HELL’S CANYON GEM CLUB Serving the Valley for 61 YEARS

BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
Serving the Valley for
P.O. BOX 365
The purpose of this nonprofit, social club is to promote the rock hound hobby by providing opportunities for the collection, working and
displaying of gems and minerals, as well as educational programs in the field of geology.
MEETINGS: 2nd Friday of each month
Board Meeting 6 pm Regular Meeting 7 pm
Dues: Adult [per person] $15.00; Junior [under 18] Free with a responsible adult membership.
Vice President
Past President
Steve Rand
Mel Wilks
Marilyn Sharp
Linn Enger
1st Year Trustee
Betty Wilks
1st Year Trustee
Torch Yates
2nd Year Trustee
Dan Cease
2nd Year Trustee
Lon Sharp
Federation Director
Jeremy Giard
Federation Delegate
Gail Giard
HELLS CANYON WEBSITE: http://www.hellscanyongemclub.com
WEBMASTER: Rick Westerholm: [email protected]
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
Hello Rockhounds,
Here we are September already where is the year gone to. Hope everyone has been enjoying their summer. Bruce
will be continuing on with his presentation on identifying minerals this month. We will also be selecting a
nominating committee to find officers for the next year. It is time to start thinking of your display for the club show
it is only a month away. We will have signup sheets at the meeting for everyone to signup to help out at the show.
So far there is still no word on the garnet lease we are just playing a waiting game. Remember if you have been to
the club crystal lease you need to report your poundage of crystals found so we can file our monthly report to the
state. So bring your treasures for show and tell, and we will see everyone on the 13th of September.
July 2013 Meeting Minutes
Lots of slots available to volunteer at show, signup sheets will be passed out at September meeting.
WSMC trip to Lolo pass for Smokey quartz meet at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mountain time.
David asked for volunteers for Lewiston Library presentation on Wednesday at 1 p.m.
Federation show coming up in Butte Montana on August 9,10 and 11th.
Garnet claim -- no digging this year, exploring our options.
Get your Display ready for the show, Linn has signup sheets.
Mel discussed a consignment auction for rock materials ,has a collection to sell for Orville and Rose, if you would like
to consign with him --his auction is going to be in Genesee sometime in September call 208-285-0143 for more
Jerry, Marylou and Rick went to Wyoming and got some nice specimens from the blue forest.
There was no August meeting.
Wilks Auction is have an auction this month on September 28 in Genesee to sell some of Orville and Rose Alene
rocks and is looking for consignments. If you are interested Contact Mel or Betty Wilks at 208-301-3939 or 208-2850143 if you have any questions. This is not a club auction but all rockhounds are invited. Food will be available
This months mystery rock.
Any idea where these are located?
Answer at end of newsletter.
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
Sept. Meeting program by Bruce Borgelt--- review of minerals and into Petrology (the study of rocks) and how to identify them.
Jeremy Giard, Federation Director; Gail Giard, Federation Delegate
August 9-11, 2013 Federation Meeting-Butte, Montana
The 2013 NFMS 75th Annual Show & Convention was hosted by Butte Mineral and Gem Club in Butte, Montana.
There were Nine (9) Competition Cases at the
show. Five (5) were Master Cases in the following
categories, Cabochons, Minerals, Carvings
(spheres), Carvings (actual), and Jewelry (silver
chains). One (1) Advance Case under the
Educational category on carnelians. One (1)
Novice Case on the Woven Beading category. Two
(2) Junior Cases under the Fossil and the Petrified
Wood categories. All of these nine cases were
judged and received 1st place ribbons. There
were approximately 40 other Display cases at the
show and 28 dealers.
The 2014 show will be held in Hermiston, Oregon on August 15-17, 2014 and will be called "The Biggest Little Show
in Town". There will be approximately 20 dealers present inside and outside. The show will be held at the
Hermiston Conference Center, 415 South Highway 395, Hermiston, Oregon. Show Chairpersons are Mike Filarski
and Judi Allison.
