It has been a month since the second rockhounding trip of the year and there have been three more trips since then. I have been too busy to write anything so I am a bit behind. Finally I have found the time to write about a trip to Contact, Nevada. The trips that happened after that will be in future posts.
Part of my work includes travel throughout Idaho and when I had to go to Ketchum I thought it was a perfect time to meet up again with Carol and Nola to do some rockhounding in Nevada. They live in Twin Falls which is about 70 miles south of Ketchum and 40 miles north of north-central Nevada. I have been hoping to rockhound in Nevada for a few years and haven’t done so until now.
Contact, Nevada located about 13 miles south of the Idaho-Nevada border is known for a small thunder egg called a thunder nut. There are also larger thunder eggs found at the same location. I was not sure of the exact location of the thunder egg bed but figured we could explore the area and hopefully find it. On the way there we found some other rockhounds at Jack Rabbit Springs (known for thunder eggs and geodes that glow green under a black light) and stopped to ask if they had directions to the bed. One gentleman, Jim, knew exactly where we needed to go and gave me directions.
Landscape Near Contact, Nevada
When we arrived to the area we unloaded the quads and set out for the bed Jim told me about. On the way there we found an old miners site with lots of junk strewn around it and a mine shaft. Around the shaft there were tailings containing granite with a blue and green patina on them, a definite sign of copper. It turned out that some of the green rocks were a solid green and possibly a lower grade chrysocolla. I still think the material may polish well. If it does it will be time for another trip since we only took small samples of the material.
After spending a little time at the mining camp it was time to go find the thunder egg bed. We accidentally road past it and ended up on the back side of the hills where we found few hints of thunder eggs. These hint pieces gave us an idea of the matrix they were found in. On our way back we did find an area composed of this matrix and found a road heading up the hill to where the bed was located.
At the bed there were many holes where others had been digging and many partial eggs on the ground. We did collect some partial eggs then did some digging to find some whole eggs. We also found a few of the thunder nuts which are in a hard black matrix. Since the matrix was so hard we didn’t get a lot of the thunder nuts.
It was a good to spend time with friends and finally get to Nevada. I really appreciate not having to spend much money on gas since work covered most of the cost. The next trip is planned for mid June when the Idaho Gem Club will be doing a four day field trip to McDermitt, Nevada. Too bad work won’t cover any of the cost for that trip.