The Rockhound Roundup is Coming to Deming, New Mexico

The Deming Gem and Mineral Society is once again sponsoring the Rockhound Roundup in Deming, New Mexico from Thursday March 12th, 2020 to Sunday March 15th, 2020. It is the 55th year of the Roundup.

Rock, gems, and minerals will be sold by vendors from all over the Southwest. In addition, the club is putting on field trips and a metal detecting competition.

The event is at the S.W. New Mexico Fairgrounds at 4100 Raymond Reed Boulevard in Deming, New Mexico.

Here’s a link for more information:

http://www.thedgmsclub.com/rockhound-roundup/

Look for Richard Mueller at space #64. He operates Miners Gallery out of Alpine, California and will have a variety of excellent materials.

https://www.minersgallery.com/

There’s a camping and RV park outside of town that thoroughly encourages rockhounding on nearby ground. Listed below.

Here’s what I have so far on the Deming area from my upcoming book. I’ll double check everything before it is published, however, consider what follows as a work in progress.

Deming Gem and Mineral Society
4200 Raymond Reed Blvd.
Deming, NM 88030
575-546-2554

32°15.256′ N 107°42.925′ W

Well worth joining if visiting this great collecting area.

http://www.thedgmsclub.com

Rockhound State Park
9880 Stirrup Road SE
Deming, NM 88030
575-546-6182

32°12.458′ N 107°37.531′ W

“This is the only place in New Mexico and one of only two places in the U.S. where you can take something from a state park,” says Manager Robert Apodaca to the Albuquerque Journal. “The most prevalent thing that’s readily available for surface collecting is jasper.” Visitors to the park also find geodes and thunder eggs, perlite and quartz, Apodaca says.

Ask on arrival whether anything beyond surface collecting is permitted. The park has steep, cactus-studded hills. Watch where kids play. A great place to camp for a few days of hiking and rockhounding. Bring boots and a hemostat or needle nose pliers to pull out thorns. The visitor center has a good rock collection showing what might be found for those putting in the time.

Stop at the rock shop described below for possible park collecting advice. Please buy something from the owner if he helps you with directions.

Here are park maps:

http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/spd/documents/RHPARKMAPS.pdf
http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/spd/rockhoundstatepark.html

A highly authoritative page on the geology of Rockhound State Park from New Mexico Tech, along with an explanation of all things geodes and thundereggs:

https://geoinfo.nmt.edu/tour/state/rockhound/home.html

The Basin Range Volcanics Geolapidary Museum
6235 Stirrup Road SE
Deming, NM 88030
575-546-4021

32°11.678′ N 107°38.768′ W

Just before the entrance to Rockhound State Park is this gem of a rock shop. Christopher is the proprietor here and an expert all things thundereggs and geodes. Although he doesn’t sell geodes from Rockhound State Park, he did contribute samples for the Visitor Center’s rock display. And he may have hints as to where to look in the Park. Take in a park map to make any directions easier to follow.

http://www.zianet.com/geodekid/index.html

Trina’s Rock Shop
1812 Columbus Rd.
Deming, NM 88030
575-546-0348

32°15.048′ N 107°45.112′ W

Recommended by Christopher of the Basin Range Volcanics Geolapidary Museum.

https://www.trinasrockshop.com/shop/
Black Hat Trading
2785 US-180
Deming, NM 88030
575-494-4693

32°17.705′ N 107°46.008′

Recommended by Christopher of the Basin Range Volcanics Geolapidary Museum.

https://www.facebook.com/BlackHatTrading/

Hidden Valley Ranch RV Resort
12100 Hidden Valley Rd NW
Deming, NM 88030
575-546-3071

32°25.850′ N 107°45.658’W

Seemingly recommended by every rockhound in New Mexico and beyond. Bring your RV, tent, or rent a cabin. 25 miles from Rockhound State Park. Lots of rocks in the area of this working cattle ranch. Rockhounding a recommended activity by the Ranch, in fact, there is an annual rock show hosted here each March.

http://www.hiddenvalleyrvranch.com

Deming Luna Mimbres Museum / Deming Museum
301 S Silver Ave.
Deming, NM 88030
575-546-2382

32°16.003′ N 107°45.396′ W

History museum with large sections devoted to local geology. Recommended to me by an avid geode fan. An archived article from their website certainly confirms this. The text follows.

“The Deming Luna Mimbres Museum proudly displays a world-class exhibit of Thundereggs, Geodes, and Nodules donated by Robert (Paul) Colburn of the Basin Range Volcanics Geolapidary Museum. Rockhounds from all over enjoy this collection. Mr. Colburn has dedicated his life to the study of these geologic formations and is responsible for scientific redefinition of previously held ‘truths’.

Thunderegg is a Native American name for what Geologists call lithophysae or spherulites. Geode simply means an earth shaped hollow rock, or more specifically, a hollow Nodule with a crystal lined cavity.

