In The North Nopah

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Going to take a hike to get to the old Mary Ann Mine. No problem. #rockhounding#geology#minerals#fluorescentminerals #zinc #inyocounty

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This comment is from R.C., a practicing geologist who taught me never to say granite unless I was absolutely certain, true granite relatively uncommon. Best to say something is granitic. Hi Tom, You have a granitic porphyry. The pink rectangles are large crystals of feldspar that formed at depth. It’s the first mineral to crystallize. Then the magma was moved closer to the surface, cooled more rapidly, so the other minerals didn’t have time to form very large crystals. The pink feldspar crystals are phenocrysts, from Greek for “visible crystals.” Neat rock. #geology#granite #nopahrangewilderness #inyocounty#rockhounding#geologistonboard#feldspar#minerals

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Geological Provinces of the Southwest

Explanation

This draft is from my now dead book project. The images were not intended to violate copyright but to guide my publisher in making new ones. My ex-publisher.

The term geological province isn’t favored anymore, instead, scientists like physiographic or something similarly stilted. I don’t.

Scientists disagree on the borders, names, and numbers of provinces within a state or region. I won’t settle their arguments here. 

Macrostrat.org’s interactive map tells you what province your area of interest is in. Their free smartphone  app gives you a province name for any ground you are standing on in the field. Provided you have cell phone coverage.

I Geological Provinces of The Southwest — The Lay of the Land

The American Geological Institute defines a geologic province as a large region characterized by similar geologic history and development. [Robert Bates and Julia Jackson. Dictionary of Geological Terms (New York: The American Geological Institute, 1984), 207] These characteristics include landforms, natural features of the earth’s surface, rock types, or a shared evolutionary history. Every part of the Southwest belongs to a distinct province with particular landforms and geology.

Geologic provinces show well on maps but are often hard to tell in person. No colors or lines on the ground mark one region from the other. Earth scientists may disagree where boundaries lie. Plants are sometimes better indicators than rocks. Saguaro cactus herald arrival in the Sonoran Desert. A lessening of creosote bush and an increase in sagebrush marks the beginning of the Great Basin Desert. Maps, guidebooks and a little study make these provinces stand out.

II Arizona

Arizona is the sixth largest state in America. It covers 113,909 square miles. New York, Indiana, and Maryland could easily fit inside Arizona’s borders. The state is landlocked, although the Colorado River flows through Arizona to the Pacific Ocean. The state has three distinct topographical areas.

-The Colorado Plateau

The Colorado Plateau in Arizona runs diagonally northwest southeast through the upper half of the state. Sometimes referred to as the Colorado Plateau Province, this lifted topographical feature extends into Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. The Plateau may be pictured as centered over the Four Corners of the United States. Its elevation is between 5,000 and 7,000 feet and it covers some 240,000 square miles. [“Colorado Plateau Province” https://www.nps.gov/articles/coloradoplateaus.htm Accessed 08/08/2018]

Any map depicting gold, silver, or copper deposits in the Western United States shows a lack of these minerals in the plateau. That’s because, as Jim Straight puts it, “Both the Columbia and Colorado Plateau are capped with non-metalliferous basaltic flows.” [Straight, Jim. Advanced Prospecting for Hardrock Gold 4th edition (Rialto, California: Jim Straight, 1998) plate No. 1] In other words, ancient lava flows not enriched with precious-metal bearing minerals. This can include non-metal bearing minerals as well, such as fluorite. This holds true for each portion of the four states in the Colorado Plateau.

(The Colorado Plateau across four states)

Arizona’s largest city in The Plateau is Flagstaff. The Hualapai, Navajo and Hopi are among tribes with reservations on this land. The Plateau features much of Monument Valley, the background for many famous John Ford films. The four thousand food wide Meteor Crater lies a short distance from Winslow. In addition, the Grand Canyon wends through the Plateau. Precipitation averages 10 inches annually. Native grasses and scrub cover much of the Plateau, leaving it suitable for grazing. Junipers and pinion trees occupy higher elevations.

-The Transition Zone

Arizona’s Transition Zone or Highlands also runs diagonally in a southeast to northwest fashion, occupying the middle of the state. It is a narrow, mountainous region with many peaks between 9,000 and 12,000 feet. Annual mountain precipitation averages between 20 and 25 inches. This belt separates the northern plateau from the southern deserts. The largest city here is Prescott at 5,368 feet. Numerous Wilderness Areas exist in the Transition Zone along with several National Forests, state park land and a National Monument.

The notable Mogollon Rim divides the Colorado Plateau and the Highlands as it strikes across the entire state of Arizona. This long cliff does not always present itself clearly, but at times it looms 2,000 feet above lower ground like the Tonto Basin. It also plays a part as a weather maker as explained in my weather chapter.

