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Congrats to you Wayne and Patty, from another old windbag.
Sounds like a dream vacation - except for the campground. This is how I would love to spend my retirement someday. Love the specimens you collected.
Great report Mike, looked like great weather too, bad when you have to find out the hard way about the bad campgrounds like that one in Deming. would think they would have offered to repay you for the showers you had to take at the truck stop out of a matter of decency and common courtesy.

like the looks of the fluorite and barite blades out there at Eddie`s mine, very pretty stuff.

guess you didnt have to worry about rattlesnakes out there that time of the year ?

Mike Streeter
Jim - You're welcome and thank you. There were about eight other people at Rockhound State Park collecting rocks during the time we spent there. A married couple of complete novices pulled into the parking area when Chrissy and I were gearing up. After providing them lots of advice, we invited them to follow us up to where I knew we'd be digging. Having never collected anywhere before, they were there trying to find some goodies for their grand kids. It took them some time to finally make it up to where we were recovering thundereggs, but when they did, it soon became their "lucky day" as Chrissy and I had plenty to share and they got to rub Opal's belly.

Hey Wayne - Thanks! Chrissy wouldn't believe me, but I swore you had a tail, and now you've confirmed it! LOL Happy anniversary to you and Saint Patty. Also, it seems that rattlesnakes like to hide deep in rock piles when it's cold as I've found out twice so far out west, and you know how I like to move rock. I uncovered a big one in Arizona this way and he was none too happy for having his nap interupted.

Hi Sue - Thanks! It was a dream vacation with only one relatively brief nightmare in Deming. Here's hoping you get to do the same one day, except for the nightmare part.

Hi James - Thanks! Yep, you'd think the campground owner would have at least apologized for our inconvenience. I know we could have left and asked for a refund when we found out about the sewer problem on the first day, but the owner kept stringing us along. I don't believe this was purposeful, but the psycho cussing out by his daughter-in-law sure was. I believe we were owed a refund and my asking for one was out of principle as we could well afford to drop an extra thirty bucks on our vacation. We could have canceled the check we provided as payment, but thirty bucks is not worth the risk of having our credit damaged. We just chalked this up to yet another case of poop happens and moved on.

We did have to worry about rattlesnakes as it was still warm enough for them to be out. As a matter of fact, Chrissy came upon a small one in Orogrande. I didn't see it because I had my nose in a hole while she was surface collecting the area, but her eyes were big when she reported it to me. It was a good thing we had left Opal in the back of the truck to rest or she may have found the snake.


Al O
Mike, The barite specimens from Eddie's claim/mine seems to be much better quality than other barites from that area. Even though there appears to be a lot of iron oxides in the shaft walls, the specimens don't seem to be encrusted. The fluorite also does not appear to be very etched by secondary events either. Did you have to take the iron-out to the specimens? If not, that made for some great collecting of some beautiful specimens. Also, does the fluorite fluoresce? I'm just mentally comparing them to material I collected at the Blanchard Claims.

A comment on the tiltage thunder eggs: Many of them are rather heavily brecciated. I would think even a local landslide event would seperate the breccia pieces further apart. Localized slumping or compression due to folding on a large enough scale seems more logical to explain the brecciation as you can usually eyeball the brecciated fragments back together in any single thunder egg. Tiltage of a fault block works for me but I think the tiltage can be partly explained by very localized events. The whole sequence of events was more localized and inter-related related than some geologists think. You can't take the easy way out with complex messy volcanic events and end up with those wonderful brecciated and tiltage features.

Thanks for sharing another great adventure!
Al O
Thanks. I thought maybe you were at one of the 5 or 6 well known and published sites and were at liberty to say which one.
In NM, the rhyolite "bed" stretches from T or C down past Las Cruces then over to north of Deming. At a few of the sites the rhyolite is so crystalline that the Native Americans used to knap arrowheads from it.
There are several outcroppings up in Utah also, where they call it Wonderstone. In T or C it's called Candy Rock. At one time a guy put all of it down there in southern NM under claim, and tried to hog it all, till he found out rhyolite is too common and thus not "locatable" under federal mining law. The T or C area has been collected by one and all for over 50 years, and while you can still fill buckets with it, the real pretty striped or varigated stuff which was the outer more oxidized layer is pretty much gone.
It's kinda like all the agates and petrified woods found in the ancient river bed called the Rio Puerco here in NM. You could fill up trainload after trainload and never put a dent in the supply.
Mike Streeter
Al - Most of the barite in Eddie's mine has only a minor coating of iron oxide. I soaked the pictured specimens in a hot Super IronOut solution overnight and it removed most it. Most of the fluorite is sharp and without etching and fluoresces from pale blue to pale lavender under shortwave UV.

