Monday, July 21, 2008

I gots my rocks off

Yes, I'm back. I've been back since Friday evening, but you know, we didn't want to violate the no posts on the weekend rule, now did we? Weekends are for communicating with intermittent grunts instead of full sentences. Constructing a compound sentence on a weekend causes indigestion, constipation and gas.

To refresh your memories, as well as my own sunbaked brain, my husband and I shoved our hoard into our fabulous minivan and drove 600 miles to Virgin Valley, NV. We thought it would be fun to sit on a large mound of white dirt and rake through it's contents to find shiny things.

...and it was fun. A bug has bitten me. I need to buy overalls.

We found several small opals that aren't worth a whole lot except that they are neat to look at. I found the best rock of the day, an almost fully opalized bit of twig. I like to think that some mammoth ate my twig and pooped it out shortly after breakfast the next day. It's shiny, but you can't see it's fire in the photos very well.

Other highlights of the trip include:

- Blackening the soles of our feet on the carpet of our motel room in Winnemucca. Motel looked nice on the outside. Filthy on the inside.

- Eating Basque food at $25 dollars a plate, again in Winnemucca. I had an inch and a half thick slab of bleeding ribeye steak, bisque soup, salad, paella, garlic potatoes and beans. Money wasn't the only price we paid for that meal.

- Petting at least a dozen large dogs belonging to bar regulars next to our motel room at Denio Junction. What do you do in Denio? Drink outside of the bar, smoke outside of the bar, bullshit with your unleashed dogs outside of the bar. Then, if you are an opal mine shareholder, you lay down the stickiest layer of alcohol fueled bullshit on naive tourists...outside of the bar.

- Order milkshakes inside of that same bar because the sign outside of the bar implied we were bad parents if we did not order any milkshakes. Turns out they were out of ice cream.

- Giggling over a conversation that mine shareholders were having, not at the bar but actually at the mine, on why it's a bad idea to lick rocks. I know getting a rock wet gives you a better idea of what the rock is but it never occured to me to lick rocks for identification. I'm not a horse, I don't need minerals that badly, much less lead and arsenic poisoning. I'm a rockhounding noob and I knew that.

- Oohing and ahhing over the wild burros all over Virgin Valley. Groaning and grunting when those wild burros brayed all night long at our campground near the mine. What a bunch of noisy asses.

- Peeing in a porta potty provided by the mine. I should have just walked down the road a bit and squatted there. Porta potty...out in the middle of nowhere...sitting there day after day in Nevada heat? Yeah, that's ambience baby.

- Slipping into a naturally warm and kinda green swimming hole at our campground after a day in the sun. When you wiggled your toes in the ooze at the bottom all the bubbles came rushing up, tickling your bits. Or the little fishies were tickling my bits. It was refreshing. The keepers of the campground built a nice shower facility using that same warm green water. God will remember that act of kindness in their afterlives.

- Not shredding your tires over all the obsidian laying everywhere. The signs that told you to stay on the dirt roads were all posted after we passed the one business in a thirty mile radius of the mines, Earl's Tire Repair.

So...there you have it. Shiny rocks. Family vacation accomplished. Sunburn avoided.

Happy to be back.


  1. It looks like a productive trip. Do you guys then polish the stones and make them into a finished product? I have friends here who are really into making jewelry and he has the equipment to cut and polish rocks. Makes some nice looking things.

    You didn't mention if you found the tire place by necessity or were yours okay?

  2. This whole shiny rock thing is new to us Dick. I have no idea what to do with the stones we found.

    Our tires were fine. We have the good sense to know you don't off-road in a fabulous minivan.

  3. Sounds like you had way too much fun but then again i am still glad u didnt invite me and expected me to attend!



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