There was an opening for the 2015 NFMS Show, but the Golden Spike Club of Ogden, Utah has agreed to host the
show, if no other club comes forward. The show will be held the 2nd weekend in April at the Fairgrounds. The
Willamette Agate and Mineral Society has agreed to host the combined AFMS/NFMS show in 2016 in Salem, OR, no
date or other information is available at this time.
Lyle Vogelpohl reported there is one new club to join the NFMS, the Central Oregon Club of Prineville, Madras and
Redmond. They were approved by the Executive Board and by voting delegates at the meeting. There is also a club
in Oregon that apparently has disbanded. 2013 is the first time there has been a membership decline. Overall net
change of the 68 NFMS Clubs indicates Adults and Juniors have decreased by 487 members from 2012 to 2013.
Tom Burchard, of Circulation is in the process of updating the Mailing Label List for the newsletter.
Warren Rood, 2nd Vice President again mentioned the new "Forum" on the website. It is a chat space for NFMS
members to use to ask questions, share information, thoughts on shows, field trips, etc. You need to set up a
password and then the Web Master will approve your use of the forum to insure you are a NFMS club member.
Carol Willey, Directory, thanked all clubs for the updated address changes of their members. This directory is also
used to verify club member's credentials when members enter competition cases at the shows.
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
Lyle Vogelpohl reported the endowment fund is at
$189,000. This Fund was established so the NFMS would
not have to raise dues. The last time the dues were raised
was in 1986.
Doug True, Field Trips AFMS & NFMS chair, reported there
will be an Inter-Regional Field Trip in Terry, Montana from
July 31, to August 3, 2014. His flyer indicates the following:
"There are numerous trips planned everyday to collect
Montana Agate, Petrified Wood, Coral, Stramatolites,
Ammonites, Dinosaur Fossils and more. Some of the
collecting areas are with private access where I have been
collecting agate for 40 years. The Town of Terry has given
us their two (2) city block park with a big swimming pool,
showers and rest rooms. We can camp around the park
with our doors opening into the park. They will have a big BQ (benefit) with live music one evening. We will have
several potlucks, with several speakers and more music. There are two (2) small RV parks for those that need
electricity, one Historic Hotel and a Motel for those that don't camp. There will also be a guided tour On the Calypso
Trail in exotic badlands. Bring the kids for a special trip. Watch as we add updates and start planning your vacation
for next year, you won't want to miss this one. For more information or to jump in and help: email
[email protected] phone (406) 670-0506."
Shirley Leeson, Historian reported that Montana has lots of NFMS & AFMA history. She will bring the "boxes" of
memorabilia dating back to 1957 to current to Hermiston for members to browse through.
Audrey Vogelpohl, Juniors chair, reported more juniors entering competition display cases or just entering a case at
shows are needed. There is a packet of about 300 pages for the sponsors to help juniors get started. Grace
Thompson has put together a 32-page manual on how to present a class on minerals, gems, and fossils. It is on the
AFMS website and can be downloaded. There is also a Badge Program available for juniors.
Beth Heesacker, Newsletter Editor advised the deadline of 8/21/13 is set for articles for the next issue.
Evelyn Cataldo, of the Nominating committee, introduced candidates for Executive Officers of 2013-2014. They are:
President - Don Innes; 1st Vice President - Warren Rood; 2nd Vice President - Hidemi Kira; Secretary - Joan Day;
Treasurer - Lyle Vogelpohl All were voted into their respective offices by the delegates.
Lamar Tilgner, Northwest Rockhound Retreat chair, reported this is the 9th year of the retreat and is closed for
participants. There are now 52 participants signed up with 10 on the waiting list. It was suggested earlier to
choose a different time of the year so juniors could attend. However, Lamar indicated this is the only week available
at the station. He recommends that the participants take back the skills they learn and share those new skills with
the juniors and other club members. The camp is in a 50-acre plot at Hancock Field Station west of Fossil, Oregon.
The endowment fund bought 3 new trim saws for the retreat as the old donated trim saws were worn out.
Evelyn Cataldo, Past Presidents' Council, forwarded the proposal by the Willamette Agate and Mineral Society
(WAMS) to host the 2016 combined AFMS and NFMS Show and Convention to the Executive Board. This proposal
was approved by the Executive Board.
