Chrissy, Opal and I spent some quality time last month rockhounding in New Mexico and I have finally finished putting together what may be my most ambitious report ever.
Click here for report
Now I can rest.
Well Mike and Chrissy - ya went and surpassed yourselves again!!
Wow, what a trip; and such a fantastic report. Congratulations on bringing about an event that will be in your memories forever.
We still havn't been able to take our trip back out there as yet, but it remains a #1 priority on our busy schedule.
Thanks so much for sharing with us. dave t.
p.s. Mary Lane wants to know if Chrissy stayed out there.
pffffft! I am speechless, y'all have way too much fun! Chrissy congratulations on your new job. Mike those photos are wonderful, love the full moon shot, the sunsets and all the locality shots. Those are some killer orthoclase specimens and Chrissy, my gosh, that fluorite specimen, yowza!
Wow, thanks for sharing your grand time. Eddie De Luca, the grandmaster, nice job showing them around - you rock.
Great report! Don't suppose you are looking for a personal assistant or chef are ya? I can even provide light to moderate house cleaning services and can also work as a dog walker.
Well, that was worth waiting for!!
Gorgeous landscape and sunset shots.
I appreciated learning the history and geology of the districts. Here's a connection that added a nostolgic angle for me. When I read Alamagordo, I knew I'd heard of that place somewhere before, from a long time ago. I googled it (found out Otero county is home Holloman AFB and the F-22 raptors) and then it hit me, and I put in a dvd my wife had given me years ago but I hadn't watched. When I was a kid, before cable and when you had the 3 networks and a UHF station to watch, the local UHF station loved to show grainy copies of the old Clint Eastwood "spaghetti" Westerns every Friday night. I loved those movies! I flipped forward a few scenes in my For A Few Dollars More dvd and found the scene where Clint is sent to break out a bad guy from the Alamagordo Prison. Even though those movies were filmed in Spain, the landscape looks so similar to your pics, I'd be lying if I said Ennio Morricone's score wasn't going through my head as I read your report!
Lol, by appearances, looks like Eddie's busted a few rocks open in his day, and maybe a few claimjumper's heads also. What a generous friend.
Great shots of the inside of Eddie's fluorite mine with all the crystals right there on the ceiling. Good point as to why they haven't been collected. Incredible deep blue fluorite in some of the specimens.
I can't believe the cabs you're making. I love the ones with 4+ minerals in them. The smithsonite, calcite, fluorite,sparelite, ect ones really caught my eye.
Thanks for sprucing up my small report and adding it to the site, also.
Ok if I save some of your turquoise pics and add them to my database for future reference?
Great Report Mike and great pics too, specially of those beautiful sunsets ! Looks like beautiful Fluorite out there as well, woulda loved to have seen some pics of the deep purple cube vein that you couldnt dig into, though.
Very nice Mike and Chrissy. The best trip report yet. Mike you deserve a good long rest after finishing that opus. I missed my club's trip to New Mexico and the Blanchard Mine. Now I see just how much I missed, and regret not being able to go because of undergoing radiation treatments.
I want to be Opal......she does more than most of us have even dreams of doing. This report is the finest that I've enjoyed.
Loved the details of geologic background and the photography makes one wanting a calendar of it. Ever think of expanding to doing that? You don't have enuf to do kids. LOL I especially enjoyed your cabbing examples and going into Eddies, "the body", website and seeing Chrissys' wire wrapping. What a great friendship you all have....sharing and working together. Couldn't happen to finer folks........and thanks for again sharing so much of your time with all of us "house cats". Opal, you are beautiful, a star in your own planet......and such a model for the photo shoot. Hugs.....
Now that's a rockhounds vacation of vacations!
Your finds are amazing,,,you're photo's are great,,,your cabs are a thing of beauty and the report is VERY well written!
What else can I say???
It's a good thing you got on the good side of "Mr.Eddie Atlas" cuz he looks like he could put a hurtin on you in a hurry!!
Well maybe after seein all that white hair he might give you a senior discount of a full fledged whoopin!!! lol(I just HAD to say that)
Donna Nolte wrote me this morning and mentioned where you find the time to do everything you do.
How do you do it?
Thanks for a wonderful trip boss!
A great read this morning... thank you very much for sharing your adventure with us, what a wonderful trip! While all this talk of massive this and cabochon that freak me out a little, I was thrilled to find so many descriptions and photos of beautiful, spectacular crystal specimens. The blues of the fluorite... crazy wonderful!
I'd have loved to have been there too... oh wait, I was! Thank you for sharing!!!!
All the very best!
Wow! I want to go too!!! Everything was awesome. The cabs are stupendous too!
What a wonderful and exciting trip Mike & Chrissy. Can't wait for spring to resume exploring!
WOW Mike another great report and pictures. It's been a long time since I was in NM. One of my Aunts use to live in Albuquerque. I remember being down there in the 60's and the railroad yard there still had them big ol steam Engines in there yet. We did get to see some old gost towns too. Man you sure did out do your self this time.
KOR Carl in snowy WI
Great detailed report!!
Love the pictures of the moon and sunsets too!
You better be real careful on those "Jeep Trails" with that large truck... Eddie was driving a Jeep, wasn't he?
Well, I guess you have enough cab material to last a day or two... if you slow down some!
Best at ya!
'Twas quite enjoyable to look outside at the frost on the ground this morning and then settle in to this site to be transported to the desert country, warmer temperatures, and a bunch of beautiful scenes and pics of stunning rocks that were collected.
You picked a good time to take us into your world.
Thanks Mike and Chrissy.
This report will take several readings to really take it all in. What a trip! The Google Earth views are a great addition.
