Welcome to 2015 Searchers!

Happy New Year! Welcome to the new 2015 version of the Searchers’ Gem and Mineral Society.

Let me introduce myself to those of you who are new to the Rock Slab. My name is Jay Erb and I’m the recently re-elected President of the Searchers.
Last year was an excellent year. The 2014 Show was an outstanding success. Our field trips were fun and fruitful and our speakers were not only educational, but very entertaining as well. 2015 promises to be even better.
Last year, however, we stumbled with our Youth Program. This year, rather than placing the program on the shoulders of one of the parents, I’d like to find one or more volunteers to act as a mentor for the program. In 2015 we will definitely be creating opportunities to earn the youth badges offered FREE by the AFMS. Please let me know if you are interested in working with the parents of our younger members to create an Earth Sciences program.
As always, I am going to seek out volunteers. There are a few people out there who know the joys of volunteering just for the sake of doing neat stuff. I want to recruit people who are tired of sitting on the sidelines in a narrow area of competence and who want to spread their wings and try something new, interesting and maybe even - Fun.
Happy New Year,
2015 President, Searchers Gem and Mineral Society
My New Year’s resolution is to go on more field trips.

Become a rockhound activist. We’re not asking you to “rock the world”, but protect what you love. Jay 

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Monthly Meeting Tomorrow


This is just a reminder that the monthly meeting is tomorrow, Nov 25th. This is the election meeting. It is also pie night, so bring a pie and an apetite. It is also a silent auction night, so bring one or two NICE pieces that you would like to donate to the club and a couple of bucks to buy yourself a new treasure. 



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November 22-23 Field Trip - ChuckWallas


Nov. 22-23 2014 Robert Burson

There will be a field trip on November 22&23 to Chuckwalla Springs (between Desert Center/Blythe). The trip will be led by Searchers Robert Burson. We will be collecting agates (plume, moss, fortification, and banded), and Jaspers of many colors. Sagenite is found here too. There are also agate filed geodes and amygdules.

The camp will be accessible by RVs and cars, although the last stretch of the road may need to be driven carefully. This will be a dry camp, bring what you need. Don’t forget sunscreen and hats, lots of water. It could be hot during the day and cold at night. Gas and simple supplies are available at Chiriaco Summit, Blythe has anything you could need, including motels. We will be having our traditional potluck on Sat night, so bring something good to share. Telling tall tales around the campfire is also on the agenda.
We will leave the camp every day at 0830, a high clearance vehicle will be necessary to reach the collect- ing sites. We will carpool as required. You will want to take lunch. Standard rock tools should suffice, rock pick and spray bottle. You may want a small sledge and gad.
Take 91 freeway East to the 60 South. In Indio take 10 East travel to first exit past Desert Center. Take Corn Springs exit West which is 9.3 miles east of Desert Center. Take the old highway east 13.2 miles to Graham Pass Road. Turn right and go south for 5.9 miles to the Chuckwalla Springs Rd, there should be a sign here. We will put out some Searchers signs to help you find your way. Without traffic it is about 3 hours and 20 minutes from Anaheim to the freeway turn off. If you have any questions about the trip feel free to contact Robert at 562 706 4892 or Steve Duncan at 714 724 7102, or wsd@iteris.com

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Dec 13-14 Field Trip - Colliseum Mine and Copper World Mine

December Field Trip

Dec 13 & 14

Coliseum Mine and Copper World Mine

Trip leader Jimmy Peterson cell (714) 904 8573


Our Dec. field trip will be a little different as we will be staying at Whiskey Pets in Primm or the Gold Strike In Jean. and then going up to the old Coloseum  mine We will be collecting pyrites,calcopyrites and other iron minerals. We will meet Sat. morning @ 8:30 at the Yates Well Rd. off ramp on I-15. This is the 1st off ramp west of Primm. It is also the off ramp for the big solar electric plant. The road is steep and rough so a high clearance vehicle is required. We will go to a buffet at one of the hotels for our Sat. nite  pot luck. Sun. morning we will go to the copper world mine off Cima Rd. It is on the way toward home. For people joining on Sunday we will meet at the Cima Rd off ramp on I-15 at 0900.  Wear warm clothing as the mines are at aprox. 6000 feet altitude. Bring a small (or bigger) hammer to break rocks. The room rates currently are  just under $50 per nite for two people. It is a good idea to make reservations early.  Hope to see you there.


