Afton Canyon and Cady Mountains Field Trip
April 29 - May 1, 2005
CFMS Field Trip Chair South
Just returned home from the Cady Mountains and Afton Canyon areas. I want to thank the 83 CFMS rock hound members who showed up for this field trip and signed the CFMS consent and assumption of risk waiver of liability form's.
Day 1, Friday, April 29th
The weather was nice when I arrived at the campsite area at 8:30 a.m. First I put the CFMS signs up on Basin Road as I got off the freeway to help everyone find their way to the campsite. At 1:00 p.m. we had a large group and as planned we headed out for an afternoon field trip to do some serious rockhounding. We had 14 vehicles in a caravan and found the 4X4 trail that we had to take was in really bad shape. Most of the way the road had really soft sand or large rocks in it due to all the rain we had during the first part of the year. Our first stop was for collecting gem marble and agate on the flats nearby. After that we drove to the blue agate and gem hill area where we all had a good time climbing the hills and collecting calcite rhombs (they look like ice cubes), chalcedony, agate, jasper, small amygdules, (some will have sagenite sprays in them), blue agate and much more. By 4:30 p.m. it was time to make the drive back to camp where everyone pitched in and got things ready for the campfire that evening. We had a lot of fun telling stories and visiting with everyone. I want to thank all of those who brought wood for our campfire.
Day 2, Saturday, April 30th.
The schedule was to leave at 8:00 a.m. sharp to go the collecting site. We all lined up in a caravan; rides were found for the ones that didn't have 4 wheel drive vehicles. People were still showing up late because there had been an accident on the freeway, so while we were waiting we took group pictures. By the time we left at 8:30 a.m. we had 23 SUV's and pick-up's lined up. While heading to the fluorite mine (about a 30 minute drive) we had one 2 wheel drive pick-up get stuck in the soft sand (everyone had been told "4 wheel drive" vehicles only). At the fluorite mine Adam Dean gave a talk on what we would be looking for, he also had some nice pictures of sagenite that he had found in the Cady Mountains. We walked up the canyon and everyone was shown where and how to find the emerald green fluorite. Some nice specimens of the green fluorite were collected and some good multicolored jas-agate, opalite, onyx, calcite rhombs along with other gemmy items were found. At 12:00 noon we traveled about 2 miles up the main canyon to one of Adam's secret collecting area for Sagenite sprays in larger amygdules. We searched here for a couple of hours and everyone found some nice gemmy material then we drove down the canyon a few miles to collect on the open flats. A mojave rattle snake was spotted and some nice pictures were taken of it. Around 4:00 p.m. we headed back to camp to get ready for our potluck dinner. At 6:00 everything was ready and all the food was on the tables where Bob Bryne said grace before we ate. After dinner we sat around the fire and told jokes and stories.
Thomas Hess and his lovely wife Kim and little girl Autumn arrived Saturday afternoon to collect with us and camp out. Thomas showed everyone some of the gemmy tourmaline and other pegmatite gems he had collected over the last few years at some of the well known mines in San Diego County. Thomas is the founder and leader of the Die Hard Rockhounds (a large group of rockhounds that are out rockhounding almost every weekend), he is also a member of the CFMS.
Day 3, Sunday, May 1st.
My good friend Adam Dean who is a member of the OBMS Club and knows the Cady mountains better then any of us, took us to another one of his secret areas to collect. More new people showed up to join us and at 8:00 a.m. we were on our way. We all had another great day collecting amygdules nodules, (they're shaped like large potatoes with a dull iron stain that cover the exteriors also most have plume or sagenite sprays in them), and other gemmy items were collected too. About 2:00 we headed back to camp to pack up to head for our homes.
During the three days of our field trip the weather couldn't have been better, I could write 100 pages about this field trip telling you all the great things we did and saw; it was one of the best trips I've ever been on. If you missed it, you missed a great time! There is some CFMS members I want to thank for helping me make this field trip and camp over a great success, Ken Barron, Adam Dean, Teresa Felix, Bob Bryne, Jay Valle, Jean Wise, Kathy Eschbach, Pamela Birge, and everyone who brought all that great food to the potluck. Again, thank to all of you.
Until next time,Bob Fitzpatrick
TRIP LOCATION - Northeast side of the Cady Mountains (Afton Canyon area)
WHEN - April 29 - May 1 2005
SPONSOR - CFMS Field Trip South
ORGANIZATION - CFMS
MATERIAL TO COLLECT - Red and yellow agate, jasper, (plume & sagenite) opalite, calcite rhombs, chalcedony roses, amygdules, green fluorite, onyx and much more.
LEADER - Bob Fitzpatrick
PROPOSED SCHEDULE - Early Friday will be for setting up camp. Friday around 1 p.m. I will be leading a field trip. Each day around 8 a.m. we will be going to a different area to collect. There will be a potluck Saturday around 5 p.m.
DIRECTIONS TO CAMP SITE - I-15 Freeway East past Barstow for about 45 miles to Basin Road. Exit off ramp to the right and follow signs to camp site area. The road to the camping site should be okay for 2-wheel drive cars, trailers & motor homes. We will be camping just on the other side of railroad tracks.
VEHICLE - 4-wheel drive from camp to collecting areas. The desert road is sandy and in some areas has large rocks in it.
CAMP & FACILITIES - This will be dry camping, no water, no picnic tables, no toilets, no firewood to be gathered and no fees.
TOOLS - Collecting bags, rock hammer, eye gear, flashlights, spray water bottle, etc. camp chair (to sit in at night around the fire.)
SAFETY CONCERNS - Do not lick the rocks, use sun screen, stay away from rattlesnakes, use bug spray, be aware of flash floods, be extra careful and don't get lost.
CLIMATE & WEATHER - It can be hot during the day and cold at night, it could rain.
CLOTHING - Appropriate for this time of the year.
OTHER REMARKS - All club members and there guests are welcome to join us. Come for the day or camp out with us. Bring food, lots of water, a camera and lots of firewood for the campfire at night. If you need a motel or supplies they are available in Baker or Barstow. Don't forget we will have a potluck on Saturday night, so bring a dish to share and your own place setting. Each night after dark we will have a campfire where we can all join together and have a good time roasting marshmallows, telling jokes or just talking about the good OLE times.
I should be arriving at campsite around 11 a.m. on Friday. Saturday and Sunday we will be leaving the camp at around 8 a.m. and drive to the collecting areas.You must observe the AFMS code of ethics and sign a consent and assumption of risk waiver of liability form. Hope to see you there.
For additional information
Email me at RUROCKY2@aol.com