Thursday, March 22, 2012

Prospecting: Eureka!

This article got us all excited and ready to dig geodes!  Yeah!  88° - no problem - we've got water, snacks, a shovel, and a bucket for all the geodes we find!

Things this article left out that you may want to know:
  • 88° in full desert sun is kinda hot, no matter what we've told you
  • digging in full desert sun is not for the faint of heart
  • we're faint of heart
As we were told later, "digging geodes" is not just appreciating their rockin' coolness.  You're supposed to DIG HOLES UP TO YOUR WAIST.  I'm sorry, I'm not signing for that.  Besides that, do you know what else digs holes up to your waist?  Me neither, which is why I'm not doing it.

In case you want to, let me show you where we were first, and then where we were.  The original article gives good directions, but it doesn't tell you that you must have a high-clearance vehicle to get where we were.  The Prius wasn't high-clearance until we hit the first three washes.  Now we can Flintstone almost anywhere.

The truth is that Annie finessed those washed-out roads like a pro.  Now she's shopping for a Jeep.

But, none of this tells you how exquisite the California desert is.  I could have lain there in a scorpion/rattlesnake/tarantula-proof hammock all day.  

Annie, c'mon!  I'm kidding!  I'm getting up!  Wait for me!

Ocotillo blooms

Ocotillo feeling rather pleased with itself.

New cactus.  Well, new-to-me;  I can't afford a new new cactus.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.  

We tried both.  We never made it to either.

Unprecedented BLM humor?

John owns 80 acres right there in the desert.  [*swoon*]  We met him on the way out when we waved.  He hollered DID YOU FIND ANY GEODES?  Then he waved us into his "yard" to pick out some from big piles.  He had them in all stages.  Raw geodes, geodes sawn in half, sawn and polished geodes, tumbled stones.

Scott found us a bucket to gather into.

Pedro and Sadie put up a good show, then plopped down in the shade.  First desert law:  conserve barks.
We chatted for half an hour or so.  John has just lost his wife, and Sadie her mom.  They come in for the winter.  If I owned this place I would stay here from the moment I could until the moment I couldn't.  John says he doesn't like to see people leave 'his' desert with long faces and without geodes, so he took care of both.  Annie had Sadie almost to the car in the bucket when I caught her.

I don't know how much internet connection they get out there, five miles from the nearest maintained road, but if you ever read this, John and Scott, you made our day!

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Spotted Dog Ranch: said...

That range photo is priceless!

Did you cut the geodes yet? Any crystals inside? After this, go straight to Orderville, Utah and look for septarian nodules. Very cool.

Maria B said...

Sadie is so cute! No wonder Annie tried to steal her! You gals meet the most interesting people on your adventures! I am so jealous! Well, not about the 88 degree heat, but about the desert and the geodes and Sadie.

Spotted Dog Ranch: said...

PS Next time, borrow my burro! She'll get you in there with no problems. :)

Carolyn said...

haaa ... what fun!

longdog2 said...

Loved the ocatilla blooms and hope an antique dealer doesn't see that stove or it will be gone. Neat humor.
Sounds like you had a great time and met some interesting people. Gee, that happens to you a lot!

Brenda A. said...

88 degrees hot??? Pffffttttt. Stick around till July. Then you'll know what hot is.

Ocotillo is my favorite. What a show it likes to put on! :)

Donna K said...

That open range is hilarious. I can understand why John has lots of geodes - I saw that digger in the background!! It's sad too that he lost his wife and companion...never easy to lose a partner. Sadie is indeed adorable.

Annie said...

Maria, every time I reached down to pet Sadie, she oh so gently licked my hand. So sweet!

Rubye Jack said...

I think I've said this before, but why is it that the most beautiful places have the most creepy creatures? Snakes, scorpions, tarantulas, - if only you really good have a hammock where they couldn't get near you.

Gaelyn said...

So your new friend lives home on the range. ;)

Rock hounding is hot, hard, and dirty work. Didn't anybody tell you that. Check out the Gem Trails series for fun places to find pretty rocks. Then try not to overload your duck. And share photos of the rocks please.

LOL, I'm still laughing.

TexCyn said...

I see you already found your sssss's & crossed your t's. Oh well, I'm always late for the party. I have the dog that can dig to your waist. Or dig your waist. Or body slam you. We call him Dopey Ropey.

The Good Luck Duck said...

C, your burro is just what we needed. Those nodules you mention, naturally I had to Google them, but how cool!

Maria, it's a little astounding how many interesting people we've met since we've been on the road. It seems so much easier to meet people living this life.

LD2, your long crew would have enjoyed Pedro and Sadie until they didn't.

Sorry Brenda, can't talk now! Heading for the mountains!

It is sad, Donna. I can only imagine how at loose ends he must feel.

Rubye Jack, it's like you need a shark cage. I haven't seen any of these guys yet, but I know they're out there.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Gaelyn, no one told me! I'm looking for the field where you find rings and necklaces. Is that in the series?

Wow, Cyn, we could have used that Diggingest Dog today. He probably wouldn't have dug where we asked him to, though, would he?

Teri said...

I need to be in the shade, I like warm weather, but not direct sun. Ha Ha, you mean to tell me that all the jewels didn't just pop out of the dirt, ready for picking.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Yeah, it can get oppressive fast. You know what else is oppressive? Not finding the ring field.

Bob said...

Meh, I'd need to be wasted to dig holes up to my waste.
Somehow I think the spelling should be different there. English definitely needs to be more complicated. Just to weed out the illiterates. Is that mean?