-Basin and Range

The Basin and Range geographic province reaches across vast areas of the Southwest, especially to Nevada. In Arizona, Basin and Range extends across the lower third of the state, dominated by the Sonoran Desert. Most motorists see Basin and Range as an unceasing crossing of low mountain Ranges and desert valleys. The National Park Service, however, is relentlessly positive. As they once put it, “The Basin and Range province has a characteristic topography that is familiar to anyone who is lucky enough to venture across it. Steep climbs up elongate mountain Ranges alternate with long treks across flat, dry deserts, over and over and over again!” [“Geoscience Concepts” NPS. Language now removed.
https://www.nature.nps.gov/geology/education/concepts/concepts_basinrange.cfm]

Besides the name Basin and Range, these alternating peaks and valleys are also called horst and graben. These two elements make up a particular rift landscape. Horst and graben occurs when the earth’s crust is stretched up to 100% of its original size. This stretching does not go smoothly. Instead of producing a flat plain when stretched, blocks of the earth’s crust are pulled up and down. Horst and graben creates blocks of the earth’s crust and upper mantle uplifted at angles. These uplifted angles represent fault lines which underlie the topography of Basin and Range.

Within Arizona’s Basin and Range Province lies the Sonoran Desert. It is a complex of low mountain ranges and desert valleys, with annual rainfall of three to four inches. This country is normally no higher than 500 to 2,000 feet in elevation. Basin and Range here is an extension of the Sonoran Desert of Mexico. Arizona’s other desert is the Chihuahuan. It, too, originates within Mexico, although Arizona’s portion wanders in from New Mexico, intruding only into the southeast corner of the copper state. It is in this arid and alternating geologic province of Basin and Range that Arizona’s major cities lie. Kingman, Phoenix, Yuma and Tucson are all denizens of the desert.


(Arizona’s geologic provinces)

III California

-Introduction

For this book, the Southwest reaches to the Pacific Ocean. California deserts feature great rockhounding areas and must be recognized. Extending the Southwest to the Pacific also allows San Diego County to be included, the center of tourmaline mining in the greater Southwest.

-The Mojave Desert

This is the land of the Joshua Tree, as much as the Sonoran Desert is the land of the Saguaro. The two rarely intergrade, each keeping itself to one side of the Colorado River. The Mojave is home to Death Valley, which at one point lies 276 feet below sea level. Death Valley and the Mojave Desert are the hottest and driest parts of California. Rainfall sometimes measures under two inches a year. Lower than the Great Basin, elevations average between 3,500 and 4,000 feet. Californians call this the High Desert.

-The Colorado Desert

The Colorado Desert is a smaller part of the much larger Sonoran Desert. The Colorado covers approximately 7 million acres. It is dominated by the off-limits Chocolate Mountains, over which the military has an aerial gunnery Range. The desert encompasses Imperial County and reaches into the counties of San Diego, Riverside, and part of San Bernardino. The Salton Sea lies on its west side, Bombay Beach its central hamlet. Most of the Colorado sits below 1,000 feet, with below sea level elevations at the Salton Sea.

-Basin and Range including The Great Basin Desert

High, dry, and often cold, the Great Basin Desert reaches from California’s eastern border to touch Oregon and Idaho, most of Nevada, and a significant part of Utah. Elevations range from 4,000 to over 14,000 feet in the White Mountains and the eastern Sierra Nevada. The long-lived Bristlecone pine hangs to life in its montane setting while common sagebrush populates the lowlands below. No water from the Great Basin Desert runs to the sea. At the limit of the Southwest, Bishop, California at 4,150 feet represents the largest California city within the Basin.

-The Peninsular Ranges

“The Peninsular Ranges geomorphic province consists of a series of mountain Ranges separated by long valleys, formed from faults branching from the San Andreas Fault.” So states the California State Park System. [Geological Gems of California State Parks – GeoGem Note 46 -Peninsular Ranges Geomorphic Province https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/734/files/GeoGem%20Note%2046%20Peninsular%20Ranges%20Geomorphic%20Province.pdf Accessed 08/04/2018] From a political boundary sense, the Peninsular Ranges originate at the Mexican border where both the United States and San Diego County begin. More accurately, though, the Peninsular Ranges extends south across the border to form the backbone of Baja California.

-The Transverse Ranges

The USGS states, “The Transverse Ranges Province of southern California is so-named because the mountains, valleys, and geologic structures within this province lie east-west or ‘transverse to’ the prevailingly northwest-trending grain characteristic of southern California.” [“Geologic Setting of the Transverse Ranges Province” https://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/archive/socal/geology/transverse_ranges/index.html Accessed 08/06/2018] They also say that two other provinces of southern and central California trend northwest. Basin and Range in Nevada and New Mexico also trends in the same direction.

IV Southern Colorado

-Introduction

This book treats the southernmost portion of Colorado, at the northern edge of the Southwest. Major cities are Creede at 8,838 feet and Durango, at 6,523 feet. These high elevations mean a true four-season climate, compared to the two-season climate most of the Southwest enjoys. Snow can fall in October in Creede, with 71 days of snow each year. Snow falls later in Durango.

