Snake Skin Agate, Rome Oregon

July 21, 2008

This last week end was a busy one for me. It started Friday evening as I was loading the car for the next day’s trip to Rome, Oregon. As I loaded up my Equipment I also worked on my tumbling project. This was the time I need to change from the 220-grit to 400-grit. The rocks are looking really good now except for one problem; I am starting to get some chipping in the rocks. I am guessing that this is due to the fact that the rocks have worn down quite a bit and now the tumbling motion is much rougher. To resolve this I combined the two three-pound barrels in one barrel. I have read about using plastic filler pieces to resolve this issue so I will look into purchasing the filler if the combining does not resolve the problem. I also started another tumbling batch of petrified wood using 90-grit. When I checked the barrels Sunday evening both barrels looked very promising.

tumbling rocks

Tumbling Rocks – Cleaning and Moving to Next Stage

Saturday started early as the alarm went off at 5:30. I had to be at the ION truck stop at the highway 78 and highway 95 junction by 7:00 to meet up with the group going to Rome, Oregon. I was worried that I would not make it in time but managed to get there with plenty of time to spare. Shortly after arriving Walter Barnett, the leader of this field trip, informed me that I would not be able to make it to the collecting site in my car. I made arrangement to ride with a guy named Carl once we left the pavement because I wanted to take my car so I could explore some other areas on my way home.At around 9:30 we had arrived at the dirt road leading to the collecting area. I grabbed my gear and jumped in Carl’s truck. Right away I could see that I would not have been going anywhere in my car. As we road along Carl told me about his experiences collecting in this area. We decided to stop at a location the he had collected at before; we figured we could catch up to the group later. At first we weren’t finding anything but soon we were finding small pieces on a hill a little ways from where we parked.

rome oregon

Rome Landscape

After working the hill for a few minutes I found a piece that I thought was petrified wood. When I showed it to Carl he said that it might be a petrified bone. This gave me an uneasy feeling because it is unlawful to take bone from public lands. As we looked at it again later Carl changed his mind about what it was and thought that it was just an odd piece of the snake skin agate that we were there to collect. I polished the end of this piece Sunday and now I am back to thinking it is petrified wood due to the pattern that can now be seen. I also found a very nice chunk of the snake skin agate that had no chips and some nice orange-red colors.

snake skin agate

Snake Skin Agate

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<p style=Petrified Wood

petrified wood/></p>
<p style=Petrified Wood

We then joined the group and found some more snake skin agate. These pieces were small and will make good tumbling material. We also explored another ridge before leaving and found a few more pieces but nothing as good as the pieces found on that hill side we explored earlier.I didn’t explore any other locations on the way home but instead followed the group to Hooker’s creek to collect petrified wood. Hooker’s creek is located north of Jordan Valley, Oregon. I drove my car into this place but found it a bit rougher than when I had drove in there a year earlier. I collected about a half a bucket of wood before leaving. As I drove out I accidentally hit something in the road. Whatever it was I could not see it coming or going. My guess is it was an animal hole. Luckily there was no damage to my car.When I got home all I could think about was dinner and a shower. Unloading the rocks and gear from the car would just have to wait until morning.

Sunday I unloaded the car and then spent most of the day cutting and polishing rocks. I first cleaned up and polished the two nicer pieces collected in the Rome area the day before. Then I started cutting more of the Jasper from the trip with John and Jason a few weeks ago. I ended up making a small free form cabochon with some very nice material that was found at the collecting area that is literally at the Idaho-Oregon border on the East side of highway 95. I ended the day and weekend activities by checking the tumbler and passing out rocks to the neighborhood kids that often come by to see what I am up to.

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<p style=Jasper Cabachon

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Willa Renken July 24, 2008 at 9:51 am

Hey John
Love the article as always a good read. In your article you said you read about Thorn Creek can you tell me what book that was? I am always interested in different literature on the area and would like to read that as well. That was a nice piece of wood you found at Rome it really took a great polish. Way to go!! Looking forward to your reply.
Willa

John Merritt July 24, 2008 at 11:21 am

Hello Willa,

I found information about Thorn Creek from two different sources. The first source was Tim Fisher’s DVD. The information for that locations is below along with the link to his site where the DVD can be purchased. The DVD has hundreds if not thousands of locations listed. The second source was an online file that I have not been able to find again. I might have notes on it at home. If I do I will post the link in another comment.

Thorn Creek Camp Sapphire in gravels Location unknown!
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neultFlutReop December 19, 2008 at 1:39 am

Hi

As a fresh http://www.pebblepup.com user i just wanted to say hi to everyone else who uses this board 8-)

Sicabaire January 31, 2009 at 5:34 pm

I’ve found http://www.pebblepup.com by using MSN
Hello from someone new but no newbie!
Hi there

greetingsfrompoland March 7, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Hello to all ! Greetings From Poland. very Good Page !

Mark May 18, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Is this site located to the East or West of 95? Where would you recommend camping in the area? Thanks!

admin May 19, 2009 at 9:21 am

I don’t have a specific location where I was collecting the snake skin agate but the following locations are in the area. The first two are perceived as West but are actually South or 95. The third location is North of 95.

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rob September 5, 2009 at 1:10 pm

hey, those are some pretty awesome looking specimines. i am a very amature collector frrom columbus ohio. will be visiting spokane from sept 30-oct 7. i would really love to get some awesome agates or something interesting but have no idea where to go. i will be renting a car. is there anything in a reasonable distance from spokane where i can get great stuff like this and still get back to stay in spokane that night?

also, i heard you can get pet wood somewhere between spokane and mt st helens?? any help would be GREATLY appreciated. thanks. my e-mail is fixfireleo@yahoo.com

admin September 8, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Hello Rob,

I have not collected in Washington yet so I don’t have specific information for you. What I would recommend is to leave some posts on the following forums. There are members of these forums that come from the areas you are asking about. George who runs the first forum lives in Washington and does travel to Spokane so he might have some good information for you.

Gem Community Forum

Rock Tumbling Hobby

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