Utah Trip - by Tina League
There were six club members on this trip, Bob Davidson, Harry and Tina League, Joe and Paula Davis and Elizabeth Adams. It was the fourth Club trip to Delta, Utah planned and led by Bob. We stayed at a motel in Delta and went to different locations each day. Each morning we ate breakfast at 6 am and were on the road by 7. We usually returned around 6pm. Many of the back roads and trails required 4-wheel drive. On several occasions the vehicles went up on three wheels in order to climb over ruts and boulders.
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Dugway Geode Beds
The geode beds have been re-excavated since our trip 2 years ago. A lot of new material had been brought to the surface in huge piles and the "digging hole" had been enlarged.
We found a gigantic geode the size of a smart car that we would have loved to crack open, but decided to leave it alone for everyone else to admire. We piled on top of it and took pictures. "Mr. Obsidian" (Joe) took a few swings at it with his hammer, but alas, it wouldn't fit into his bag (see picture). We found some beautiful geodes with clear crystals encased in unusual blood red druse. We found a variety of the more common druse colors- blue, purple, white, gray and brown. Some even had some interesting black crystals inside. The geodes came in all kinds of shapes, sizes and textures. We all had a fantastic day in the sun and came home with some impressive mineral specimens......Then there was the first flat tire....
We spent several days at Topaz Mountain. On the first day we all climbed to the top, about 2000 feet above the floor of the canyon. On the second and third visit, was Tina and Harry climbed to the top again to the spot they worked on their last trip. Mr. Obsidian and Miss Druse joined them on their ledge and enjoyed collecting topaz and red beryl. In order to make the climb a bit safer than the last visit, we brought rope with us and it made a huge difference. With the safety rope secured, everyone was able to climb to the lower section of the blast site and enjoy the view. Up on top- the scenery was awe inspiring. We found an abundance of sherry colored topaz clusters and points. Tina found two large topaz clusters that each had 8mm red beryl hexagons in the middle of the cluster. Wow! She and Harry were very happy with the red beryl singles and clusters they discovered.
On the backside of Topaz mountain, we went in search of a spot for red beryl that
was supposed to be easier to access by truck. When we arrived at our destination we discovered that there was a claim staked there, so we had to turn around and go back. We drove several miles and checked an area that was covered with orange rhyolite that was supposed to contain red beryl. We didn't find any vidence of red beryl, so we drove on to another site that had some very interesting rhyolite formations. We found variety of minerals covered in druse (Miss Druse was very
pleased). Adamite was one of the interesting minerals found. It came in clear, gray, brown and green. Bob found the most coveted prize- a makeshift toilet- yeah!! On a somber note, Topaz Mountain was bustling with activity the entire time we were there. A team of forensic investigators, cadaver dogs and the press were all over Topaz Mountain looking for the remains of a woman they suspected of being murdered and buried there two years previously. We were fortunate that our collecting area was not in the immediate search zone or we would not have been able to visit our favorite area in Utah.
Agate Hill was covered with a variety of colorful agate boulders. The view from the top was spectacular- a must see destination. We spent the day chipping away at the extremely uncooperative rocks. After dulling our chisels down to butter knives we managed to extract some fine specimens to bring home. There was every color of the rainbow to be found. Some of the agate was coated with sparkling druse and Miss Druse (Paula) went to work collecting all she could carry. She also found a scorpion or two...oops. Tina found a few nice pieces of Angel Agate and worked hard on collecting blue agate from an exemplary vein. Harry, Bob, Elizabeth and Mr. Obsidian scoured the hill and excavated a bountiful array of agate.
U-Dig Trilobite quarry is a "pay to play" fossil site in the middle of nowhere. We paid our fee, and went to work with our freshly sharpened rock hammers.
We spent hours splitting shale to unveil ancient creatures preserved in
the rock. We were stalked by a big ugly black cloud all morning that decided to vent its cold, rainy wrath upon us before our 4 hour time limit was up. We tried to wait out the rain and see if it would let up, but to no avail. We were forced to leave early and get out of the area before the dirt roads got too slick to escape. We all found several nice trilobite specimens even though our time was short.
Minerals Near Milford
We went to several collecting sites in the Milford area (south of Delta).
Bob took us to an obsidian site that was outstanding. It had rained the previous night, so all of the obsidian had been washed and was sparkling in the morning sun. We were astounded by the awesome mahogany obsidian with gold flash. These were some of the finest obsidian pieces we had ever seen. Mr.
Obsidian was delighted (giddy even) and began collecting in earnest. We all dove into the piles and selected our stones with care. These were some of the heaviest flat rate boxes that were shipped home.
dump- we revisited an old mine dump just outside of town that was loaded with
chrysocolla of every shade. There was also blue marble, calcite crystals, aurichalcite, garnets, and a host of other minerals (too many to list).
With full buckets we went on to...
Corral Canyon-we went in search of smoky quartz crystals in the granite vugs. The geological formations in the rocks were fascinating. The "faces" and other objects in the mountainsides created an interesting photo-op stop. We were being stalked by another one of those ominous big black clouds on the way into the collecting area (a bit of a precarious drive to the site). Just as we arrived at the site, the cloud let loose a drop of rain and the "boys" got into their truck and drove
away at top speed like a bunch of frightened "girls". The real girls had a good laugh as they were left in the dust to fend for themselves. Tina had a hard time
driving Elizabeth and Miss Druse out of the "danger zone" because she was
laughing so hard she couldn't see. Elizabeth found some small crystals in a boulder she inspected when the rain drop went away. A fun stop!
and the Old Mine- up the hill from the garnet collecting area is an old mine
that is fascinating to explore. Pyrite is abundant on the ground surrounding the mine entrance, as well as peridot, calcite, and many more minerals we didn't have time to identify. The garnet collecting area had been extensively worked over since our last visit, but we did manage to obtain a few nice specimens. Bob
and Mr. Obsidian spent a lot of time hammering on a particularly promising
boulder that yielded some large well formed garnets surrounded by pyrite and
On the way back from Milford we stopped at Sunstone Knoll just before
dusk. The ground was littered with the sparkling gems and we scooped them up in our baggies as quickly as possible before the sun set. As the sun was setting the stones picked up the rainbow colors and the ground looked like something out of a fairy tale. The moon was nearly full, so collecting continued in the dark for what were now "moonstones".
OH NO! Another flat
One of the glitches we encountered were flat tires. We had one flat tire repaired the second morning we headed out to Milford. At the end of the day, we acquired dual flat tires and were fortunate to have two identical trucks with 2 spares.
Thank goodness we weren't too far from town and the local mechanic was
gracious enough to stay after hours and fix our flats. After buying a plug kit from him- we were no longer plagued with flats.