back

Here is an account of the field trip to Port Alberni. 

We met at the top of the Alberni hill with no problem meeting everyone there.  It was pouring rain guaranteeing a show of hardcore rockhounds.  Yes there are lots of hardcore rockhounds amongst us.  There was 5 people from our club, and around the same for their club.  the hot spot was not very far from the highway, so after a few minutes driving and we arrived at the place.  Don stopped his vehicle, got out picked up a rock and came to my window with a bright red jasper in his hand.  "Is this what you are looking for?"  He said.  "Ahaa" said I, and jumped out of my truck to discover jasper everywhere!!!  In fact the loggers cut right through the deposit and built a road out of it.  The surface of the road was peppered with so much jasper it made up about twenty percent of the road.  There was plenty of small pieces for the tumbler.  There was also plenty of sizes on up to about football size and larger.  In fact Ron managed to quickly pick out a huge boulder of the stuff about 12 feet down the bank in the little creek.  He then rigged up a rope on the thing and another rockhound backed up his truck to help out.  It took about six of us and the truck to manage to drag it up the bank on to the road.  Then the task of putting it into my truck.  We decided to first put it on the famous rock dolly, and then six of us lifted the dolly with the rock into the truck.  Wow that rock was heavier than all the smaller rocks I collected combined.  Good score.  I would like to see him (Ron) lift that sucker on to his saw. 
  The deposit runs right through the small creek there and I spotted some jasper solidly attached to mother earth.  The creek had oxidized the red into a black, kind of looked like rhodonite black.  We hypothesized that maybe there was some manganese in it??  The rock was brick red and brighter, with some purples and white quartz veins running through it.  Beautiful stuff.  Time will tell if the stuff in the road is solid enough for good carving, but there was plenty of stuff in the creek also.  The creek was in full flood so limited us to the banks of the creek. The material that was used to fill and make the road was about ten or twelve feet thick.  Digging at the side of it proved that the twenty percent seen on the road also made up the bulk of the material.  Every fifth boulder or so was jasper.  The jasper was spread about a hundred feet along the road. 
The collecting only lasted about an hour or so until everyone had their fill.  We all dispersed from there.  Ron and I spent a few more hours combing the hillsides of Mount Arrowsmith looking for anything special, but nothing too exciting was found.  Especially after comparing it to the hot spot we had been shown. 
A big thank you to Don Dawson and the Alberni club for graciously allowing us to tag along.  We are looking forward to linking up in the future some time to share adventures.  And thanks to all the other people that were there. 

Your wagonmaster,
Shane