New Obliq Website Published

A long process, but the Obliq Recordings web site is getting close to done.  The goal was to have lots of music streaming and available for download–regular and high quality.  I have uploaded over 120 mp3s of almost all of our releases, some live sets and some DJ mixes.  I plan to start putting more DJ mixes here on this site as well as Obliq as soon as I get a chance…do the RSS feed to be informed on that.

Check it out –> obliq.net

Welcome to the new Obliq web

Howdy and welcome. Please pardon our pixel dust as we continue to build this new website. We have used a blog style site to help us keep in better communication with you. Please subscribe to our RSS for up to date information!

New to this site is streaming audio (over 115 tracks, nearly our entire catalog!), FREE downloads of our entire catalog in 192Kbps (for those concerned with size) and High Definition 320Kbps (for those concerned with quality)! Enjoy! Also available for the first time are many live and radio shows with exclusive material!

Don’t forget to check out the shop for very limited Vinyl and CD releases! Feel free to comment on stuff you like and give us some feedback!

2009 Crystal Hunting in Review: Red Feather Lakes

Update:  September 2014.  

I was contacted (see comments for this posting) by a claim owner in this area informing me that he has a claim in this area.  He states that he has the area clearly marked and gated.  He stated that if you have interest in visiting his claim to contact him at spiritfamily25@yahoo.com, his name is Casey Lehman.

Whenever you visit a claim, I’ve been told that you should have a printed authorization ON YOU in case there are any questions why you are visiting, which Casey also states is required for his claim.  Thanks Casey for this reminder as this is important as rockhounds and claim owners to follow all the rules.

Rockhounds are obligated to prospect an area before digging looking for discovery notices and/or corner posts (I’ve been seeing center side posts being placed to help mark claims recently, which is helpful but I don’t think required!).  Many claims corner posts I have found contain information about the claim (name, contact information, GPS coordinates), so in these cases it is easy to know exactly where is not available to dig–thanks to the claim owners who do this as I can pop the coordinates into my GPS and know immediately where the boundaries are at! Remember, claims can feel very large when you are hiking and sometimes the corner posts can be hard to see.  I have found that many claim holders post notices in obvious places around their claims to ensure it is seen if someone is looking, so make sure and look at the trees as well, postings on trees can be seen usually from all angles especially around dug areas!

In talking with several folks in the Rockhounding clubs where I’m a member, it sounds like there are more and more areas within popular spots under claim.  For example, the popular Mt Antero and Lake George localities I guess are heavily claimed….so much so that if it is easy to get to then it probably is off limits.  I’ve been told by very “in the know” people areas that are open to dig; just to find corner posts in those areas when I look. Thus, even if you’ve been to a place in the past or read about it in a book, it is still important to ensure the area is not currently claimed.  Note that claim owners must post corner posts and also a discovery notice on their active mining claims, so responsibility is shared between rockhounds and claim owners.

I highly encourage any avid rockhounder to join a local club as this is the easiest way to hit the “hot spots” on club fieldtrips to private claims (many times the claim owner is there and can tell you the history of the area, and more importantly, help you be successful)!

 

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Went twice near Red Feather Lakes and found crystals.  I started digging into a Quartz vein and pulled out a nice set of crystals within the quartz.  The kids just went around and picked up float and everyone had a great time.

The second time I went up my dad and I went alone.  There was obviously a serious snow storm coming and the ground was frozen about 4-5 inches deep; but it wasn’t too cold to mine.  I ended up digging along where I thought the quartz vein I had luck with last time which was mostly big sand and small rocks.  My dad ended up sifting through this with my screen and we were finding several crystals per shovel full of dirt.  So we did this all day.  I found the quartz vein about 24-30 inches below the ground but we didn’t go that deep into it as we were having fun working the looser dirt.  Most of the crystals here are clear but covered with yellowish or gray staining, some of which is Hemotite.  Once it started snowing really hard we decided to leave as I had to head home that day…I started my new job that week.

We found several double terminated crystals on this second day.

We found many larger crystals and lots of smaller ones too.

Most of these are stained and Oxalic and Myriatic Acids do not take these off.  Anyone know of a way to clean these kind of dirty crystals that appear the bad color to be caked on by heat?

