iron) form the intricate patterns. It’s highly metamorphed and over time some agate and jasper formed in seams and pockets in the stone. The material takes a great polish. Mostly in brown tones, there are some hints of bluish and greenish coloration and pockets/seams of druzy crystal. The sites were easy to pick. A few people chiseled out chunks from the hard rock, but mostly it’s walking around and collecting loose material. The hardest part is deciding what to take home. The Beers Mtn material as well as the Wascoite and Grainite was $5/lb and the China Hollow material was $2/lb. We started out at 8:45 AM and finished by 12:00.
Afterwards some of us went to the Polka Dot Agate mine and others went to Richardson’s Rock Ranch. Both of those are about 80 miles further south via Hwy 97. At Polka Dot we chiseled beautiful blue agate from a large deposit that they’ve unearthed on the property. It’s very hard and dense and difficult to get chunks out, and one has to make a time slot reservation to work in the pit, but they also have a pile that you can pick from which is much easier.

Members who joined me were:
Scott & Laurie M., Christina L, John & Dave C. & friend Mike, Kari C., Scott M., Marion R., Michelle & Jerry M., Noelle B., Pete A., Jarrod D., Chris W. +2, Arlea W. +1.
Submitted by Roger Danneman Field Trip Guide














































Updated: April 27, 2024 — 11:40 am

Presidents Message

  • From the Top of the Rock Pile Our Gem Show is on June 29th and 30th, with set-up on June 28th. Roger is looking for volunteers, so be prepared to help when he calls or emails you. We need a volunteer to ensure all the signs we need inside the venue are made and printed. We also need a volunteer to order street signs for our new location, place them before the show, and take them down. Then I am looking for a volunteer to take charge of the club sales table and set up the sales table. We need

Meeting Announcements

  • Topic: Out-of-state rockhounding sites by Roger Danneman Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Montana, etc. – So many rockhounding places! We have a few members who have combined a road trip vacation and rockhounding that will collaborate on this. It’s interesting to see the variety of material from these areas. After this meeting, you may want to plan a road trip too! Show ‘n Tell: Show us something you have found or bought on a road trip.

  • April 11th – Rock Bingo (Spring Break) and Food Drive This meeting is our annual “Rock Bingo” night. It is held during spring break so our Young Tumblers and their friends can attend without worrying about school the next day. Each member is asked to bring 3 wrapped items for each person who intends to play Bingo. You can play up to 3 games in person, and every person goes home a winner. Please try to donate an item you would like to receive, not junk slabs and rocks. Let’s all plan to have a fun evening together. Guests are welcome, and we encourage our Young Tumblers to bring their friends. Food Drive – We are collecting food for the Kent Food again. Try to donate 1 item or more for every person playing Bingo.

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