Sunday, May 11, 2008

Adventures in the Desert

After a delightful Friday night of chills, stomach cramps and other nicities, I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty much back to normal.

Tony and I took the truck out in search of Soda Lakes. They are two small, younger volcanoes that are filled with water (currently...with all our seismic activity...who knows?!) We arrived around 1 and were greeted by a variety of desert flowers, bees and horseflies. The view from the rim is intersting as you can see that you are standing above a caldera. We collected basalt bombs and also found some small chips of agate. Some of the basalt bombs from this area are said to contain olivine and magantite (lodestone). We did find some of the bombs had crystals in the sides. I found a really large bomb about the size of a cantaloupe. It is going in a special spot in the rock garden.

Aferwards, we made out way out past Grimes Point and over to the old, Lake Lahontan dry shores. Out there we found wonderstone and quartz, as well as lava and tufa. We also found a very large patch of agate.

It was fun to watch the fence lizards and horny toads. There were some interesting small birds out there, too. I would have loved to have had a field guide to find out what they were. We stayed out there until 6 and lazily made our way home.

There were a few people staying at the Petrogylphs. We passed by the Hidden Caves, but didn't stop. That will be for another trip. You can see them from the road. The large one has an almost ominous look to it, but that could well be due to the stories of it being haunted. When we do go, I'll make sure I leave some sage and cedar bundles for the Indian spirits, maybe some beads, too.

Today we will unload the rocks from the truck and see what we have. I'll probably sit out with a scrub brush and water and clean off many of them. There is a serenity in rockhounding that I love, even if it is a little insecty sometimes. I am always amazed at the beauty Mother Nature that's one artistic palette!

Next weekend I am planning on buying a couple of plants to start the garden. A little at a time is how I will build it.

I'll post the photos of the rocks later today.

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