In my report, I wrote, "It is thought by geologists that tiltage thundereggs record either small local landslides or tilting of local fault blocks within the Little Florida Mountains while the agate or chalcedony were precipitating from hydrothermal fluids." By this, I was referring only to the "horizontal layers of agate and/or chalcedony overlain by tilted horizontal layers of more agate and/or chalcedony". You are right to suggest there is a much more complex explanation as to how the thundereggs formed and maybe, just maybe I was taking "the easy way out". But since I'm far from being an expert on "complex messy volcanic events", I'd have to do a whole lot more studying of the thundereggs and geology of the area before writing more about it. I didn't write anything about the geology of the Luna County rhyolite location featured on page 2 of the report for the same reason. I have found some web pages that begin to describe the geology surrounding and including the park and the Luna Co. rhyolite location, but I'm still muddling through them in what little spare time I have. I would LOVE to revisit all the locations we collected with expert geologists who know the areas because much of the geology is mind boggling, at least to me.

And, you're welcome and I always appreciate your perspective.

Joe D.

I find whistling while I collect tends to make the rattlesnakes more friendly. I ran over a big one on an old sand road out there in Arizona and stopped to see if I hurt the fellow. It was waiting for me to show it's displeasure of being ran over but was not harmed. It was coiled up and mock striking at me to show who was the boss of that road. I did the soft sand shuffle on out of there and left it in peace. The sand was so soft that it helped cushion the snake from harm. It did upset the fellow though.

Joe D.
Al O
Hello Mike,
Thanks for the info on the fluorites. It took more, a lot more, to clean up some of the Blanchard material I collected. And the color of the fluorites from Eddie's is much nicer.

Please don't think I was implying you took an easy way out on the explanation of the tiltage thundereggs. I spent some time in the section you were digging and was fascinated by the complexity of the volcanics. I once mentioned my walkabouts (runabouts?) in the Jarilla. That was a very formational time in choosing to pursue geology as a profession. My thinking went something along the lines if I could take a piece of published work, hit the field and make some sense of it I might be able to become a real IST. That trip included some work at Rockhound State Park. I came away from that adventure thinking I might be crazy and absolutely mind boggled. Still, I was convinced I had to know more, a whole LOT more, about the crazy things I had seen and learned. The puzzle of it all was something that I could not walk away from. I still can't! Too many rocks, not enough time! I still think of myself as a rockhound, still completely fascinated by it all and more questions now than ever before. I think we are of one mind: even with all our experiences we still get mind boggled and just go back for more!
Best Regards,
Al O
Mike Streeter
Hey Al,

Reading back what I wrote, I can see how you would think I was being a tad bit defensive, but I didn't feel that way and no offense was taken. I suppose it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between defensive and inadequate, but the latter is how I felt after my all too brief observations of much of the Luna County geology. I'm a gotta know person like you, but most often have to take off my geologist hat to dig and bang on rocks or I'd never get anything in the truck, except myself with a fatter head. Chrissy always shows interest when I start to pontificate about geology, but she's got rockhounding to do herself, so her attention tends to wander as the call of the rocks drowns out my droning. We're actually starting to think that we'd like to spend more time simply sightseeing and enjoying nature than just rockhounding the next time we head out West, so just imagine the arm waving I'll be doing about geology followed soon after by Chrissy's eyes glazing over. Oh the memories we'll make . . .

Al O
Hello Mike,

I can see it now if the Streeter team and the Ostrander team ever got together in the field digging. Mike and Al in a hole pontificating about geology, Pam and Chrissy with eyes glazing over, then walking off and picking up the finds of the day. To top it off, Opal and Bruce (my Cairn Terrier) sniffing about and up to doggie mischief... Only difference is Bruce would have to be tethered. He would wander off in doggie heaven and not come back. I think he is an ADHD pooch.

Best Regards,
Al O
Sigh, that was a wonderful trip, well except the restroom caper. Lovely specimens and material and those views. Wowie kazowie! Where we going next and when?
Mike Streeter
Thanks, Denise. Always so nice to hear from you!
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