This month I flew to Oregon for a week of rockhounding with my friends Alan and Wendy. Above is the view of the Columbia River from PDX airport on the morning I was returning to Texas. Upon arrival, I beachcombed along the northern Oregon coast. I initially went to Canon Beach west of Portland alone, then moved down the coast to Tillamook - I did not find much of interest at several locations on the northern coast.
Then I went to Salem and met up with Wendy and Alan to try my luck in the Willamette Valley. We tried a creek above Sweet Home and some spots on the Santiam and Willamette Rivers with limited success. Last summer I had located a source for petrified wood on the internet called Hollywood Ranch in the Sweet Home area which is known for agates and petrified wood. The place turned out to be an actual ranch with horses in the pastures. The owner had dug trenches with a backhoe and allows people to dig through the piles of loose dirt to find and take home chunks of petrified wood, only paying for what you decide to take. One horse was very persistent in examining our buckets and would have gotten into the rental car if given the chance. The three of us collected about 40 lbs. of petrified wood.
We us also went to the central coast and beachcombed Fogarty Creek Beach at low tide. We had some success there, although agates were generally pretty small. We did find jasper, quartz and other interesting rocks, including some sea-tumbled lava and basalt. We stopped at a second-hand store and I bought several interesting stones, which had already been cut in some cases.
In Salem I visited a rock shop, Crystal Light and Power, that I had been in last August. I obtained both information and several interesting local rocks from the proprietor. An antique mall not far from the rock shop also had some rocks and I bought a couple more there. As the result of my efforts I was able to ship home thirty lbs. of assorted rocks plus a few more lbs. in my luggage.
Besides the rock hunting, I had the opportunity to spend time with my two best friends from Manbrin Gardens where I grew up and also had the chance to listen to a high school classmate, J.T. Meier, playing guitar and singing at a local coffee shop on Saturday night. On my way to the airport for the return flight I stopped at Willamette National Cemetery and visited my parents' burial site. Overall, a very enjoyable and productive trip. (See slide-show below)
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I am still trying new show venues to find those that provide the most effective exposure for my works.