Category: Rockhounding


Gastropods, Ghost Towns, Pyramid Builders, and a Moose

What do a geologist and his rock-obsessed girlfriend (me!) do in a brand-new state with six extra days? They go on a geologic tour of the state, of course!

We are just home from a car camping loop from Laramie to the Wind River Range and everything in between. The car was a bit heavier on the return because of, well, ROCKS. This obsession is a little out of control…

Almost immediately up the highway, we whizzed right by a roadside building that I recognized from my online research. We screeched to a stop and turned back to take a closer look. This historical stone hut made up of thousands of dinosaur fossils sits below a bluff where craptons of dino fossils have been excavated. Apparently, these discoveries contributed a great deal to the collective knowledge of the creatures of the Jurassic. The “Dinosaurium” looked abandoned and in serious need of repair. I’m guessing that any new fossils discovered are used for science and not to patch up this early 20th-century hut…

Chilean Memorial Beach, WA

Olympic Coast Backpacking

Red sunset over the Olympic Coast

With each tide the Pacific kept spitting out these gorgeous rocks right at our feet, already tumbled to a smooth finish. Each one was more beautiful than the last. After a while I had to stop picking them up. Beach backpacking with 10 pounds of rocks in the bottom of your pack is a tough workout!

Swift Creek, WA

Baker Blues

The intention was only to canoe camp at Baker Lake, but at the last minute we decided to follow an obscure lead for Washington blue agate (“Baker Blues”, not to be confused with the rarer “Ellensburg Blues”) at the confluence of some nearby creeks. Yes, we found it! Most of the agate was still encased in the host rock, but I’m guessing that these will clean up really well in a tumbler. The blues range from sky blue all the way to white. I also found a nice slab of pyrite (too heavy to backpack home), and this striped stone that I absolutely adore. This spot was really special.