-Colorado Plateau

Colorado’s western portion of the Plateau includes these National Monuments: Canyons of the Ancients, Yucca House, and Chimney Rock. Western Colorado is uranium country. Most occurrences, though, exist north of this book’s Southwest border. Southern Colorado rock collecting sites are many and for varied materials Richard Pearl describes Colorado as more mineralized than any other state except California.

-Great Plains

The High or Great Plains province covers eastern Colorado. Elevations reach 6,000 feet in this mesa-like area. The High Plains are a part of a larger plains system called the Great Plains. That ranges through southeastern Wyoming, southwestern South Dakota, western Nebraska, eastern Colorado, western Kansas, eastern New Mexico, western Oklahoma, and south of the Texas Panhandle. Essentially, the eastern side of the Rockies.

-Southern Rocky Mountains

The Southern Rocky Mountains Province in Colorado continues to New Mexico. Wedged in the lower middle of this province is the Rio Grande Rift Province. It also continues to New Mexico, the Rio Grande River accompanying it. Alamosa is the chief city here at 7,543 feet, the prominent geologic feature the broad San Luis Valley. This valley approaches the size of Connecticut. It is 125 miles long and 65 miles wide, its mean elevation 7,000 feet. Though the country is a semi-arid plain, surface and subsurface water from the Rockies allows a thriving farming community as well as sourcing the Rio Grande.

(Geologic map of Colorado showing Rio Grande Rift)

(Geologic map of Colorado, not showing the Rio Grande Rift)

V Southern Nevada

-Introduction

Nevada is Basin and Range country, north-south trending mountain ranges fixed in parallel fashion across the state. This Basin and Range landform runs from Oregon to Mexico, capturing all of Nevada with it. The Great Basin, as it is known when referring to its entirety, consists of 160 mountain Ranges and 90 Basins.

-Basin and Range

Mountain ranges march unceasingly across Nevada, accompanied by many Basins or low-lying areas. This is not a violent landscape and the motorist driving east-west will little notice. To the rockhound, however, each new mountain Range presents new road cuts and interest heightens each time a Basin’s floor is left behind.

Nevada’s mean elevation is 5,500 feet. This produces a high, dry, mostly cold desert, reflecting the same condition this landform brings to parts of southern California. For Las Vegas, the chief city of southern Nevada, rain is a scant four inches a year, with summer temperatures often exceeding 105 degrees. Nevada is the driest state in America. It averages only nine and a half inches of rainfall a year.

(Southern Nevada, not showing Arizona’s Transition Zone)

 

(Nevada’s many basin and ranges.: http://crack.seismo.unr.edu/graphics/Maps/nv-topo.jpg)

VI New Mexico

-Introduction

New Mexico is the fifth largest state by area in the United States. It totals 121,412 square miles. The federal government owns 35% of that territory. 14,062 square miles is in National Forest and approximately 20,312 square miles in BLM lands. New Mexico’s twenty-three Indian tribes own or control 5,739 square miles.

The state’s topography is varied and dramatic. Scenic gorges, mesas, high plateaus, canyons, valleys, and dry washes or arroyos are all part of New Mexico. Average elevation is about 4,700 feet. The lowest point is just above the Red Bluff Reservoir at 2,817 feet where the Pecos River flows into Texas. The highest point is Wheeler Peak at 13,161 feet. 23 Indian tribes exist in New Mexico. That includes nineteen Pueblos, three Apache tribes (the Fort Sill Apache Tribe, the Jicarilla Apache Nation and the Mescalero Apache Tribe), and the Navajo Nation.

(New Mexico geological provinces)

-The Southern Rocky Mountain Province

The Southern Rocky Mountain province is by definition mountainous ground considered part of the Southern Rocky Mountains. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Tusas Mountains, and the Sierra Nacimiento are included in this grouping. They lie on either side of the Rio Grande Rift Province.

The southern end of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains terminates near Santa Fe; this mountain Range marks the western edge of the Great Plains. The Range continues northward for some 200 miles until Salida, Colorado. Herbert Ungnade wrote that, “The Sangre de Cristo Mountains were hunting grounds for Apache and Comanche Indians and that the Spaniards ventured into them only in heavily armed groups.”

The Southern Rocky Mountain Province contains some of the highest peaks in New Mexico. Like the aforementioned 13,000-foot Wheeler Peak. Lower country exists as well. Like the Questa Caldera in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains northeast of Taos. Calderas are ancient basin shaped volcanic depressions, collapsed volcanoes, and this one sits at approximately 7,400 feet. Of special note is the ancient Valles Caldera National Preserve near Bandiler. Looking deceivingly like a flat grassy field, the caldera is actually a thirteen-mile wide depression supporting meadows, wildlife and wandering streams. Bandelier National Monument and Pecos National Historical Park nearly align on the same geographic parallel. They two points effectively serve as the southernmost reach of the Southern Rocky Mountains Province.

