Well these posts are not exactly in order. Fast forward through Grand Teton, Meteor Shower, Bend, and then head out west and you will end up in at a lovely campsite at Trout Creek on the South Santiam River and now Auntie Lisa has been able to join us.
After rockhounding in the heat had not been such a hit, we decided to look for rocks in the stream. Finding rocks in a stream can be a mixed strategy because sometimes they just look so beautiful but then when they dry it is always a disappointment. Lisa found some really weird slimy green ones and I found this one that I am sure is a thunderegg just river wore down.
Lisa sat down by the side of the river and starting piling up the stones. That’s what you do at the river, she explained. It does turn out to be a fun activity. We didn’t take any pictures at this stony river but here are some stone piles from the next.
This was also the first night that we camped with anyone else and our first night where our campsite had two tents. Lisa was a little jealous of our fancy REI get up but all of us were pretty impressed with what you can get for 30 bucks these days. Lucy wanted to sleep in her Auntie’s tent so me, Caleb and Leo had a roomy night while poor Lisa was kicked and woken up and told she was taking up too much space.
Not to be sidetracked from our purpose of collecting rocks, the next day we went out to hound some petrified wood. This is the family standing outside the Holleywood Ranch. Out back there are just piles of petrified wood and holes to dig in and find more. All to be purchased for $1.50 a pound.
Turns out this farm just has tons of varieties of petrified wood and it used to be some sort of beach. When people talk about petrified wood they often talk about it being 300 million years old or some other number of million years old. That gives the impression that it takes millions of years for wood to turn to stone. But actually, while it is a little hard to figure out how long it actually takes, it is more likely that the wood just needs to be attacked by a volcano in the appropriate way and then it will petrify in something like 7-100 years, but that all these volcanos occurred about 100+ million years ago.
While we adults were wandering around collecting wood, the kids were collecting something else in abundance at this ranch: blackberries!
After all the collecting we and Lisa assessed our rocks. We were thinking about the $1.50 per pound and didn’t want to spend so much money so we selected our very best ones. When the guy who ran the place came back to collect our money he didn’t seem too strict about price and told Liss hers was $5 and us ours were $15. If we knew he was not going to measure our rocks well all woulda got more. But hey, now that we are home and have a counter full of petrified wood it is probably better.
No day on our roadtrip would be complete without cheeseburgers for lunch, or as the kids call it: “chezbugafoo”. So we went to the only diner in town and actually got terrible cheeseburgers for the first time on our trip. We felt pretty lucky that it took this long to get a bad cheeseburger. When it was time to leave Lucy announced that she needed to poop. Then she went to the bathroom for an hour. OMG, was it time to leave that restaurant but there was no removing Lucy from the bathroom. Once we finally got on the road, the bad news for Lisa was that she got stuck behind a burning truck and had to wait a few hours to get on the highway. Damn Lucy and her long poop! Lisa assures us it was worth it, and it was for us!