Denver Fall Show and Colorado Dig,
21-30 Sept, 2009

Teller and Park County, Colorado

Another year at the Denver show!

With setup complete, friends Ray Hill and Paul Bell await our Pizza delivery!

This time, we ordered from Papa's Pizza. It was soooo good, that I gave them my ultimate *FIVE-STAR* rating for quality and value!  If you are lucky enough to live in Denver, here's their delivery
Phone # (303) 292-3078


21 Sept-  With 2 weeks of very hard work completed doing the show, it was now time to drive into the beautiful Rocky Mountains, to go digging with good friends!  Unfortunately, the weather was not on our side this year...

A cold and clear afternoon,
turned into a cold and snowy one-
Snow coming in!

22 Sept- Brandy Naugle and Justin Zzyzx stayed with us in our cabin
for the first few days-
Brandy hopes that the weather will
clear and warm up, so we can go collecting!

Another snow shower in action...
Bored, with no place to dig until the weather gets better, we all headed over to Quentin and Anita's house.  And, you guessed it, it snowed even more!

23 Sept-  Stuck in a cabin in the Rocky Mountains with nothing to do???  Make a heart-stopping breakfast, that's what to do!
Justin and Brandy stayed off boredom, while John Greenfield entrained his brain on the weather channel-

Justin then came up with an idea to do a Vugcast interview with me
about the amazing Goethite/Onegite discovery
Quentin and I made at the Dreamtime mine last Spring-

Justin and Brandy decided to take off for warmer weather in Utah, just about the time it began snowing
even harder!

Enough with this snow crap!  We decided to take off south ourselves and drive to our friend Clay Hudson's place in Alamosa.  We made a quick stop at Wilkerson Pass, to get some pix of the huge pegmatites on the high mountain cliffs above-
All of the 14,000-foot peaks were covered in clouds and snow-

We drove by a big heard of Buffalo, grazing in an open field-

It was snowing in South Park!
And at Mount Antero...

A big storm chased us right
out of the mountains!

UFO's do ROCK!
Aliens are Cool!

We had to cross the Rio Grande river, before the weather broke!
As soon as we got to Clay's house, we all jumped back in our cars and headed 45 minutes south to Clay's private land, very near the border of New Mexico and Colorado-

At a secret place, Clay showed us these amazing Petroglyphs-

24 Sept-  The next day, we drove back to Lake George.  With the snow finally melted off, we could finally do some recon for Topaz in the Terryall Mountains!  I had over 10 claims to look over, and it was time to do some serious hiking at over 9,000 feet!  The Cowboys were busy, too!
First, we went to Kevin Dixon's side of the mountain-

Here is a spot that needed some digging.  But first, I had to eat all of the raspberries off the plants!
I found a small piece of Topaz in this
heavily weathered pegmatite dike-

These very ancient Pikes Peak grantitic batholiths are over 900,000,000 years old!  Because of these many millions of years worth of weathering and erosion, amazing "balancing" boulders abound in the area-
A house-sized boulder teeters on top of a 200-foot tall stone pedestal-

As I was walking perpendicular to some high rocky canyons, I stumbled upon one of my greatest-ever wildlife encounters!  Suddenly, a mere 20 feet down and 30 feet out from me, I found myself staring at 7 HUGE Bighorn Sheep!!!  In my shock and awe, I wasn't able to get my camera out in time to get any good pix.  I will remember this moment as long as I live!
Gone in a flash!!!

Pilot's Peak at Dusk-
After leaving the Pilot's Peak area for the day, we took a quick drive over to the nearby Spruce Grove area-

25 Sept-  Today, I continued my initial survey of several topaz claims with Clay Hudson, while John Greenfield and Kevin Dixon helped out Joe Dorris work his topaz wash plant for the day-

26 Sept-  Today, I helped Quentin run his Backhoe at the Dreamtime mine.  As I was making a new pad for the backhoe, I hit a small reef of rock, almost directly under Quentin's Discovery Monument, that produced some very nice Amazonite and smoky Quartz specimens!
Today was a great day!

Here Quentin holds a nice specimen next to the pocket-
A very nice smoky
Quartz/Amazonite combo,
fresh out of the pocket!

My good friend John Greenfield had a great time at the Dreamtime!

That night, we all stayed up late, working on reconstructing specimens from the days great pocket!

27 Sept-  Quentin DIGS his
Dreamtime mine!
A pegmatite dike begins
to show, while Anita, Courtney and Adam look on-
This pegmatite dike swelled out to almost 3-feet across.  It did produce one nice smoky Quartz crystal pocket, before it pinched out-

A Dreamtime sunset!

28 Sept, Today, John G. and I had to run into Colorado Springs to do some errands.  Along the way, we saw some beautiful views of Pikes Peak.  Here's a shot with the
"Garden of the Gods"
in front of Pikes-

30 Sept-  Beautiful views abound from Lake George, with Pikes Peak
way in the background-
A reality check as to how much area
there is to explore out here!

Kevin had a WICKED ITCH
to do some of that hole diggin'!
Clay clears off the grass and weeds-

Another shovel-load bites the dust!
Gees, this feels like work,
or something!!  At 9,000 feet, what do you expect?!

Tag team effort!
Finally, we start working the wall back, and soon see some interesting open spaces-

Back, back, back we go...
We hit a good-looking pegmatite
and DIG IN!

Caught up in the moment,
I buried myself waist-deep in waste rock!
After removing several more large boulders, the zone becomes more evident-

Digging away but not finding much-
All done for the last day of the trip!

1 Oct- Time to do that crazy 1100-mile-drive-home-in-a-day thing, again!  This time, I took the "Loneliest Road in America" home.

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