(The Southern Rocky Mountain Province, not showing the Rio Grande Rift Province which is in the middle, following the Rio Grande River.)

-The Colorado Plateau

The Colorado Plateau in New Mexico lies in the upper northwest corner of the state. New Mexico’s two major cities, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, lie on the edge of its borders. Their elevations are 7,199 feet and 5,312 feet, respectively. As noted in the description of Arizona and Colorado, the Colorado Plateau Province’s 130,000 square miles is lodged squarely over parts of the Four Corners States. The Navajo Nation also owns much territory in the Colorado Plateau of New Mexico. They in fact own 27,000 square miles in the Four Corners region, an area larger than West Virginia. The rich topography of the plateau partly explains the nine National Parks and eighteen National Monuments located there.

(New Mexico’s density of parks)

-The Rio Grande Rift Province

The Rio Grande Rift Province splits New Mexico in two, with the Rio Grande River running down the middle. The rift begins high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains near Leadville, Colorado. It terminates in the Mexican State of Chihuahua close to Ciudad Juárez. Its stateside length is over 600 miles. The rift is not a valley or canyon caused by erosion from the Rio Grande River. Instead, the zone is a tearing down and building up of the earth’s crust. The Colorado Plateau pulls to the west, the High Plains to the east. This action is from two parallel fault zones that run north-south through New Mexico.

(New Mexico’s Rio Grande Rift Province)

-Basin and Range Province

Basin and Range topography in New Mexico occupies the lower southwest portion of the State. This same geologic occurrence extends from Mexico to Canada. [Christiansen, Eric and Kenneth Hamblin. Dynamic Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology (Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning. 2015) 592 ] Southern Arizona, eastern California, southern Idaho, western Utah, and most of Nevada. Again, Basin and Range is marked by mountain Ranges striking in a northerly to northwest fashion, alternating with wide Basins.

(New Mexico’s Basin and Range Province)

-The Mogollon-Datil Province

Experts think the Mogollon were an ancient Indian tribe inhabiting what is now eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. The area is geologically complex. Within the province is the Mogollon-Datil Volcanic Field. Numerous calderas populate the area, especially in the Gila Wilderness. The Mogollon Mountains rise to 11,000 feet. The Continental Divide is represented, between the Gila and the Rio Grande Rivers.

(New Mexico’s Mogollon-Datil Province)

-The Southern High Plains or The Great Plains

The High Plains province covers New Mexico’s eastern quarter. Elevations reach 4,000 feet in this mesa-like area. The High Plains are a part of a larger plains system called the Great Plains, its reach described in the Colorado section. The High Plains includes part of the Permian Basin, which is fueling an oil and natural gas boom in this mostly flat grazing country. The Permian is located in the south-east corner of the state near the Texas border. The High Plains Province also hosts part of what is called the late Miocene-Pliocene Ogallala Formation. It is a major aquifer in the United States. Larger cities include Hobbs, Lovington, and Carlsbad.

(New Mexico’s Southern High Plains or Great Plains)

VII Southern Utah

-Introduction

Three major geologic provinces make up Utah. Basin and Range and the Colorado Plateau exist in Utah as they do in other states. The third is the Middle Rocky Mountains province which lies outside the Southwest. Some geologists also place a Transition Zone in Utah, which will be included for completeness.

-The Transition Zone

This Province is included as a Geologic Province of Utah by some and not by others. It is poorly defined, placed somewhere between Basin and Range to the West and the Colorado Plateau to the east. The largest city in the Zone and in Southern Utah is St. George, at an elevation of 2,860 and a population of 82,318. It is home to the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm, a museum and locality that preserves a Jurassic era lake ecosystem. The next biggest town is Cedar City at 5,846 feet and a population of 31,223. This area is close to the Dixie National Forest. Within that forest, agate collecting goes on near Panguitch Lake.

Utah’s topography is mostly mountainous but varied. Almost 80 mountain ranges lie within or partially within it. The state’s highest point is 13,498-foot-high Kings Peak in the northern Uinta Mountains. Southern Utah mountain ranges climb to 8,600 feet or so.

-Basin and Range Province

Utah mountain ranges are typically 12 to 31 miles apart and 28 to 50 miles long. [“Physiographic Regions of Utah”
https://geology.utah.gov/popular/general-geology/utah-landforms/geologic-provinces/ Accessed 08/10/2018] Utah mean elevations reach 4,000 to 7,000 feet.

St. George and Cedar City both lie at the edge of Basin and Range, close to the poorly defined Transition Zone which separates Basin and Range from the Colorado Plateau. Viewed with Google Earth, Basin and Range levels off as it approaches the two cities. Proceeding east after that, the Colorado Plateau appears as a sparsely vegetated mesa.