Larry Hulstom, of Resolutions, presented a modification to the operating procedures in the handling of the
scholarship fund. The resolution was voted on and approved by the Delegates.
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
Viola Jones, Rockhound of the Year chair, reminded clubs can submit a nomination to honor an individual or a
couple to the AFMS every year. The nomination should be brief (about a 100 words) emphasizing the honoree's
contributions to the club. The nomination will be published in the AFMS Newsletter as well as the NFMS newsletter.
This year our club chose David Dabritz as our 2013 Rockhound of the year.
Larry Hulstrom, of Rules and Awards encouraged clubs to get their juniors to enter competition cases at the shows.
He also advised the AFMS is offering a Judges and Exhibitors Training Seminar in 2014 at Ogden, Utah. This will be
during the annual Golden Spike Gem Show in April. There will be "book learning" on Friday and part of Saturday and
Sunday morning you will help "judge" exhibits. This proved to be a great experience at the Reno Gem Show in 2011
with 30 people attending. More information on this will follow in the NFMS newsletter.
Evelyn Cataldo, Scholarship chair, advised the object of the Foundation is to accumulate a fund from which only the
income from the fund can be used to finance scholarships. Each year in each of the participating federations, the
fund awards two recipients $2,000 per year for two years. Recipients must be graduate students in the earth
sciences. Within each participating federation, recipients are chosen by an honoree that is named by the President
of that Federation. That honoree is generally either a professor in the earth sciences or someone within the
Federation whose contributions to the hobby have been very extraordinary. Evelyn encouraged members and clubs
to contribute to the fund.
Pat Lambert, Show Coordination chair reminded clubs to
include admission prices in the information sent on their
shows. Show information is sent to Rocks and Minerals
Magazine, The Gold Prospectors Association of America
Newsletter, and Rock & Gem Magazine. The
information is also sent to the Western AAA Journal and
Northwest Travel Magazine which will be published as
time and space allow. It was also suggested that Craig's
list is a great place to advertize the shows.
Shirley Leeson, ALAA President, advised that there is a
speaker to talk at the ALAA meeting. Shirley told us that
the Bruno Jasper area is closed. Shirley advised clubs
and members they need to stay on high alert regarding
our public lands, to attend Forest Service and BLM
meetings, and to comment to the various agencies about
rock hounds losing rights to collect on the lands.
Cheri George, Website Competition chair wants webmasters from the various clubs in the NFMS to enter their
websites in competition for 2014. The new rules for this year allow for the top three entries in each Regional
Federation's contest to be sent to the AFMS Judge. If the website wins there is a moving ".gif" on the website that
tells everyone that the website is a winner of 1st or 2nd place.
Pictures by Pete Knudson, Brad Larson and Beth Heesacker
Tomorrow, (noun), a mystical place where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored.
 We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them. ―Albert Einstein
How can there be self-help “groups”?
There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither theory works.
I’m not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don’t we just take the safety labels off of
everything and let the problem solve itself?
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
October 19th 2013 -------October 20th 2013
Display Application
Name ______________________________Phone_________________
Name of Spouse________________________(free admission to both)
City ______________________________State ________Zip________
Display Theme __________________Number of displays_________
 Do you need to borrow a case? Yes ____No____ We have federation
size cases with liners for your use.
 Each displayer must provide his or her own insurance. Hells Canyon
Gem Club will not assume responsibility for loss or damage to any
exhibitor's property.
 There will be security guards on duty Friday and Saturday nights
provided by Club members.
 Setup: 12:00 to 9:00 P.M. Oct. 18th and 9:00 to 10:00 A.M. Oct 19th.
