Pickin’ Red Feather Lakes Quartz

My dad, son and I had the opportunity to go on a rockhounding club field trip with the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society as guests of the Flatiron Mineral Club to a set of private claims near Red Feather Lakes in Northcentral Colorado.  Red Feather Lakes is known for some of the best Colorado Amethyst found and also clear quartz, and a few miles north high quality industrial grade diamonds!  Today we were digging for Red Feather Lakes quartz.

Here are a couple of past expeditions to the RFL area:

There were a couple of claims that we could visit so we had a choice of what we wanted to do this field trip!  Some of us stayed at the first claim the claim owner walked us to in hopes of bigger quartz crystals and clusters (but much more effort) while others went to a smaller claim that had abundant smaller clear quartz crystals that were much easier to find.  Hunter and I chose the first claim with more digging effort and a longer walk while my dad chose to check out the other smaller claim, eventually coming back and getting the best of both worlds.

Hunter is not much of a digger and has a keen eye for float, so he set off right away and started scouting the claim.  Meanwhile, I love to dig so that I did.  I found a couple of crystals within the top foot of soil and found some quartz veins that didn’t produce anything noteworthy.  Hunter found a very nice float cluster right away bringing up everyone’s confidence that there is good stuff in the area.  Meanwhile, the trip leader, Charlotte, was no more than two feet next to me and started hitting nice crystals as she opened up a seam.

Hunter's quartz cluster.

Hunter’s quartz cluster.

Just after Hunter gave us all a jaw-dropping moment, I hit a nice phantom with white quartz with a secondary period of crystallization of clear quartz.  So the father and son duo were not skunked and finding crystals right away!  Cool!

Nice phantom white quartz under the secondary growth of clear quartz

Nice phantom white quartz under the secondary growth of clear quartz

Soon there after Charlotte started pulling out really nice crystals from her seam she was excavating.  I can’t image getting bored of pulling crystals out of a pocket, but Charlotte wanted to ensure that everyone had a chance to pull out some nice crystals showing her kindness and generosity as the trip leader.  So many of us took turns at pulling out crystals from her pocket! 🙂  I found a really nice double terminated cluster, but I had to give that to Charlotte as a memento from the pocket she discovered!  I pulled out some great points and a couple small clusters!

Uncleaned quartz crystal from Red Feather Lakes

None of the quartz has been cleaned yet; I have a handful that are in the acid bath queue.

Interesting crystal form

Interesting crystal form

Large quartz, I cannot find the two crystals that were once next to this.

Large quartz, I cannot find the two crystals that were once next to this as seen by the matrix bottom.  This was the last crystal I pulled from the seam as it was opening up into the main part of the pocket (of course we didn’t’ know that yet!)

Meanwhile my dad returned from the other claim with many nice small clear crystals.  It became his turn and he was able to pull crystals out as the pocket bottomed out.  He was able to keep several amazing clusters from the pocket that kept giving!

Red Feather Lakes quartz cluster

Wonderful cluster from near the end of the pocket. My dad extracted this and another similarly amazing cluster

Dad has some nice crystals and when he gets some photos I will upload them here.  Meanwhile, I took some shots before I left; he has a couple of nice pieces of matrix that hopefully he has the crystals to repair to make a couple more stellar clusters!

Great quartz crystals from Red Feather Lakes Colorado

Both amazing clusters, quickly washed with the garden hose.

Gotta love the fall colors while enjoying the forest and rockhounding in Colorado!

Gotta love the fall colors while enjoying the forest and rockhounding in Colorado!

All in all it was an incredibly fun day meeting many great folks from the Flatirons Mineral Club!  I hope to be able to dig with these folks again in the future!  Thanks to the owner of the claims for making this a fantastic rockhounding adventure in Colorado!

Red Feather Lakes Quartz

My turn at Charlotte’s Pocket pickin’ Red Feather Lakes quartz crystals.

 

Vintage DJ Request Sheets

Recently I was reviewing my web blog referrer statistics and saw an interesting website called NoBreastsNoRequests .  With my curiosity sparked I paid a visit to this referring site.  It ended up being a really cool and unique blog; featuring signs in DJ booths at clubs around the world!  Going through the blog I discovered a ton of really funny (and sometimes really crude) signs in DJ booths and request sheets that DJs have received.  The blog was referring to my original posting of a request I found in an old record from a couple of years back.

Just out of pure coincidence I had pulled a record a few nights before to listen to that had another one of these requests in it…which prompted this posting.  The story goes as I was DJing whenever I would get interesting requests I’d save them with the record I was playing when I received the request.  I have many crazy request sheets stashed away giving me a laugh every now and then–throughout the rest of my life I’ll get a random laugh from the past!  Glad I decided back then to save these!

I decided to go through a row of records in the stacks and I ended up finding several of these requests.  I thought since there is interest I’d share them!

Request sheet stashed in the R&S Records "PCP EP" classic record from 1992

Request sheet stashed in the R&S Records “PCP EP” classic record from 1992

White pumps and blue dresses

White pumps and blue dresses

This next one has a funny story; the local warehouse raves at the time were promoted by a couple on entrepreneurs from UK. Although these raves started off pretty fun, many by one promotion company ended up being pretty sketchy and sometimes scary. I played a bit of techno at the time and someone had requested the classic Ice-T sampled “I am a nightmare walking” by Kid Unknown. Another statement (obviously not a request) was added about that local promoter making me laugh!

This one was stashed in a white label test pressing.

This one was stashed in a white label test pressing.