-The Colorado Plateau

Southern Utah’s notable geologic features include plateaus, buttes, mesas, and deeply scored canyons. Utah’s lower southeast is the Four Corners area, distinguished by the Colorado Plateau. Monument Valley extends here into Utah from Arizona. Tribal land also exists on which no collecting is permitted without permission.

-The Colorado Plateau’s Great Basin Section

The Great Basin Section’s central feature is the Colorado River which eventually flows into Lake Mead near the Nevada border. The Green River makes up the Colorado’s principal tributary. Its drainage or watershed begins in northern Utah, northern Colorado, and southern Wyoming. Many cities in the arid Southwest, especially Las Vegas, Nevada, depends on water originating high in the Rocky Mountains.

(Utah, emphasizing Southern Utah)

(Southern Utah’s geologic provinces)

Different Jewelry Designs Featured in Wallpaper* Magazine

Wallpaper* always features good design. This article shows off different looking engagement rings. I’m not too interested in lapidary or jewelry but I do like new takes on any old subject. Here’s the link to the article:

https://www.wallpaper.com/watches-and-jewellery/say-yes-to-engagement-rings-with-an-edge



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Richardson’s Rock Ranch in Madras, Oregon

Richardson’s Rock Ranch in Madras, Oregon and the Lucky Strike near Prineville

My good friend Pat Dolan supplies these wonderful photos of rocks he once collected at Richardson’s Rock Ranch, now closed to digging.

Richardson Rock Ranch in central Oregon was long noted for their thunderegg fee-dig on the Priday agate beds. That activity has now ceased, the fee-digs permanently closed by the ranch as of last month. This is perhaps the sunset to fee digging for thundereggs in America, since the Baker Egg Mine in New Mexico has been filled in for some time.

Update: Pat supplies this: Hi, Tom. There is one other pay to dig site up there in Oregon. The Lucky Strike Mine. It’s way smaller than Richardson Ranch. And much more difficult to get thundereggs. This is from their Facebook page:

“The Lucky Strike mine will be open to the end of September. We will be open Thursday – Sunday. Thursday’s 9am-4pm Friday and Saturday 8am-4pm Sunday 8am-2pm. This is the last year we will be open to the public.”

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Local-Business/Lucky-Strike-Mines-1142109869241670/

They are located “outside of Prineville, Oregon.” That would be in Crook County. Here’s the map Google that Google provides. I would triple check my directions and call first before going. The good news is that the mine is located within the Ochoco National Forest so you should be able to order that map and get fine driving details.

 

Original Post: Back to Richardson’s

Richardson’s continues to operate their rock store, however, with material they dig from their beds.

I don’t know why they shut down their fee digs, however, it may be due to liability insurance being too expensive or perhaps a lack of personnel to supervise the operation. Both understandable reasons.

Some closed fee-digs may continue operating through rock club field trips. A club usually carries its own liability insurance so operators are more likely to open for them on a case by case basis. Last year the Ottesons of Tonopah, Nevada conducted fee digs for turquoise and variscite for both the Southern Utah Rock Club and the Las Vegas Gem and Mineral Society. Even though they were not operating public fee digs.

Pat Dolan said the Madras Rockhound Pow Wow has dug at the Ranch before. But that group has no outing planned anywhere until September, and that for agates a good distance from the Ranch. Pat also mentioned the Prineville Rockhound Pow Wow in Crook County, Oregon but their 2020 event has also been cancelled. Truly, this is a year of do it yourself field trips.

Here’s information on the Richardson’s Rock Ranch

Richardson Agate Co. LLC
6683 NE Hay Creek Rd
Madras, OR 97741
Phone: 541-475-2680
800-433-2680
Fax: 541-475-4299
After hours emergency or text:
541-633-3889
richardsonrockranch@hotmail.com

GPS
N 44 43.956
W 120 58.564
Elevation 1,845

“WARNING: Do NOT search the internet for driving directions as they are currently incorrect. Use the directions on this page. We are located 11 miles north of Madras, Oregon. Simply take U.S. Highway 97 north from Madras – or south from Willowdale – until you see Mile Post 81 and the Richardson’s sign. Follow the signs in for about three miles and you’ll be at the shop!”




Richard Ranch Blue Bed



Richard Ranch Blue Bed



Richard Ranch Blue Bed — more plume


Richard Ranch Moss bed


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I’m Moving Out of Las Vegas

After getting back from Tonopah and Goldfield, it was very clear to me that I needed to move. I returned from lightly travelled roads to the nightmare that is Las Vegas traffic. Las Vegas isn’t as bad, yet, as Phoenix Metro or Atlanta, but it is bad.

I’m concentrating on Pahrump right now. It’s an hour’s drive west of Las Vegas. It has a hospital that takes my insurance and a 24 hour emergency room. I’d rather live elsewhere but none of the places I like have medical services anywhere close.

My present lease runs out in two months. I want to sign papers on a new place at least a month before September 1st. I know that means carrying an extra rent payment for a while but I do not want to be rushed. I want time to pack, move, arrange utilities, and settle in.