Please return applications to:
Linn Enger………..engerocks @ yahoo.com
475 Knollcrest Court, Lewiston, Id. 83501
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
1. Bulletin Editor—Lynn Enger, Ed Shoemaker, Mel Wilks, and
Dan Cease
2. Membership Chairman---Lon & Marilyn Sharp
1. Show Chairman---Steve Rand
3. Juniors Chairman---Mike Horne
3. Show Treasurer---Marilyn Sharp
4. Field Trip Chairman—
4. Dealer Chairman---'Gail Giard
5. Program Chairman ---
5. Advertising Chairman--- Steve Rand
6. Show & Tell Chairman---David & Jacque Dabritz
6. Displays Chairman--- Linn Enger
7. Claims Chairman---Rick Westerholm, Linn Enger and
Randy Squires
8. Historian Chairman---
7. Demonstrations Chairman---Mel Wilks
9. Library Chairman---
9. Silent Auction Chairman---Jerry Northrup
10. Sunshine Chairman---Mel & Betty Wilks
10. Kids Corner---Doug & Sally Debruin
11. ALAA---Linn Enger
(American Lands Access Association)
11. Admissions---Lola Collinsworth
2. Show Co-Chairman---Linn Enger
8. Floor Plan Chairman---Rick Westerholm
12. Security---Randy Squires
(Partial list)
September 14-15
Sat 10–5, Sun 10–5
Marcus Whitman Gem
and Mineral Society
September 21-22
Sat 9–6
October 11-13
Fri 10–6, Sat 10–6
Sun 10–5
Hellgate Mineral
October 12-13
Sat 10–5, Sun 10–5
Marysville Rock and
Gem Club
October 19-20
Sat 10–6, Sun 10–5
October 26-27
Sat 10–6, Sun 10–5
Hells Canyon Gem Club
November 9-10
Maplewood Rock and
Gem Club
Feb 8 & 9, 2014
Sat – 9 – 5
Sun – 9 – 4
Whidbey Island Gem
Portland Regional Gem
and Mineral Clubs
Bellevue Rock Club
Walla Walla Co. Frgrnds, Com.
Center, 9th Street & Orchard,
Walla Walla WA
Hilton Garden Inn, 3720 North
Reserve Street, Missoula MT
Washington County Fair
Complex, 873 NE 34th Avenue,
Hillsboro OR
Totem Middle School Cafeteria,
7th Street & State Avenue,
Marysville WA
Nez Perce County Fair, 1229
Burrell Avenue, Lewiston ID
Vasa Park, 3560 West Lake
Sammamish Blvd SE, Bellevue
Maplewood Clubhouse, 8802
196th St. SW, Edmonds WA
Oak Harbor Senior Center
51 SE Jerome Street, Oak
Harbor WA
Jack L Edwards 509 520
[email protected]
Bob Riggs 14 Holiday Lane
Missoula, MT 59801,
406 543 3667
L. Smith
[email protected] PO Box 5401
Portland OR 97228
Brian Murril 425 346 9313
[email protected]
Linn Enger 208 746 4957
[email protected]
Dave Scott 425 643 0546
[email protected]
Lauryn MacGregor [email protected] PO Box 5657
Lynnwood WA 98046
Keith Ludemann 360 675
1837 [email protected]
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
The WSMC sponsors field trips through various rock clubs in the state. These trips offer the general public as well as the experienced rockhound the opportunity to collect a
wide variety of materials from agate and jasper to crystals and fossils. Experienced guides familiar with the sites are on-hand to help find good quality material. Check with the
motorized vehicles allowed: Green Mountain (Kalama) and First Creek.
Check out the latest trip info, and tool listings at: mineralcouncil.org. (Updated: January 17, 2013)
Meet @
Red Top
8:00 @Teanaway R Camp
Agate, Jasper, Geodes, Jade
NW Opal
Little Naches
9:00 @ 410 &FR 19
Contact: Tony Johnson or Ed Lehman
Money Creek
9:00 @ Camp Ground
Pic Jasper, Ore
Blanchard Hill
9:00 @ I-5 240 exit gas station
Lt hard rock
Dig & Light hard rock tools
Light hard rock tools
Hard rock tools
(* Deposit must be received no later than 30 days before trip date to reserve spot; deposit fully refundable.) Participants must be age 16 or older; no children or
pets, please; maximum of 40 participants so get your reservations in early!)
