Rock Hounding Day 2

Today was our second day rock hounding and tonight is our third night camping. I’d like to start on Day 1 but there is too much to tell and it is better to start somewhere than nowhere. So day 2 it is. We’ll start last night.

Picture this.  The Wright family has just fallen asleep in its tent right next to the picturesque Antelope Lake at the top of a hill somewhere in northern California when we hear a noise like pots and pans banging around.  I hear a “honey look”.  I look outside the tent.  The moon is almost full and in its beams I see a bear over by our picnic table.  A bear!

This is my first bear.  Caleb runs out and beeps the car.  The bear runs about 10 feet away but he still has something banging.  Caleb jumps around and honks the car and the bear runs away for reals.  Caelb walks around and finds a broken box that used to hold our Master Mind pegs and children’s Tylenol. Yum.

Then back to sleep.  I  was a little scared it would come back but it did not. We are guessing the bear came because our bin looked like a cooler even though we put all the food in the car. This morning our camping neighbors called it a small bear but I guess any bear looks big to me.

Here are the claw (or tooth?) marks it left in our bin.


But now over to the hounding. If you have never heard of rock hounding it means collecting rocks.  Caleb set up this nice trip for our family where we head out to places found in rock hounding guides known to have good rocks.  So far in the first two days this has involved confusing directions of mile markers. dirt roads, and barbed wire fences.  

Today we went to a place near Susanville.  Head north from Susanville 10.3 miles and then take a left toward a barbed wire fence.  Open it and drive straight through cow country 1.4 miles. Then park, walk half a mile north to an empty stream bed and look down to find rocks. And indeed there were cool rocks.


We were in a haven of petrified wood and agate or chalcedony. Hard to know the difference if you have never heard of either and do not have the the Internet to check.  

Here is what the place looked like:





Oh yeah and we found a skeleton too.


We made a picnic and then walked around looking at the ground for about an hour. I was happy that there was a use for the oversized picnic blanket that I insisted on packing.  The was so much petrified wood that we took far less than we saw.  It made Lucy remark that the road trip was not as bad as she expected. A very high compliment.

And here is what our loot of petrified wood (and also my picnic blanket if you are curious) looked like after we poured it out at tonight’s campsite.  (Leo still has not learned how to smile at the camera).


A close up of some savers:


Tonight we are possibly in the nicest campsite I’ve ever visited.  But more on that later as it is time to enjoy.