The next couple deserve some explanation as I think I know what was going on. I was DJing in Boulder Colorado, a fairly small University city northwest of Denver. I tried to play a variety of styles of music since we were the only nightclub downtown and attracted a variety of patrons. The club one summer started to have some fights and the club owners attributed it to the “ethnic folks” that obviously didn’t live in Boulder (as Boulder isn’t that diverse of a city). To cleanse the club of the problem I was ordered by the club owners to no longer play hip-hop music (common bands were Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, DJ Shadow, etc.). I thought this directive was incredibly lame and I’d sneak in a song or two with the excuse of it being a request; and of course I’d get in trouble. Eventually I’d comply and stopped playing the genre all together (but soon after I left the club). We obviously had fans of the small sets of hip-hop that I once played that came solely for those short sets…I felt bad I could not provide the music they wanted to hear on their night out on the town; but I also wanted to keep my job…

Request for Diversity (1 of 2)

Request for Diversity (1 of 2)

Request for Diversity (2 of 2)

Request for Diversity (2 of 2)

Why Techno Sucks (1 of 3)

Why Techno Sucks (1 of 3)

Why Techno Sucks (2 of 3)

Why Techno Sucks (2 of 3)

Here is the classic finale of this lengthy request. After taking nearly a whole song to read (in the near dark) the last request sheet (front and back); this one followed.  I remember this request distinctly as I couldn’t believe what I actually just read; and laughed my ass off.  I believe this request was from the same ladies as the one in my previous posting; as many of the items listed are duplicated in its sequel; but never found out who they were.

Why Techno Sucks (3 of 3)

Why Techno Sucks (3 of 3)

As I find more of these going through my record collection, I’ll continue to post these crazy things!  LMAO!

 

North Table Mountain Zeolites Field Trip

On Saturday April 17th, 2010 the whole family, along with my dad, went on a hike to North Table Mountain open space in search of Zeolites along with the Flatirons Mineral Club, led and special thanks goes out to Dennis Gertenbach for his organizing this trip.  I had done some reading on what to expect but this was my first hard-rock pounding experience.

We did the 3/4 mile trail and ascended 700 feet up to the Southeastern Quarry.  We overlooked both buildings that I worked at Coors so many years ago so the mountain was definitely familiar; but I had no idea that you could hike on this land (I thought it was private still) and had no clue what I could have been doing during lunch each day!  Once we got up to the Quarry, I immediately noticed the nice bricks that were piled up on the front of the hill and was amazed that folks could actually somehow carve out those shapes from the boulders that were all around.  I would love to know more about how folks do this.

Immediately we started to see crystals in the rocks and it didn’t take long to find what we were after.  Hunter and Daphne started finding rocks right away with cool crystals; and my dad continued with the luck of the Irish and immediately found a large boulder with several exposed vugs that he started working.

Later in the morning my dad was pounding away at his large boulder at a crack he found and ended up splitting the boulder and exposing a new vug.  Inside was some amazing Thomsonite, Chabazite and Analcime crystals.  There also was an interesting black crystal that we still have not identified.  I ended up finding some cool crystals but eventually started to work on the nice pieces my dad was pulling off of the boulder.  There was no way we could carry the big pieces down so I started to work on downsizing into more manageable sized pieces.

After a couple of hours it started to rain and we decided to head down and have lunch.  We ended up with some great crystals and this is a spot I definitely want to go back to in the future!  With a larger sledgehammer next time!

Here was the nice piece that came from the vug my dad found.  Thomsonite, Chabazite and Analcime.

Here is an Analcime crystal.

Here is some more Analcime crystals as part of a vug.

Some Thomsonite on Analcime.

Here is the vug that my dad broke into.

And the other side of the small vug…

Several folks have asked me how to get to this Quarry.  It is on Jefferson County open space which has different rules for Rockhounding than BLM or National Forest, so do your research first.  When I went with this club they had obtained special permission through the County to rockhound in the area.  If you read the link I’ve provided, you will see that you need a permit to collect:

http://jeffco.us/parks/rules-and-regulations/natural-resources-collection/ 

C.7. Collection of Natural Resources

It shall be unlawful to take, collect, gather, or possess any animal, vegetation, rock, wood or any other object on Open Space lands.

Fine: $100.00

NOTE:  This area is riddled with Rattlesnakes!  BE CAREFUL!  This was just a baby snake, but they are just as poisonous, and like all other young animals they tend to be a little more unpredictable!

Rattlesnake in the trail on North Table Mountain

Rattlesnake in the trail on North Table Mountain

Where I’ve always parked in on Easley Road off of West 44th Avenue.  I’ve gotten onto West 44th from Hwy 58 (Golden Fwy) to McIntyre to 44th.  You will pass the Colorado Railroad Museum (which is worth a stop) on your way.  You’ll walk west along the on ramp to Hwy 58 and then hop on the trail marked with the arrow, you’ll see it on your right.

Parking area for North Table Mountain Quarry trailhead

Parking area for North Table Mountain Quarry trailhead on Easley Road

You will see the trailhead in the above map; you walk West up the hill until you run into the North Table Loop.  When you intersect with this trail you will double back and head East.  This will take you right to the Quarry.  Have fun, be safe, and ensure you have permission to Rockhound by calling the Jefferson County offices.

Directions to North Table Mountain Quarry

Directions to North Table Mountain Quarry

And note, it gets VERY HOT and windy up here.  When I’ve done the hike it is in April or May.  Take a lot of water and drink it!  It’s definitely a hike and the wind will dry you out too!