Nodules when opened may be simple or complex. While there is usually a “family resemblance” in Nodules and Geodes from a specific area, the best way to reveal the inner mystery is by opening the rock. You may become a Rockhound “wannabe” after seeing this incredible collection. You may have the sudden urge to become a detective unearthing (pun intended) the secrets of rock formation over centuries.

The specimens on display are the best from over 100 locations and were selected from tens of thousands of cuts made over 46 years of collecting. Each flawless specimen was chosen to typify the area where it was mined.

This collection provides a rare opportunity to view one-of-a-kind gifts of nature created over thousands of years. If your family or group includes a rock collector (rockhound), a future geology professor, or anyone who is marvels at the wonders that have been created in the millions of years of earth’s formation, this is a sure hit for your visit.

Source of Information and photography: The Formation of Thunder Eggs (Lithophysae) by Paul Colburn.”

https://www.lunacountyhistoricalsociety.com/highlights.html

https://www.instagram.com/tgfarley/
Follow me on Instagram: tgfarley

Beginning at the Ending: Railroad Ballast and Slag

I’m starting this field trip report, not at the beginning, as I am still running down identifications of a few things . . . .

Toward the end of my last field trip I walked to the Union Pacific railroad tracks that run alongside I-15 in this area. Railroad ballast intrigues me because its rock could come from nearly anywhere. Or, maybe not rock. Maybe other things.

Railroad Ballast Collecting? from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.

Although collecting isn’t permitted on any active railroad lines, there were some scattered rocks nearby that represented the ballast at this location. Old railroad beds are first choice for investigation.

As I describe in my video, ballast can be made of several things, including slag, minerals, or rock. I look at all three in this video and I mention meteorites along the way. By the way, I am going to redo this video, I don’t like the way it came out in a dark room. I’ll do this on a tailgate soon. And vesicles can occur in meteorites, although extremely rarely.

Railroad Bed Collecting: Slag, Minerals, Rocks, and Meteorites from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.

——

Follow me on Instagram: tgfarley

https://www.instagram.com/tgfarley/

Getting Ready for Quartzsite

Quartzsite is a small town in the Arizona desert that each year plays host to rock and gem enthusiasts from all over the world. These rockhounds, prospectors, and lapidary people come to meet hundreds of vendors selling everything rock and jewelry related. Others come, too.

In the desert around Quartzite, thousands of temporary winter visitors, called Snowbirds, make themselves a home for a few weeks or months. These are mainly RV folks, often retired, who roam the States seeking warm climates and interesting events. They certainly find both in Quartzsite.

Besides rocks, dozens of venues host flea market goods, with everything from car parts to comic books to antiques. You’ll never know what you’ll find in Quartzsite. In addition to seasonal selling sites, permanent buildings in town include a unique bookstore, a great local history museum, and a bead shop that has a terrific rock and gem museum.

The most prominent rock event each winter is the QIA PowWow:

http://www.qiaarizona.org/PowWow.html

QIA stands for the Quartzsite Improvement Association, a non-profit that uses proceeds from the event to benefit various concerns around the city. The PowWow runs from Wednesday, January 16th, to Sunday, January, 20th. Free parking and free admission, with a shuttle service to ferry people back and forth from the parking lot.

The local gem club hosts two field trips each day during the PowWow, off to a different collecting sites each time. I won’t be able to participate in any digs due to my recent surgery, but I will be in town Wednesday and Thursday. I’ll take photographs for my book, interview people, and pass out business cards.

Winter weather can be iffy in the desert. Currently, a slight chance of rain is in the forecast. Heavy rain and wind can play havoc with the vendors, most of whom have outside booths. While that weather can happen, Quartzsite usually offers shirt-sleeve weather by noon.

Bring plenty of water if you go walking around the PowWow. Humidity is low in the desert, even in winter, and people dry out. Comfortable shoes! And something to carry all your goods back to your vehicle. For bigger material, like petrified wood stumps, try the Desert Gardens venue. And pick up the free Quartzsite show guides which are placed all over town.

Lastly, bring plenty of cash in small bills. While many vendors accept plastic, don’t assume that all will. And don’t try to make a dealer break a fifty or a one hundred dollar bill. When I go, I take an envelope of five and tens. There are no Big Bank ATMs in town, so get your cash stash beforehand. Remember, all sellers are small business owners who deserve the courtesy they will undoubtedly extend to you.

Rock&Gem has an excellent, current introduction to Quartzsite at their site:

http://www.rockngem.com/quartzsite-the-hunt-for-rocks-and-history/

I wrote an article two years ago on Quartzsite for Rock&Gem. Unfortunately, the content is behind a paywall. But I’ll be sharing a few photographs and notes when I get on the road this week. I am still tired from my operation but there is little pain from the wound area. Generally. Unable to run for the next two weeks, I am listless and impatient to get back to my routine. Quartzsite will be a welcome distraction. Perhaps I will see you there. I’ll be the one with all the bandages on his face. 🙂