You're lucky Eddy turned out to be friendly. Doesn't look like someone you want mad at ya. LOL!
That was a very good explanation of staking claims too. Your reports are very good reference material. Thanks man!
totally AWESOME. i'm speechless.
love the cabs with the stripe of turquoise. also loved the deluca bloodstone. all of them were amazing....
don't you just love NM? my favorite state for sure!
Thanks for the great report! It sure brought back some memories of two weeks I spent in that area way back in '75. That twinned feldspar and both garnet species sure do look familiar. And, how fluorescent is any of the fluorite you found?
Hey Dave - Thanks and you're welcome. Here's hoping that you and Mary Lane are able to get back out West sometime soon! Chrissy did come home with me, but not long after we returned, she ordered a bow-flex machine and gave me a gift certificate to a local tanning salon . . .
Denise speechless??? Now THAT's an accomplishment! Thanks for the compliments about my photograph (can't take credit for the rocks or minerals) and to Eddie for making it all possible.
Hi Bruce - Thanks! You know, I have been telling Chrissy that it'd be great if I could hire an assistant since sometimes I seem to find myself coming and going. I'll keep you in mind, but I was sorta hoping for someone a lot less MALE - actually, not male at all and good looking . . . but don't tell Chrissy, or I might end up a lot less male myself.
Thanks, Mike for everything you wrote. I didn't mention that my father was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamagordo, so we lived there for a year when I was a young kid and being back in the area brought back a few memories. And you're welcome!
Hi Phil - Go right ahead, but remember where they're from!
Hey James - Thanks, buddy. The beautiful sunsets just kept coming night after night, so they were easy to capture - glad you liked them. The fluorite from that area is famous for its unique and striking colors. I never thought to snap a picture of the purple cube vein - to busy lusting over it, I guess.
Hi Jay - Thank you. Sorry you missed out on a trip to the Blanchard Mine, but at least you're still kicking and maybe it will happen for you sometime in the future.
Donna - HA! You're right about our Opal - she has done more traveling in her 9-3/4 years than most people do in a lifetime. Good idea about a calendar, but I'd be pining to go back out to New Mexico if I had to look at pictures of it each month - better to keep it tucked away as a fond memory for now. You are too kind - hugs back at you.
Hi Tom - Thanks! You got that right, pard - this rockhounding vacation will satisfy my collecting desires for a very long time - good thing with winter setting in. Getting on Eddie's good side was actually quite easy, all we had to do is be honest about our intentions and respectful about his and others' claims - of course, having Chrissy and Opal around is always a plus to get on anyone's good side. Another hair-larious comment . . . How do I do it, you ask - No kids, a supportive wife, an a forty hour only work week make for plenty of time to attend to my real passions.
John - Thanks, man - just trying to keep up with Mr. Cornish. Don't freak out - massive this and cabochon that only makes the rocking world a bigger place; it's all good.
Keith - Thank you. I've ready plenty of reports myself that made me "want to go to" - so, we did!
Hi Carl - Thanks, big guy. I worked a little harder on this report out of respect for what Eddie did for us.
Hey Wayne - Thanks - hard not to see a sunset picture without thinking of your many fine shots, especially those as of late. Eddie drove different vehicles, but did drive a jeep on the last day. So long as the road wasn't too narrow or we had to drive perpendicular over a too-deep wash, the truck did great. Believe me, the off roading in that part of the country forces you to "slow down some", especially when you have a load of killer specimens in the back.
Herb - You are quite welcome, we're here to serve! The "time to [you] into [our] world" pretty much picked itself, but I'm glad it worked for you!
Hi Jim - I know what you mean - the report took Chrissy several readings to catch all the errors and I'd bet that she didn't find everyone. I love Google-Earth - used it extensively when planning the trip to New Mexico. You're right about Eddie, although he is incredibly generous and patient, he told us about a couple of idiots who got on his wrong side and ended up on the backsides. I'm glad to hear that you thought that my claim mumbo jumbo was good, because it is very important that everyone understand the concept so as to respect private property.
Jan - Thanks! Yep, I LOVE New Mexico. It'd be hard for me to pick a favorite state, but it is certainly right up there.
Hey Al - Way back in 75, eh? The year I graduated from High School - guess we're both getting older. If you were able to collect the twinned feldspar, then you would be one of only a select few rockhounds who have. Much of the blueish fluorite is highly fluorescent - fluoresces blueish-purple under short and long wave UV - very dreamy stuff. And, you're welcome!
I had a copy of Bulletin 82 The Geology of Jarilla Mountains, Otero County, New Mexico. P.G. Schmidt and C. Craddock 1964 New Mexico Geologic Survey. Wayne would be proud: I did my homework. I aslo had the area covered with USGS topo maps and other information.
The orthoclase is found in a monzonite-adamellite grading into adamellite containing the large orthoclase phenocrysts. So, probably the matrix is technically an adamellite. (Anthony, if you read this, this is where you get down dirty in the lab).
There are a number of outcrops of this stuff. I doubt we where at the same one.
The intrusives in the area created a number of andradite-speclarite skarns. So, good garnets, etc can be found spread out through the areas of intrusive activity. Again, we could have been in areas several miles apart.
Things were probably different then as far as active claims. I was just a "student" passing through as a shadow on the land. Light on digging tools, heavy on water. When I bagged a few good specimens, I moved on. By the end of the day, I was light on water and heavy on specimens. Nobody bothered me at all. Hardly anyone knew where I was. I admit there were a few times I temporarily didn't know where I was either! Ten days, at least twenty miles a day on big circles to get back to my car at night. I spent at least two nights just under the stars. God, what a bed canopy those stars were! No profanity intended here, just honest emotion about that whole adventure!