Msvl-Wasco trip
Nw Op
Everett Rock & Gem Club
Lakeside Gem & Min Club
Marysville Rock Club
Brad Johnson (206) 403-3073
[email protected]
Andy Johnson (509) 546-1950
[email protected]
Ed Lehman (425) 334-6282
[email protected]
Stu & Kathy Earnst (360) 856-0588
[email protected],
27871 Minkler Rd, Sedro Woolley, WA 98284
Mt Baker Rock Club
Kris Menger (360) 927-0994
[email protected] comcast.net
NW Opal Association
Tony Johnson (253) 863-9238
[email protected]
All Rockhounds Club
Cliff Matteson (253) 475-8433
[email protected]
Rock Rollers of Spokane
Mike Shaw (509) 251-1574
[email protected]
West Seattle Rock & Gem Club Brian Waters (206) 290-2312
[email protected]
Yakima Rock & Min Club
Jerry Wichstrom (509) 653-2787
[email protected]
Trips are open to all. Most 2 day trips include Sat potluck, Sun free breakfast, tailgating, swap, and horse shoes. Small fee required for Pow Wow and
Madras trips. FOR MORE INFORMATION contact Ed Lehman at [email protected] or (425) 334-6282. Or see mineralcouncil.org
The following is an excerpt from a rock climbing guide description for a series of climbs, starting in 1971, in the
Sawtooth Range.
Pursuit of “Bluebonnet Tower” and the search for the “Crystal Cave”
By Ray Brooks
Soon there was a second reason for me to climb in the Warbonnet area. It was the home of the “lost crystal cave.”
I worked summers for the Forest Service in the Sawtooth National Forest, during my college years. Just after the
Thompson Peak climb, the Forest Service had me haul some supplies (and a requested bottle of whiskey) up to an
isolated Forest Service “Guard Station” for an old employee named Jim. I got there late and after unloading supplies:
Jim invited me to have dinner with him. After food and a little whiskey, I asked him what he knew about the
Warbonnet area. He was a little reluctant to talk at first, but with a “wee bit” more whiskey, he shared some very
interesting information.
His father had been a horse-packer and guide for some 1930’s Sawtooth climbers. Jim explained that his father had
gotten a taste for climbing, but also had found crystals.
“Crystals”? I said, leaning forward.
Jim straightened up, and nearly shouted: “yah, quartz crystals, certain spots are full of them: big ones----some are
huge! There’s a bunch around Warbonnet.”
Jim’s voice got lower: “give me some more of that “nerve tonic”, and I’ll tell you a true story about my old man and
Sawtooth crystals.” After taking a long deep sip of whiskey: Jim told the story. “During World War II, quartz crystals
were worth good money as radio crystals. I got drafted, but my father hiked the Sawtooths and brought out a lot of
those crystals. “
“Late one fall, my father was crystal hunting up in the Warbonnet area. He had to do some pretty hard climbing, but
finally fetched up below a cave full of crystals.”
Jim shook his head ruefully. “Dad told me, there was a big snowstorm coming, but he climbed up into that cave
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
anyway, even though he wasn’t sure if he could climb back down to get out.”
Jim explained that the cave had many beautiful crystals, but they were too big to carry out. All the quartz crystals
were 2 or 3 feet long and weighed hundreds of pounds. His dad anchored a rope around a big one and rappelled out of
the cave into a blinding snowstorm. Three days later, after many close-calls in the heavy snows, his father stumbled
through the front door of his cabin.
“Dad never went back to the Sawtooths again, and I was always scared of heights,” Jim added.
Jim clapped me on the back! “That crystal cave is still up there youngster---right near Warbonnet!”
The next morning, as I was leaving to go back to my ranger station, Jim shook hands and said: “you be careful up in
that Warbonnet area. My old man thought the storms up there were the worst he had ever seen.”
(Please note: collecting mineral specimens has been illegal in the Sawtooths since 1990 and quartz crystals now have
no industrial value.)
Later that summer: Harry Bowron and I made a twelve-day climbing trip into the Warbonnet area.
We had some handicaps unfamiliar to many climbers these days. The only maps available did not show any details of
the mountains in the area. There was no guidebook or “topos.” On the plus side, there was a good Forest Service trail
and Harry, a NOLS course graduate and fearless leader, had got me “up to speed” (for 1971 Idaho) on technical rock
Our map: 1969 Forest Service map of Sawtooth Primitive Area---no USGS quads until fall 1972.