2009 Crystal Hunting in Review: Devils Head

In retrospect, I had a great year digging at Devil’s Head in the Pike National Forest.  Firstly, I can  be digging in about 65 minutes from starting the car here at the house.  Nothing like being close to the action!  2009 was definitely a beginner’s year for me and I learned quite a bit.  I also got quite lucky (and unlucky).

I ended up finding a spot (luck!) that produced right away.  I visited that hole about 6-7 times this fall.  Most days were good; but there were a couple of days that did not produce.  I buried the hole but am thinking about digging it out again next spring…we’ll see, it won’t be the first time I buried that hole and then dug it out again! 😉

I believe everything I was finding was Miarolitic Cavities as opposed to pegmatite vugs.  For the most part these these were right at the boundary between the roots and harder rock about 8 – 18 inches below the surface.  Joe Dorris has a nice description of these on his website.  I also found, digging in old unfilled abandoned holes, several deeper pockets filled with thick red clay and some crystals.  I’m assuming these are more “vug” type structures in the pegmatites.  That red clay is definitely a mess!

Highlights of the hole I was digging in were the many large double terminated crystals my dad found on the first day of snow in Colorado this year.  Also some really nice orthoclause crystals, one which is multicolored in squares.  We found nice smoky quartz crystal heads from sub-inch to about 4 inches in all different quality.  Some were nice large “gemmy” color…the further south you get the darker the crystals it seems here in Colorado.  I have a cigar box full of small crystals, and several larger individuals and a few crystals on harder matrix/feldspar.

Here are the fruits of my (and Hunter’s) labor on my second day in my hole.  We found a pocket that I could stick my hand into which was very exciting, that seemed more like a small vug/pocket as it was surrounded by very hard rock.  Most of the small crystals came from a pocket about a foot higher, likely a Miarotilic Cavity?

This is the same hole but the next time I went with my dad.  It was snowing so hard that we ended up having to leave we were so cold…

These were some of the best crystals to come out of this hole.  My dad was digging and extracting the bigger crystals and I was taking my new screen I just bought at the Gem and Mineral show the day before to sift for “smaller” ones.

On my last day in this hole of 2009, I found several small pockets along the root/rock line parallel to a quartz-ish vein about a foot away from the vein.  That afternoon I dug for about 5 hours and found nothing, so I need to determine if this spot is worth continuing with next year.  This is the coolest thing when you pull off a rock and see a “hole”.  Sometimes they pan out, sometimes they don’t.

Here is another pocket I found.  I would just run my hand along the top of this hole loosening the dirt/rock and the cleared out base would be filled with rock and crystals.  This is a common way I pull these smaller points out of the ground.

2009 was  blast and I got hooked on finding smokeys.  We have joined the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society and plan to learn a lot this year and go on several digs, including the private claims that the society works.  My number 1 goal is to better understand how to find geological features that will tell you where a good place to dig is; that is the hardest part so far in my experience.

Oh, and sometimes, a rock falls onto your hand and there is a crystal on top of it.  This happened twice this year.  That was nice slender half-dollar sized crystal!


Rhodochrosite: Red Treasue of the Rockies DVD

Just finished watching this video from 2004.  Yeah, better late than never!  This is a great video that I got on loan from the Jefferson County library system because Douglas County didn’t have it.  The DVD shows the mining for Rhodochrosite crystals in an old Silver mine near Alma in Park County. 

I’ve read about mining before but I didn’t really “get it”.  This video definitely filled in the gaps.  They showed what the veins looked like, how they mined and all the terminology associated with mining.  They showed extraction of the Rhodochrosite crystals.  They showed where the probability of vugs was the greatest.  One of my favorite parts was how they showed some of the chemistry to vector into the highest probability sections of the mine.  Pretty neat how they learned about the Geology and put the puzzle pieces together in the 13 years that they mined the Sweet Alma mine. 

Anyone into minerals or mining should defnintely check this video out, it is great!

Here’s one of the pieces shown in the movie (and the current price direct from the miner)!  If you haven’t seen the Rhodochrosite exhibit in the Denver Mueseum of Nature and Science, that was also featured in this movie and it is simply spectacular!  Rhodochrosite is the Colorado state mineral.  Oh, and the movie was narrated by Karl Mecklenberg too!