Discovered some petrified wood while camping this last weekend. We went camping in the Arkansas River valley across from Mt Antero, Princeton and Shivano. Our secret private campsite at Ruby Mountain. It was a muddy camp trip because of the monsoonal moisture, but that heavy rain helped cool it off in the evenings making for great camp sleeping!
I wanted to check out rocks in the Taylor Mountain / Missouri Hill area around some of the Marble and other quarries. A fellow rockhound James was kind enough to give me some directions and advice on visiting this location, however he warned me that the road required a high clearance 4WD vehicle. I went in our non-4WD knowing that I would probably have to park and walk a mile or two, however by the time I got up there the rains were coming in and I was running short on dry clothes. I went almost to mile 4.5 of about 6 but eventually turned around and headed back down into the river valley.
I visit Ruby Mountain at least once per year and am not overly excited about the hard to find garnets and elusive topaz, and have more than enough apache tears from this location, so since I had a couple of hours left I decided to head down to Brown’s Canyon area as my only other visit several years back yielded nothing. As described in Steve Voynick’s Colorado Rockhounding book, most of the side roads off of Chaffee County Road 194 past the private land lead to old Fluorspar mines. I picked one side road and headed on a hike with my trusty Rock Hound Dog Boogie.
Boogie standing in the shade on this hot August day
It was a hot day and we ended up at the mine which now is a nice makeshift gun range. It wasn’t that large of a reclaimed mine but I started to wander around and scout what was there. I picked up many red, green, black and other cool colored stones that would I feel be great to tumble. I found some fluorspar but nothing that great. I was looking for smaller fluorite crystals without any luck. I did happen upon some agatized petrified wood and spent the rest of the hour or so I had looking for this.
Fluorspar mine in Browns Canyon
Found a couple of really great camping sites while hiking as well; I hope to bring my kids back to this site someday and do some target practice, camping and more rockhounding!
The collection of nicer wood samples I found
Great texture and color in this sample
Petrified Wood, love the way the wood grain turns and twists
Cool agatized petrified wood full of color!
Agatized petrified wood, the first rock I found this day
I love the detail on this piece of petrified wood
Random river rock with some cool patterns
Cool river rock with Amethyst