We were out of camp at first light and hiked and scrambled up lines of weakness on the northeast corner of “our
Warbonnet” (Big Baron Spire) until we found a wide ledge that took us well out onto the north face. Along the way, I
found a perfect 4” x 8” quartz crystal. It was a ‘good omen” and we carefully buried it, then hiked on up.
Maybe the “Crystal Cave” was above us?
On both our ascents, we kept our eyes open for “the crystal cave” but never found a clue around our route, other than
the one perfect crystal and some broken fragments.
After the float season was over, in late summer 1972, Harry Bowron, David Thomas, and I went into upper Goat
Creek on the south-west side of Warbonnet in the Sawtooth Range. No trail goes into Goat Creek. On the way in we
climbed another big peak in the area: Packrat. From its summit we were able to figure out where Warbonnet was, and
how to approach it.
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
View is northeast to Warbonnet at upper right center, with Cirque Lake towers to right.
At the time, Warbonnet, 10,200 Ft. had a reputation as one of the most remote and difficult peaks in the Sawtooth
Range. It is still considered a remote technical climb, with the easiest route to the summit rated 5.4.
Finally, summer 1977, I was back with two friends. Mike Paine, was a very good climber, and Frank Michaels, was
always willing to give it a try. We packed “Sawtooth Overloads” up from Redfish Lake into Baron Lakes on day one.
It appeared we had hit a storm cycle in an area noted for thunderstorms. The next day started with a thunderstorm, but
cleared shortly after. It was time to go deal with the tower that I had seen from Fish Hook Spire in 1971, and to search
a little more for the “Crystal Cave.”
We then took care of the second of two mysteries, in one day. From the top of “Bluebonnet Tower” we could see an
area of reflected late-afternoon light one-half mile south. Could the reflections be from crystals?
Within an hour, we were working our way up through an area of large loose rocks and debris. It was obvious that this
area had recently broken away from the face above us. We started finding big fragments of quartz crystals. Then we
found what was left of “the crystal cave.” It appeared that its roof had broken and fallen: destroying most of the
crystals. Some impressive, but battered, and dirty specimens remained in a dark tunnel that went up steeply. It was a
dangerous area. Rocks were falling on us from unstable cliffs above.
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
Large broken fragments of quartz and feldspar crystals in the destroyed “crystal cave.”
I was drawn back up to “the crystal cave” while Frank and Mike packed up for our hike out. I could not find the cave.
Massive rock falls covered the area we had looked at the day before. More storm-loosened rock kept crashing down
on the same area.
I finally found one small crystal: that somehow survived, under a large tottering boulder. It too would soon be
smashed: when that boulder fell, so I saved it and carried it a short distance away from the landslide. Later: I did a
solo trip into the same area, with minimal gear, wandered around places that were significant to me, and then carried
the crystal to a safe home.
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
Ray today, with “small crystal” he saved in 1975.
Later we hiked rough terrain over to where “the crystal cave” had been. Nothing remains but large broken rocks. Nice
view though! Both Kim and I then scrambled up very loose and dangerous rock to a high saddle and an awesome
view into Goat Creek and peaks further west! (danger and scenery at the same time-I still love that adrenaline fix!)
“The Crystal Cave” is buried. The best new routes are all climbed. It is a long hike into the area. Lightning storms are
“frequent and vigorous.” A lot of the rock is “choss.” The fish are seldom biting, but wood ticks, carnivorous-flies,
and mosquitoes are: usually biting. No reason to go there anymore;<)
I will repeat: collecting mineral specimens has been illegal in the Sawtooths since 1990.
Excerpt taken from “Idaho: A Climbing Guide” by Tom Lopez
The complete story can be found at this link:
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Sapphire (Greek: sappheiros, 'blue stone', which probably referred
instead at the time to lapis lazuli) is a gemstone variety of the
mineral corundum, an aluminum oxide(α-Al2O3). Trace amounts of
other elements such as iron, titanium, chromium, copper, or
magnesium can give corundum blue, yellow, purple, orange, or a
greenish color. Chromium impurities in corundum yield a pink or red
tint, the latter being called a ruby.
