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.