Saturday, 17 February 2018

Contacting Us

E-mail:   Email is always the best way to contact us!  Unless we're on a mountain beyond cell range, we check email every day.

Main Postal address:
PO Box 809, Ravensdale, WA 98051 USA


Canadian Postal address:

18850 Pass Crk/RC East FSR,  Grand Forks, BC V0H 1H8 Canada


Australian Postal address:

c/o Littlely, 19 Clarence St., Nhill, Vic 3518 Australia



Phone: (425) 413-1122

24 hour answering machine, only monitored when we're not out digging.  Leave a message, we will (eventually) call you back.  You'll get quicker service if you email.

We're often in the field for weeks at time, so it may take a while to return your call or e-mail.

The Fine Print

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.

rockcandyCome along as we go Rockin' Across the Cascades, and you'll explore the way Washington & BC Canada was assembled.  Our state contains pieces of ancient sea floor, volcanic islands, fossil-rich sediments, and huge masses of magma crystallized into granites, porphrys, andesites and basalts.   At the end of our trip, you'll be able to identify these and other rock types, and will have collected heaps of the beautiful gems, fossils, and crystals they contain.

The Klondike Mountain formation, exposed near Republic, contains abundant fossil plants from the tropical forest which once covered Washington. Everyone will find interesting fossils at this very easy access locality, which is stop #4 on our three days of family geology adventure.

On this Rockin' trip you'll learn the secrets of prospectors, to be able to find your own gem and mineral localities.   This trip is the field portion of Bob's popular prospecting class, but you do not have to take the class to find treasures on the trip. You'll learn to read the rocks for clues, as we collect jasper, crystals, pumice and other volcanic surprises, all of which owe their existance to Washington's volcanic heritage.  We'll trace the violent explosions and quiet eruptions which built the Cascade volcanos we see today, all outside the park, so you can keep all the treasures we find! 

We overnight in Chehalis, where you'll dig into our edible geology program on Saturday evening.  Our mid-price motel offers comfortable accomodations; we provide a booking code with your confirmation so the motel will give you our discounted rate. You can attend the evening program whether you stay with the group or on your own.

Join us for a fun-filled, weekend family adventure , exploring how BC was assembled. We'll collect crystals and gem materials as we follow ancient coastlines turned to mountains.

Trip starts Saturday in Greenwood, B.C. (private group trips can start in Kelowna, B.C. or Wenatchee, WA instead) and ends Sunday in Grand Forks. On Saturday, you'll learn the fascinating geology of the Canadian Okanagan Valley, collect crystals, copper minerals and serpentine, and learn to identify the rocks that built BC's mountains.  You'll spend the nite at our Astronomy B&B in Osoyoos, where you'll view the universe and learn to photograph amazing celestial objects.  On Sunday, you'll find fabulous fluorite, beautiful barite, and sparkling quartz geodes at the famous Rock Candy Mountain. Head home at your own pace.

Diplomystus  Fish are among the most prized fossils, and you’ll collect a bunch of them on our trip to Wyoming’s Green River basin! The 48 million year old fossils are collected in quarries, where the hard work of stripping overburden has been done for us. Our first stop in Wyoming will be at Fossil Butte National Monument, where you’ll see all the amazing fossils the area has to offer. Then we’ll dig for one day in a public quarry, where you will learn professional collecting techniques. Our second day will be in a private quarry, not open to the public. You can reasonably expect to collect a dozen to a hundred fish of different species, depending on luck and how diligently you hammer.  Click here for our Wyoming photo album.

As on all our Rockin’ trips, we’ll collect at a different locality each day as we drive across the spectacular scenery of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. We’ll find ammonites, petrified wood, and colorful common opal at public and private localities along our route, then have two full days in the Kemmerer fossil quarries.  Last year, every person on the trip, including a 9 year old, found at least 100 fish!

Imagine Bed & Breakfast at a mountaintop crystal mine... with the miners exposing fresh vugs every day, just for your collecting pleasure! That's our Ultimate Adventure.

Your small group (2 to 5 people, adults only), will spend 3 days at Spruce and 3 days at Rock Candy. We'll drive between the localities in our comfy air-conditioned van, with stops at other crystal and fossil locales along the way. Depending on your interests, we can include wildlife photography, hotsprings, or Native American heritage side trips.