I'm Bob Jackson, a retired geologist. I've been collecting minerals, fossils, and plain ol' pretty rocks since I was a Cub Scout, and now I'm ... well, practically a fossil myself. While working as a collector for museums, I've acquired some world class collecting localities.
In 1983, after running school field trips for my wife's 3rd grade classes, I founded Geology Adventures, which now provides collecting opportunities and learning experiences to over 1500 people per year. If collecting abundant mineral specimens amid spectacular mountain scenery appeals to you, try our Rock Candy or Rockin adventures.
If your kids think getting dirty in search of crystal or fossil treasures would be fun, join us for a day of exciting, educational exploration on our Crystal Kid or Amber trips; or join one of our 3 to 5 day "Rockin" summer adventures across the west, collecting goodies as we go.
If adventure travel is what you crave, join us for amazing collecting experiences in Australia or Spain. See you in the hills!
Bob frequently presents programs about mineral collecting and geologic adventure travel to Seattle-area and international groups. Upcoming talks are listed below.
May 19, 2018 Rockhound Rendezvous, Rock Creek fairgrounds, Rock Creek, BC Canada "Rock Candy Mine, the next 25 years" is Bob's lecture topic on the first evening of this annual Canadian all-field trip weekend sponsored by the BCLS and Penticton Gem & Mineral club.
Geology for Rockhounds class
Bob teaches this popular prospecting course indoors, usually during winter or spring. You’ll have 2 days of fun with pretty rocks, and a few ugly ones, as you learn to identify which rock types and structures to look in for crystals, agates, and gems.
No science or geology background is needed. The class is jargon-free. You’ll learn to interpret the often confusing information in geologic reports, maps, and other references. By the end of this class, you’ll be able to recognize clues to geologic goodies from a distance, you’ll know which construction areas and road cuts are worth a look, and you’ll have the confidence to walk away from over-dug localities to find new ones nearby.
- Usually taught on two consecutive Saturdays, in the Seattle area. Or can be presented for your group at any NW location.
- For groups, minimum number of participants is 15.
- This is an adult course, but interested teenagers are welcome.
On our newest Rockin trip we'll explore exciting geology along the back roads of Oregon. Oregon has historically produced a wide variety of silica-based gems: agates, jaspers, petrified wood and obsidian. These colorful semi-precious stones occur in many forms and types of deposits. You'll have no trouble filling your backpack or vehicle with these pretty stones. The trip is offered in 2 lengths: 3 or 5 days. The first 3 days we'll collect the silica gems at easy access, very productive localities, and stay at a very comfortable new motel with swimming pool and excellent dining opportunities nearby in Bend, Oregon. Bring lots of boxes or buckets as you'll take home a lot of great rocks!
The last two days we'll hunt more valuable, and therefore less abundant gemstones: sunstone and precious opal. Our sunstone locality (Day 4) is the best in North America, producing highly-prized red and bicolor stones, as well as the more-common yellows. The precious opals (Day 5) are harder to find, but we've never come home empty handed, and quite valuable pieces are found here regularly. On Bob's last visit a 10-year old found a $5,000 piece! We can't promise that will happen, but we can promise you'll have a great timeOur itinerary for days 4 and 5 requires longer drives and two nights at a less-upscale accommodation. Our base-camp is an older Best Western in a scenic but middle-of-nowhere southern Oregon town ... clean and comfortable ... but expect 1960's size rooms with no frills. Dinner choices are a pretty good local Mexican restaurant or sandwich fixins from your cooler.
Next trip: June 2019.
Prices: 3 day trip -- Adults $290; Kids (15 & under) $200
5 day trip -- Adults $590; Kids (12 & under) $500 The gem mines charge us their adult rate for kids over 12
Final 2 days (sunstone & opal) only: Adults: $300. As this is our first year for this trip, we are limiting the number of kids on the final two days.
The fine print: Prices do not include lodging. We supply a discount code for the motels we recommend when you reserve your spaces with us. You will be able to participate in all our activities if you choose to stay at other places or camp. We supply all needed tools, but you are welcome to bring your own. If kids use our hammers, they must wear our safety glasses.
Meeting place(s): Day 1: North Bend, WA 9:00 a.m. Directions to meeting places are sent when you reserve your spaces
Biggs Junction, OR 12:30 p.m.
Day 2: Bend, OR 8:00 a.m.
Day 4: Lakeview, OR 8:00 a.m.
What to bring: Vehicle in good repair, full tank of gas. Cell phone. Sunscreen, sun hat, water bottles, extra water jug(s), ice chest, snacks, lunches. Strong cardboard boxes or Rubbermaid tubs to put your rocks in. Paper towels to wrap your rocks. Layered clothing ... we'll be traveling in high desert, which can be unseasonably hot or cold in June. Average daily temperatures are 70's to 80's, but 30's to 100's are possible. Snow is possible in high country Oregon in June, as are very high temperatures. Check the weather for Bend, Oregon (3 day trip) and Denio, NV (5 day trip) before you leave home to bring appropriate clothing.
Join us for a wonderful adventure in Spain, home to the world's best pyrite collecting, fabulous fluorite and the type locality for aragonite. Friendly people, easy accommodations, history at your doorstep, and great food make traveling there a pleasure. We meet you at Barcelona airport, and step immediately back in time to the 9th century. On our first nite, we sleep in comfort at a castle originally built before 900 AD Our first collecting stop is on Day 2, finding pyrite cubes at the world famous mines in Navajun. Over 3 days time, you'll collect abundant pyrite in 3 different habits, including impressive matrix specimens of cubes and bars at localities not open to the public.
We'll continue our journey thru Spain's mini-Alps, the Picos de Europa. In the Picos, we'll visit the largest cave in Spain, and collect beautiful fluorite while exploring the eye-catching scenery produced when Spain smashed into France, along what is now the Atlantic coast. Using Bob's contacts, we'll visit great private collections and share the expertise of local collectors. Join us for an exhilerating experience in one of Europe's most ancient cultures. 13 days of fun in the sun!