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Big Bear Lake Trip Sept. 27-28

Big Bear Lake Trip

Sept. 27-28 2014
Norbert Bernhardt Cell 714-904-2181

Our field trip will be to the Big Bear Lake area. This area is about 2 hours from Orange County.
There are 2 areas we will be going to, one has quartz crystals up to 1 ¼” long and the other beautiful dendrites.
We will meet at the Big Bear Discovery Center which is very close to the campground. Hours for the Dis-covery Center are 8:30am – 4:30pm. You must pick up adventure passes for Saturday and Sunday. You can get your adventure passes ahead of time at Big 5 Sporting Goods or REI. $5. a day. You could also get them at the Discovery Center but remember they do not open till 8:30am. If you are sharing a ride you do not need one! The pass is per car. The 2 trips leave at 8:40am
Saturday will be the trip to Crystal Hill. It involves a dirt road, ok for passenger cars and a then a 1 mile hike. It is mostly a level hike. Bring water, a hat, hiking boots and lunch. I would not suggest shorts. Tools: an Estwing 2 ½ foot pick, rock hammer, gad if you have one, Army shovel, Zip-Loc bags for the crystals. Remember you have to carry this stuff. Happy hour at 4:00pm and Pot-Luck at 5:30pm
Sunday will leave at 8:40 from the Discovery Center and go to collect the dendrites. They are found at a marble quarry dump in Holcomb Valley (also known for its gold). This road is also dirt but passenger cars will be able to make it. It is about 5 miles back from the highway. Hat, hiking boots and water needed. Tools, you won’t need much because everything is already broken up. Maybe bring a rock hammer or a 2-3 lb crack hammer. The pieces are anywhere from 6” to 3 feet high. We planned this on Sunday because it will be quick and easy to collect and for those that want to leave early, you might be done by11:30am. The distance from the car to the collecting site is about 150 feet.
The campground to stay at is called Serrano and it is very close to the lake, lots of big trees.
When you get to the dam at the lake, on 18, turn left at the dam heading for the town of Fawnskin. Go past Fawnskin a ways and the campground will be on your right. If you miss the first turn off, take the next right turn and that will also lead you into the campground. You must make reservations!! Early. Here is the link http://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/serrano/r/campgroundDetails.do?con...
Many motels in the area. The easiest thing to do is look on the internet and call them.
Here are directions for those that have never been to Big Bear: Take the 91 frwy East to 215 north to 210 East to the 330 Big Bear which eventually turns to 18 after you go through Running Springs. When you get to the dam turn left at the

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Searchers Picnic Saturday August 9th, 2014

Please join us for the Searchers Annual Picnic Saturday, August 9th, 2014 at Yorba Regional Park, 7600 E. La Palma Ave, Anaheim Hills, CA 92807 Site #6 by Parking Lot #2. This will be a potluck, so please bring a food or beverage with you. The picnic will be from 11am to 3pm. We would love to see you there. For more information, please contact Steve Duncan at (714) 501-9959.

The Searcher’s will provide sodas and water

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Long Range Field Trip

July 3-9 2014

The Searchers will run a long range trip in early July to Davis Creek (best obsidian site in CA), and McDermitt Nev (for green petrified bog wood among other things). 

At Davis creek the collecting will be July 3rd, 4th, and 5th.  We will be staying at the Lassen Creek campground, a basic campground but very pretty and it does have a chemical toilet. Someone should be at the campsite on the afternoon of the 2nd, and there should be signs to guide you to the camp.  You can get into this camp with an RV.

Directions to Lassen Creek camp:

Take your favorite route to Alturas (in the far north east corner of California).  From Alturas, go north on US 395.  Approximately 22 miles from Alturas is the small town of Davis Creek.  At the Davis Creek mercantile (530 233 3758) you can procure your free collecting permit, this is required.  This will also be your last stop for Ice, cold drinks, ICE CREAM, etc.  Continue another 11 miles to FS Access Rd 30.  Turn right onto 30, and follow the signs.  At about 5.5 miles you will take a right fork, cross a small bridge and the campground will be on your left. 

The campground is a large meadow with some large pines and 2 streams running through camp.  It is a dry camp, but there is a nice chemical toilet.  RVs can access the camp, and it is comfortable for tenters.  Gas limited supplies and ICE CREAM at Davis Creek Mercantile.  Motels, gas, food, and medical facilities at (Alturas `22 miles south) or Lakeview (`22 miles north)

All collecting trips will leave camp at 0830.  You will need a high clearance vehicle to access the sites, but 4x4 should not be necessary.  The sites are not very far from camp. 