This morning I went house hunting for a rental and just missed a place I would have signed papers on. It’s a complex world that real estate agencies live in.

In the Pahrump Valley there may be 10 or 15 real estate agencies. A homeowner could decide to sell or rent their property through anyone of them. The agency they choose becomes the primary listing agency. In turn, the agency shares this availability information with all the rest of the agencies.

Today I met with the largest real estate agency in the Valley and was shown two properties. This agency was not the primary for the properties. The agent called the primary before showing me the house I especially wanted to rent. He was told there was already an application in, however, the homeowner had doubts about the renter and that the application might not go through. The primary thought the best thing was for the agent to show me the place, and then I should come over to them to fill out an application, just in case things fell through with the first applicant.

I really did like the property but by the time I got to the primary the owner had changed his mind and approved of the tenant.

I see the house is still up at Zillow as if it is available. You cannot expect real time web changes in a small town like this or information to be coordinated well. People are doing their best so I will continue looking, even with this odd swirl of multiple companies trying to get a place rented or sold.

Also, be prepared to fill out several applications, each at a different agency. These look into your financial status and most probably your criminal record. Expect a fee of fifty to seventy five dollars at every agency. At least in Pahrump, there is no central clearing house for an applicant for all the real estate companies. Instead, you fill out an application one at a time, depending on if that company is the primary agency for a property. Only the primary agency deals with the application form and the property owner, the secondary real estate agencies simply show the property, collecting a fee of a few hundred dollars if a rental goes through. Whew! I am learning much.

Although I missed a wonderful house today, I learned that I will wait for a house that is by itself. Many have been available in the past which sit on an acre of land. The second house I saw today was in a conventional neighborhood with no more than twenty five feet between houses. Yuch. I can’t tolerate living like that anymore and I am sure my neighbors wouldn’t tolerate me. Besides the better privacy of a big lot, I want to buy a rock saw again and get cutting. We’ll see what happens. I have five weeks before my drop dead date. If not Pahrump, maybe Ely, Nevada.





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Latest Visit To Goldfield, Nevada

Latest Doings in Goldfield, Nevada

Goldfield is getting a new gold mine! In my May, 2016 Rock&Gem article on Gemfield, I wrote that a new mine might be coming to Goldfield. It’s going to happen. This will be an open pit operation, not a hard rock mine.  This will bring some high paid jobs to the Goldfield/Tonopah area for at least several years. The pit may go down only three to five hundred feet according to one geologist I talked to.

People will notice fresh pavement and a realignment of I-95 just north of the city proper. That’s because the original mine owner paid tens of millions of dollars to Nevada to move the road! This better accommodates the mine’s plan of operations, the main pit to be extremely close to where old alignment was. There’s turbulence in the mining industry as always, I understand that ownership of the Gemfield Project has been sold three times since 2016. Gemfield Resources appears to be the current owner.

Perhaps to capture this new wave of construction, Valero in several months is opening a 24 hour travel plaza in Goldfield. That means Goldfield residents will finally have a gas station in town and a convenience store. Right now, the only source of food in Goldfield is the Dinky Diner restaurant, normal hours, and a General Store that is only open “sometimes” and has been for sale for at least two years. This travel plaza is significant because it will take big rigs, the next truck stop going south being at Armagosa Valley, 93 miles away.

I expect Goldfield to perhaps increase in residency between these two happenings but any new resident will still face a 5,500 foot altitude with temps in the low 20s in the winter, along with snow and the highway shutting down from time to time. Also, no medical services, with the only med clinic a half hour away in Tonopah. No area hospital, no emergency room. People are transported by vehicle to either Las Vegas or Reno for non-emergency problems, a true emergency requires a helicopter ride to whatever city will take them. That could be pricey. On the positive side, an improved water line is coming in as the result of the mine. This will make water more dependable in Goldfield.

Bryan Smalley at Hidden Treasures said that he recently had a very good month. William Vanderford at Vanderford’s Gold Strike, on the other hand, is rather desperate for money and has been having a terrible time getting by in this crisis. He only accepts cash because of credit card company minimum monthly fees and says no one traveling has cash or wants to spend it. There are no big banks in Goldfield and neither in Tonopah, although there is one small but true bank in Tonopah. I talked to a roadside vendor in Beatty and he says he loses 60% of his sales because he doesn’t take cash. Both are now thinking of using Square, that handheld card reader you see vendors at Rock Shows using. For now, for all of the Southwest, bring cash.

Sharon Artlip continues work on the Gemfield Gems Chalcedony Claims but is also helping renovate the International Car Forest of the Lost Church. This is an interesting and recent video on the Forest:

URL of the video is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRKS1IWbOec 

The creators mention a lack of trash at the site, this is something Sharon and company have been working on. They’ve also been repainting offensive graffiti when it appears as well as sprucing up the place in general.

