Mt Antero Rockhounding trip with Isenharts – July 30, 2011

What a great trip. Went camping on BLM land (thanks for the Tip on these sites, Tim!) with Tim and JD Isenhart and Hunter. Tim offered to drive and since I had never done that road before (and had been warned that the Touareg wouldn’t make it up because of lack of clearance) I was excited to finally go to this long awaited destination!

We left first thing and make the long journey to the top. I think I could have made it with the VW, but there were 2 spots that would have been tricky. The road was definitely rough and high clearance is definitely required. We got to the top and started looking through the old tailings from the days of mining Beryl. Right away we found traces of aquamarine and started digging. Hunter didn’t dig that much but had a keen eye as he found most of the great rocks of the day. His double-terminated phenokyte (with remnants of Aquamarine) is spectacular; his topaz was great as well!

The drive was great and I hope to get up there again soon!

Information sign at the base of the very rough road to Mt Antero

Beautiful Beaver pond at the stream crossing on the road to Mt Antero summit

JD Isenhart and the beautiful view as we were getting close to the summit

Hunter and the destination parking area (behind) of Mt Antero

Some Chlorite (?) and Blue Beryl from Mt Antero

Aquamarine fragments

Hunter's topaz crystal

I believe this is a piece of Galena

Hunter's double-terminated Phenokyte with Aquamarine

Hunter's double-terminated Phenokyte

We ended the weekend stopping by Ruby Mountain which was basically just a few miles away. Hunter and I had already scoped this area out and found a bazillion Apache Tears and found what the Rhyolite looked like with some Garnets. JD and Tim found this nice garnet before leaving to go fishing.

JD/Tim's Garnet find at Ruby Mountain

Ruby Mountain garnets

July 9th Smoky Hawk Claim trip with Fort Collins Rockhounds club

I had the opportunity to visit the famous Smoky Hawk claim with Joe Dorris with the Fort Collins Rockhounds club.  Joe allowed us to dig in some recently excavated material and also in the piles of tailings.

Beautiful view from up here; Haymen Fire burn boundry

A look up at the reclamation area that was on the New Crystal Hunters video

I right away started digging on some quartz in a pegmatite vein and found some small pockets; filled with small coated Amazonite, Smoky Quartz and Fluorite crystals. Even though these were all very small (probably biggest Fluorite was an inch) it was fun playing in the small pockets and collecting mostly Fluorite and Amazonite which both have been elusive for me!

Some of the Fluorites found in the small pockets

Went on to dig in the tailings piles and found many cool Amazonite crystals for the rock garden and also a nice Fluorite!!! Had a great day and learned a ton!

Small Amazonite clusters from inside the pockets

One of the nicer Amazonite crystals from the tailings

Killer Fluorite crystal found in the tailings

July 6, 2011 Front Range Supercell

Although storms this day didn’t amount to much severe activity, there was some nice looking clouds and I was able to get home early too! Nice after work chase! Pictures were taken near Bennett.

NWS Radar

I believe this is the National Weather Service radar

Fun after work chase

Fun after work chase

Nice inflow tails

Nice inflow tails

My favorite shot of the day

My favorite shot of the day

Low hanging clouds

Clouds were very low to the ground

cool clouds

Angry Clouds

Angry looking thing