Thursday July 3rd we will have a potluck to celebrate our first day of collecting.   Friday the 4th people who wish can go to Davis Creek Mercantile and enjoy a BBQ dinner, the cost for this year’s dinners  hasn’t been defined yet, but last year for 3 meats (which would feed 2 normal people) it was $28.Sat the 5th there will be no potluck, you are on your own for food. 

Sunday the 6th will be a travel day from Davis Creek to McDermitt, roughly 4.5 hrs.  The short route is 395 North, 140 East, and 95 North.  There is a pretty cool rock shop on 395 in the little town at the state line, if it is still open. 

The camp at McDermitt is at the Mitchell RV Park in town with hot showers and restrooms. The rates are $20/night for an RV site with hookups, Tent sites are $15   Gas and some groceries and a couple of small restaurants are available in McDermitt. 

The McDermitt collecting will leave from camp at 08:30 (California time) on July 7th, 8th, and 9th.  As far as collecting locations, we have made arrangements with a local guide which should help us get to the right stuff.  4 wheel drive may be necessary for some of these trips, if so we will car pool as usual.

We will have a potluck on the 7th to celebrate our first day of collecting at McDermitt, and on the 9th to celebrate the end of the collecting trip.  You are on your own for dinner on the 8th.

We will have a campfire every night we can, please bring some firewood, or pick up some on your way. 

You will need to be responsible for yourselves on most of the distance traveling. Be prepared for hot days and cold nights.  Bring lots of water, sunscreen, hats etc.  The collecting is mostly digging, so digging tools (shovel, pick, etc) are necessary in addition to your standard rock pick and water bottle.  Obsidian is volcanic glass and is very sharp.  Eye protection and gloves are highly recommended.  One thing that a “pro” showed me the last time was the value of a bucket of water and a cheap hand brush.  This made cleaning a piece of obsidian to properly judge its character ( to keep or to leaverite) a snap. 

Digging is best done by small cooperatives; we will all end up better off by working in small groups.  Also it is much better to knock down overburden than to work under it.   Working under overburden is dangerous.

Both of these sites are justifiably famous, Davis Creek for rainbow, electric blue, green, and pink obsidian, and McDermitt for petrified wood, larsonite (petrified bog jasper) and agates.  I believe we should be a productive trip for nice materials.  And you know that anytime the Searchers  get together in the outdoors it is a good time. 

If someone knows a great collecting location on the way back to So Cal from McDermitt (that won’t be terrifyingly hot) we can consider breaking up the return trip for a day of collecting somewhere.  Let me know.

After McDermitt some folks will probably continue north to do some more rockhounding.  If you asked nicely I am sure you could buddy along with them for a while if you haven’t had your fill of collecting by then. 

It is standard for not everyone to do every portion of the trip, feel free to join us when you can and leave when you have to. 

If you are interested in any or all of this trip please contact me at wsd@iteris.com, or 714 724 7102 (my cell).  I have had some initial feedback from folks who plan to go, I would appreciate it if everyone planning to go would confirm, so even if you have previously contacted me please reconfirm.  

One note on collecting at Davis Creek.  You do need a permit.  The permit is free.  Normally these can be procured at Davis Creek Mercantile (530) 233 3758 in Davis Creek.  This is the most convenient place to pick up the permit, and I recommend you get yours there.  Other choices are:

 Modoc National Forest Supervisor's Office - 800 West 12 th Street Alturas, CA 96101
• Warner Mountain Ranger District Office - 385 Wallace St. Cedarville, CA 96104


Please feel free to contact me with any questions wsd@iteris.com, or 714 724 7102 (my cell).

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Ludlow Field Trip

We will be having a field trip to the Ludlow area. 
 We will be collecting Thulite and Hematite Porphyry. 
Directions to the campsite: 
15 north to Barstow. 40 east approx 50 miles) to Ludlow 
Exit 40 at Ludlow 
Turn left, and left again onto old route 66 (directly opposite the Dairy 
Go west on route 66 for 2.5 miles. Turn right and go .5 miles to the gravel quarry. 
There will be a Searcher sign at the turn off 
This will be a dry camp (but the Dairy Queen is ~3 miles away) so bring what you need 
Trips will leave at 9AM on Sat and 8:30 AM on Sunday 
We will have our traditional potluck on Sat night 
Leader Jimmy Peterson Cell # 714 904-8573 
Field Trip VP Steve Duncan wsd@iteris.com cell# 714 724-7102 


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