Oh, the creators of the video, Cory and Honey, mentioned hitting a bathroom before visiting the Forest. The Forest does have a porta-potty, however, the city of Goldfield maintains public bathrooms at First Street and I-95 on the west side of town. I-95 serves as the main street running through town. The bathrooms are in the Goldfield Visitor Center parking lot, the Center itself open only when volunteers man it. The bathrooms always seem open during the day. I’m not sure about if they are open at night or if they were open during the pandemic. The bathrooms have running water and the parking lot easily takes RVs. See details at the end of this post.

Goldfield Art & Business Services

306 Crook Avenue
P.O. Box 121
Goldfield, NV 89013
775-485-3789

37°42.560′ N 117°14.284′ W

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Business-Service/Goldfield-Art-Business-Services-178494142352005/

Look for the “Gemfield Headquarters” sign at the top of this building. You can register to go out to the claims from here and you can also pay for whatever rocks you collected. A dollar a pound. Sharon Artlip has returned to this location and rocks from the claims are here along with old maps and documents and miscellany. As with everything in Goldfield, call to make sure they are open. Contact Goldfield’s Chamber of Commerce if necessary.

The Gemfield Gems Chalcedony Claims website is at the link below:

http://www.gemfieldnv.com

Hidden Treasures Trading Company
489 Bellevue Avenue
P.O. Box 512
Goldfield, NV 89013
775-485-3761 – Voice mail box is usually full
775-485-3485

37°42.220′ N 117°14.066′ W

https://www.facebook.com/HiddenTreasuresTradingCo/

bsmalleyhiddentreasure@gmail.com

One of my many posts on Hidden Treasures:

https://southwestrockhounding.com/2019/04/25/bryan-smalley-and-hidden-treasures-trading-company-in-goldfield-nevada/

Bryan Smalley runs one of the Southwest’s most eclectic rock and gift shops. He is expert on local rockhounding and accomplished at cutting and lapidary. He does knapping and can talk authoritatively on making flintlock strikers from locally collected chalcedony. It is sometimes difficult to find him at his shops, three buildings in total.

Ask locals where Bryan is if you can’t find him. Try the Dinky Diner. The friendly Goldfield citizens won’t mind your asking. Bryan has a minimal web presence since he focuses on finding rocks and cutting same. And making doors and entire buildings. Make sure to stop when investigating the Gemfield Gem claims. Tell him Tom said “Hi” and if you have a rock that needs cutting, ask him if he has the time. Oh, and buy something!

Bryan Polishing a Jade Piece from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.


Florence and Rustler #2 Mine Tours
Goldfield, NV

Call or text for information and reservations:

James Aurich: 702-622-0500
Jon Aurich: 702-622-1344

Guided surface and underground tours by appointment. The surface tour views head frames, hoist houses, the black shop and more. Great views of the surrounding country which are pockmarked with the craters of old mines. One mile from Goldfield on an easy dirt road. Private residence on site. Those with mobility issues should bring up their condition with the owners before visiting.

This page linked below contains photos and mine history. Information on the Florence exists in different places on the web, including Mindat.org.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/florence-mining-company-goldfield-4

Vanderford’s Gold Strike
William D. Vanderford, Consulting Geologist
775-485-3252

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 27
Goldfield, NV

Shop location:
Highway 95 on the west side of town.

Eclectic materials, well worth a stop. Rocks, mineral samples, more. Please bring cash, William is not accepting credit cards at this time. Some of his jewelry is rare and understandably expensive, he says many people walk away from a piece because they didn’t have enough cash. He stopped accepting plastic when the credit card companies started charging him extra for failing to meet a certain dollar level each month. These fees are murderous to small businesses and you will find that cash is still king all over the rural Southwest.

billvanderford@yahoo.com

Old YouTube video but a good look at the store:

https://youtu.be/I0nFH0Lfh8Q

A single shot of Vanderford’s below:



The Dinky Diner
323 Crook Avenue
Goldfield, NV 89103
775-485-3231

37°42.453′ N 117°13.946′ W

Menu:

http://places.singleplatform.com/the-dinky-diner/menu?

Your place to eat in Goldfield. Skip a meal in Beatty or Tonopah and eat instead in Goldfield. It will be worth it. Only place in town to eat but this business does not take advantage of that, they try very hard. Small-town life; strike up a conversation with the next table. They will fix anything to go if you don’t have time to dine.

The Dinky is right on I-95 in Goldfield, essentially Main Street. You may miss it coming in from the south. Turn around where convenient but watch your speed and where you turn as an Esmeralda County Sheriff is often waiting to catch speeders. Slow down!

A few years ago, I stopped into Goldfield to research that Rock&Gem article I wrote about earlier. The waitress asked me what I was doing in town. I said I was meeting Sharon Artlip to discuss her chalcedony claims. “Oh, yes,” the waitress said, “Sharon said you were coming in.”

I recommend the BLT for lunch and the cheeseburger for dinner. 