Commonly, sapphires are worn in jewelry. Sapphires may be found
naturally, by searching through certain sediments (due to their
resistance to being eroded compared to softer stones) or rock
formations. They also may be manufactured for industrial or
decorative purposes in large crystal boules. Because of the
remarkable hardness of sapphires—nine on the Mohs scale—and of
aluminum oxide in general, sapphires are used in some nonornamental applications, including infrared optical components, such
as in scientific instruments; high-durability windows; wristwatch
crystals and movement bearings; and very thin electronic wafers,
which are used as the insulating substrates of very special-purpose
solid-state electronics (most of which are integrated circuits).
423-CARAT Logan sapphire
Natural sapphires The sapphire is one of the three gem varieties of
corundum, the other two being ruby – defined as corundum in a
shade of red—and padparadscha—a pinkish orange variety.
Although blue is their most well-known color, sapphires may also be
colorless and they are found in many colors including shades of gray
and black.
The cost of natural sapphires varies depending on their color, clarity,
size, cut, and overall quality – as well as their geographic origin.
Significant sapphire deposits are found in Eastern Australia,
Thailand, Sri Lanka, China (Shandong), Madagascar, East Africa,
and in North America in a few locations, mostly in Montana.
Sapphire and rubies are often found in the same geographic
environment, but one of the gems is usually more abundant in any of
the sites.
An uncut, rough yellow sapphire found at the
Spokane Sapphire Mine near Helena, Montana
Pink sapphire--Yellow and green sapphires are also commonly found. Pink sapphires deepen in color as
the quantity of chromium increases. The deeper the pink color the higher their
monetary value, as long as the color is tending toward the red of rubies. In the
United States, a minimum color saturation must be met to be called a ruby,
otherwise the stone will be called a pink sapphire.
Sapphires also occur in shades of orange and brown. Colorless sapphires are
sometimes used as diamond substitutes in jewelry. Natural padparadscha
(pinkish orange) sapphires often draw higher prices than many of even the
finest blue sapphires. Recently, more sapphires of this color have appeared on
the market as a result of a new artificial treatment method that is called "lattice
A star sapphire is a type of sapphire that exhibits a star-like phenomenon known as asterism; red stones
are known as "star rubies". Star sapphires contain intersecting needle-like inclusions following the
underlying crystal structure that cause the appearance of a six-rayed "star"-shaped pattern when viewed
with a single overhead light source. The inclusion is often the mineral rutile, a mineral composed primarily
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
of titanium dioxide. The stones are cut en cabochon, typically with the center of the star near the top of the
dome. Occasionally, twelve-rayed stars are found, typically because two different sets of inclusions are
found within the same stone, such as a combination of fine needles of rutile with small platelets of
hematite; the first results in a whitish star and the second results in a golden-colored star. During
crystallization, the two types of inclusions become preferentially oriented in different directions within the
crystal, thereby forming two six-rayed stars that are superimposed upon each other to form a twelve-rayed
star. Misshapen stars or 12-rayed stars may also form as a result of twinning. The inclusions can
alternatively produce a "cat's eye" effect if the 'face-up' direction of the cabochon's dome is oriented
perpendicular to the crystal's c-axis rather than parallel to it. If the dome is oriented in between these two
directions, an 'off-center' star will be visible, offset away from the high point of the dome.
The Black Star of Queensland, the largest gem-quality star sapphire in the world, weighs 733 carats. The
Star of India (weighing 563.4 carats) is thought to be the second-largest star sapphire (the largest blue),
and is currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The 182-carat
Star of Bombay, located in the National Museum of Natural History, in Washington, D.C., is another
example of a large blue star sapphire. The value of a star sapphire depends not only on the weight of the
stone, but also the body color, visibility, and intensity of the asterism.
Color change sapphire--A rare variety of natural sapphire that exhibits different colors in different light.
Color change sapphires are blue in outdoor light and purple under incandescent indoor light. Some stones
shift color well and others only partially, in that some stones go from blue to bluish purple. While color
change sapphires come from a variety of locations, the gem gravels of Tanzania is the main source.