The Odd Essay said...

I bet that range still works... it looks just like my cookstove I left back in Ohio. Might be hard to find firewood though... Hope you post a picture of the inside of your geode... All in all... looks like a great way to spend a day... or a week... or a.......

Wanderoke said...

Digging all those Holes? Stanley Yelnats would be proud!

And the quiet stillness of the desert might be the perfect place for John and Sadie to re-discover themselves as they each work through their loss.

Steve said...

Open Range ...

Best picture. Ever!

Kelly said...

You had a good day..... The desert produces very interesting things & people...

swankiewheels said...

Love the jeep idea.... suits you two better than the low-slung little car. I've still yet to see a serious snake, or any other harmful critter out here. Saw a non-poisoness snake. In my last hour in my Quartzsite camp yesterday, I was visited by a rabbit, a ground squirrel (who tried to get into my Sun Over to get some of the fresh bread) and a covey of Gamble Quail. I have them all in the same photo. I'll post on my blog soon. Funny pics. Love this post Annie and Roxi.

Judy and Emma said...

I'm just trying to picture you stringing your hammock around two cacti! :)

swankiewheels said...

Hey, you went to exactly the same place I was at Tuesday with the Rock Club. That area where you can dig geodes also had some other rocks we were interested in... the jaspers I showed you. Yep, our paths will cross again.

Annie said...

"Love the jeep idea.... suits you two better than the low-slung little car. " Sing it, Swankie! I've been drooling over Jeeps again (I used to have one) since we got here.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Bob, I think English has already weeded out the illiterates, but we keep on writing anyway.

Sharon, John confessed that it was a "modern" stove that uses gas, but because it was a Kenmore the owners couldn't get parts (?). I think it's very cool looking.

Stanley Yelnats! Thanks, Ish, I couldn't think of that name. Although, if I'd thought of one I would have known the other, yeah?

Steve, it was pretty great.

Doesn't it, Kelly? I'm in its thrall.

Swankie, that has to be a cute picture. Didn't the squirrel know it was hot in there? Annie saw one sitting up like Meerkat Manor the other day.

You guys went all the way out there? Wowzers. It took us two hours to get eight miles back out, so probably similar to get in. And, quit it with the encouragement to trade!

Judy, isn't imagination wonderful? The cacti won that round.

Sherry said...

Well here I am with my S..L..O..O...O...W connection late to the party again. Can't get all the pictures to load and already all the geodes have been found, all the holes dug, all the jokes told and all the comments made.

Open Range now that's fabulous....who did that? Can't be BLM, they have no sense of humor. Must have been John. That back hoe is cheating not to mention overkill.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Sherry, this must be a new connection, or did I finally step on your last nerve? :oD I actually minimized several pictures thinking of you, but still bad, eh?

stillhowlyn said...

If you're ever passing thru Deming, NM, check out Rockhound State Park...then just buy the geodes! The jeep gets my vote. Enjoy the CA desert; absolutely beautiful.

Luci & Loree said...

I would have wanted Sadie too!!! What a cutie!!! eeww, hot, hot.... Rest.

Contessa said...

You do meet tons of people RVing and dogs:) Tis a great life.

I want a Jeep too, so I drive the beach.

intrepid-decrepit-traveler said...

Open Range: Bwahhaahahaaaaa!!!

Love the desert; just not when it's hot.

We're getting ready to move, so today I "went through" all the rocks/fossils I've collected in our travels, and I ended up with two piles: Keepers & Leaverites. Broke my heart to have to leave a lot right here.... Think: weight!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Ha, StillHowlyn! Buy the geodes, indeed! I do want to go there, though, for sure.

Isn't she cute, L? I'm glad she wasn't !

Do you guys have a toad, Contessa? All of a sudden I can't remember your rig.

Leaverites - haha! Swankie taught us that one. I hauled seashells to the desert, then left them there. I probably destroyed ecosystems without thinking.

cathie said...

You made my day with a few good chuckles! Flintstones........Hehe

The Good Luck Duck said...

Luci and Loree, I think I meant to say "I'm glad she wasn't UP FOR ADOPTION!" In fact, I feel sure that's what I did say. BLOGGER!!!

Thanks, Cathie! I'm glad.

JOJO said...

Love reading your blog. Get such a kick out of your writing. So where are you heading next? The heat will be upon the desert soon.
I am heading out on the 17 TH for Lakeside, AZ I can't wait.

Happy Trails

Oh yes and by the way start being very carefull for the snakes now they are out and very nasty.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog!!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Thanks, Jojo! Right now we're outside Yuma. Then we'll start making our way towards the highlands (Flagstaff). Slowly. Very slowly. Lakeside looks great!

Thanks, Anon!

Anonymous said...

It looks like you two are really becoming desert rats! Love the ocotillo blooms.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Thanks, Paint. It's wonderful out here ... right now.

I loved your recent blog post. WordPress won't let me comment anymore on WP blogs, or I would have told you right there. What would I have told you? I would have said:

Nice post. We're all somewhere, aren't we?

It's not a good thing that we have to work so hard to bump up against the homeless. If it were harder to insulate ourselves from others' misfortunes we might not be so indifferent.

Pam and Wayne said...

We once bought a woodstove like that at auction except it had white porcelain doors. Ornamental only,(because we were too lazy to go through all the hassle of getting it up to code and running pipe and building a chimney) and when we sold the house it stayed behind because it was too heavy to fuss with. One of the few possessions we ever owned that I loved purely for aesthetic reasons.