“My mom and I own this business and we are just trying to serve awesome food. With a good environment and great people. Hours are 8 am to 4 pm, every day except Sundays when we close at 2 pm. Hope to see you soon!” Karie L.

Public Bathrooms and Goldfield Visitor Center

Bathrooms are in the Visitor Center parking lot which can easily take large RVs and has trash barrels. Running water in the bathrooms. The Visitor Center itself is often closed, volunteer staffed.

37°42.561′ W 117°14.263′ N



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My Rare Earth Metal Element Set A Year Later

I bought a collection last year from Metallium. It is a set of lanthanide-series rare-earth metal element samples.

The video shows the natural fragility of these metals. This set has been kept in a mostly dark room in arid Las Vegas, Nevada. The metals have never been taken out of their vials.

Some of the metals have discolored but it is hard to compare with how they originally looked when I bought them because I did not photograph them at the time. Rookie move. The samarium exhibits the most deterioration, some of it turning to powder.

I had to take the photos through the glass and plastic vials of the samples and in some cases, through a plastic bag as well.

People are always interested in seeing this collection, even geologists and professors at University Geosciences Departments. These metals are rarely seen.

This is an unsponsored video, I paid for my set and would do so again. This is Metallium’s website.

https://www.elementsales.com/

Rare Earth Metal Element Set from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.


Here’s a longer version of the video, giving more time to look at the samples.

Rare Earth Metal Element Set (Longer version) from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.


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What Color Do You See?

What Color Do You See?

As those who follow me on Instagram know, I was recently out on the Gemfield Gem Claims near Goldfield, Nevada. I picked up a few pieces of chalcedony showing a nice, soft blue.

I later had lunch at the Dinky Diner in Goldfield with the claim owner, Sharon Artlip. I commented on the blue tinged material I collected. She said she would describe that color as gray, not blue, certainly nothing like a Robin’s egg blue. I agreed with that but thought the pieces still displayed a nice color. I went out to my truck and brought back in what I collected. 

Putting them down on the dining table, I had to agree with Sharon. They were showing a light or pale battleship gray. No blue. We talked this over. She said she was extremely reluctant to call anything at Gemfield blue. She later said, “I am one of those people who try to err on the side of caution because I know we all see things a little differently.  It is amazing how two people can take a picture of the same thing at the same time and both pictures come out totally different because of angle, lighting or whatever.”

Or whatever. At the time I collected I was working in harsh, direct sunlight. With sunglasses on. Sunglasses have distorted my color perception before and it was certainly possible they could be doing so this time. Yet they still showed slightly blue in Las Vegas when I got them home, this time without my sunglasses on.

What we saw inside the Dinky Diner was the result of indoor, artificial lighting. It took away the subtle color. I don’t photograph indoors because it renders flesh tones incorrectly and does not give a true portrayal. We all know how badly we look in a bathroom mirror depending on what kind of bulb is used. This leads to a deep subject called the temperature of color.

I think jewelers use a standard light setup to judge gemstone color but I don’t know much about that.

What else could contribute to people differently perceiving color?

A persons’ slight or major color blindness.

As stated, artificial light or even a difference in the light outdoors from the time something was collected.

The angle of view.

The background.

On a computer, a difference in monitors might change what is perceived in person.

In print, the printing process may poorly represent what one saw in person. Within the printing world, different paper will give different results.

Cameras. Different digital cameras show colors differently. The same with print film. Digital files are usually manipulated or processed. Depending on the work done in “post,” this may contribute to the problem. A filter on a lens will certainly change the color. Any camera on automatic will fight to brighten or darken an image without any signal to the photographer.

I thought about showing those pieces of chalcedony to you, but my photos aren’t correctly displaying what I see in person. In fluorescent mineral photography, this is an accepted problem. You take your best photograph, and then you fuss endlessly with it in post, trying to adjust the controls until the image on the screen finally represents what you saw under the UV light. Or, most often, _close_ to what you saw.

Update: Here are two unprocessed photos taken on an iPhone. The first photo  was taken indoors ten feet away from a window. The second was taken at the window.  Note especially how the upper third of the rock in the first photo was faded in the first photo but comes into prominence in the second photo. Same rock, different light, different angle, different results. Does either look blue to you?

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Dah Rock Shop in Tucson, Arizona

Dah Rock Shop

I missed these people on my Travel List, apologies. (external link) It’s easy to get distracted when you are in Tucson for the Big Show.

I have heard of this shop but I think I got it scrambled with Dials Rock shop, which I’ve covered, and a man named Dahl, who came up with the Pet Rock. In any case, I am looking forward to visiting this rock shop which also sells crystals and beads.

Dah Rock Shop
3401 N Dodge Blvd
Tucson, Arizona 85716
520 323-0781

N 32°16.16333′ -110°54.87833′ W

No website but a Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dah-Rock-Shop/116900461703946

I normally take my own photos but I can’t do that now. I have taken two off the net, one from Gordon G and another from Steve S.


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