Artificial sapphire material is identical to natural sapphire, except it can be made without the flaws that
are found in natural stones. Many methods of manufacturing sapphire today are variations of the
Czochralski process, which was invented in 1916. In this process a tiny sapphire seed crystal is dipped
into a crucible made of the precious metal iridium or molybdenum, containing molten alumina, and then
slowly withdrawn upward at a rate of one to 100 mm per hour. The alumina crystallizes on the end,
creating long carrot-shaped boules of large size, up to 400 mm in diameter and weighing almost 500 kg.
Synthetic sapphire is industrially produced from agglomerated aluminum oxide, sintered and fused in an
inert atmosphere yielding a transparent polycrystalline product, slightly porous, or with more traditional
methods such as Verneuil, Czochralski, flux method, etc., yielding a single crystal sapphire material which
is non-porous and should be relieved of its internal stress.
In 2003 the world's production of synthetic sapphire was 250 tons (1.25 × 109 carats), mostly by the United
States and Russia. The availability of cheap synthetic sapphire unlocked many industrial uses for this
unique material:
Common applications--The first laser was made with a rod of synthetic ruby. Titanium-sapphire lasers
are popular due to their relatively rare capacity to be tuned to various wavelengths in the red and nearinfrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum.
One application of synthetic sapphire is sapphire glass. Here glass is a layman term which refers not to the
amorphous state, but to the transparency. Sapphire is not only highly transparent to wavelengths of light
between 150 nm (UV) and 5500 nm (IR) (the human eye can discern wavelengths from about 380 nm to
750 nm), but is also extraordinarily scratch-resistant. Sapphire has a value of 9 on the Mohs scale of
mineral hardness.
Along with zirconia and aluminium oxynitride, synthetic sapphire is used for shatter resistant windows in
armored vehicles and various military body armor suits, in association with composites.
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
Three years ago, a special interest license plate was designed to promote Idaho as the
Gem State. The concept of the plate is to use the revenue generated from license plate
sales to directly give back to our students and increase knowledge of rocks, minerals,
gems, fossils, earth science and lapidary arts.
In 2012, Legislature decided to discontinue special interest plates, accepting no more
new designs, but allowing Idaho to keep the existing programs/plates active. However,
we need to meet a quota every year of active registrations. We are at risk for losing our
plate program if sales do not increase by Dec. 31, 2013.
Therefore, we are calling on teachers, students, rock hounds, mineral and gem lovers to
spread the word and save our plate.
Schools benefit by receiving the extra funding to give kids what they want and need to
promote education in earth sciences. By increasing education for the K-6 graders, we
ensure Idaho's future protection of our most valuable resource, Gems and Minerals.
Please, contact your local DMV today to upgrade your current license plate or purchase a
new registration — to the Earth Science Lapidary plate. Personalized plates are available
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
Experimental Aircraft Association
Octoberfest 2013
Community Yard Sale/Swap Meet
Saturday October 5th 2013
EAA Hangar, 270 O'Connor Rd. Lewiston Idaho.
All Vendors Welcome!
Family, and community yard. sale, Arts & Crafts and small businesses.
Vendors will provide their own sun shade, table and chairs. Space rents for
$20 per 10' X 10' area. Gate opens at 7am for vendors, rain or shine,
8am to the public. Breakfast will be served 8am-10am Lunch from 10am1pm by the E.A.A. ($5 donation). Gate closes at 5pm.
Vendors Information Contact:
Jay @ (509) 758-8717 or (509) 254-7127
Fly-In Information contact:
Jay @ 208 816 4373
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BOULDER BUSTER Volume #48 Issue # 9, 2013
Mystery rocks answer
Hard Boiled Wonderland: New Mexico’s Bisti Egg Garden
Geography & Travel, History & Trivia, Nature & Ecosystems
The Bisti Egg Garden is an unusual, atypical and accessible rock formation located in the Bisti Wilderness Area near Farmington, New Mexico. Though other famous rock formations have
achieved fame for their size and scenic beauty, the Bisti Egg Garden proves that even in geology, good things come in small packages.
Many more pictures and info at the following link…..
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