Hello folks,

 It is time for another trip. Here are the details that we talked about at the meeting. 
This trip will be to Upper Campbell lake.
We will meet at the Canadian tire parking lot @ 9:00 A.M.  Sunday October 25th
You will need to bring all the regular rock hounding gear.  Gumboots will probably be a good idea as will rain gear. 
Hope to see you there.
Shane Mawhinney
Wagon master


 Hello Folks,

I am sorry to inform you that our Rock Candy Mine trip this year is cancelled due to fire concerns.  I received the following email yesterday detailing the problems...

You can call me if you have any questions.

 Shane Mawhinney

Wagon Master (250.285.3465)

 From: Bob Jackson
Rock Candy Mine/
Grand Forks, BC

To all upcoming 2015 Vugs, Colourful Crystals, and Private tour

With great regret, I must tell you that all forestry and industrial activities, including our mining operations at Rock Candy, are being shut down by the Grand Forks District Fire Marshal as of tomorrow, July 14.  This has never happened before in July, but last winter’s low snowfall coupled with extremely dry spring and summer weather has produced high fire danger.  The Fire Marshal’s decision means that we cannot blast or use our other powered rock-moving equipment, making it impossible to prepare the mine for collecting.

The extended forecast is for hot and dry weather for the next month, so I don’t anticipate being able to operate at all this summer.

Our Safari trips will continue as usual, since those do not require fresh rock.  If you are going to be in Grand Forks, please let me know so that I can arrange for you to join a Safari, gratis.

Currently there are no active fires within 30k of the mine, so the back roads remain open, and our caretaker in place.  Should the fire danger increase to “Extreme”, the forest roads would close, and even the Safaris will cancel.


GeologyAdventures or RockCandyMine will of course offer full refunds.
At the moment I am mining in Montana with limited computer access, so cannot immediately send refunds via Paypal, but will when back in my Seattle office.  If you prefer, we will hold onto your payment to guarantee you a space on the same trip and your choice of dates during our 2016 season.  Please let us know which option you would prefer, and how you paid us: Paypal or cheque/check.

My sincere apologies for the cancellations.  Wish there was something I could do about the weather!
Bob Jackson


Hello Folks,

 I have done the leg work up in the Memekay valley and the site is not very suitable for a group.  The road is washed out and it is very steep and a very long walk!  there is some new logging in the area that may open up some new ground in the future.  But for now it is an active logging site.  But the good news in all of this is I did find fossils!

 So on to plan B:

The location:

we will meet at the Trent river just south of the Cumberland turnoff of the inland highway.  We will meet at the north side of the bridge on the southgoing side of the highway. 

The time:

Sunday 28th of June - 12 o'clock noon

 The gear:

Good footwear - we are going to be in a river bed, so you may want gumboots or sandals or barefeet. The hike down to the river is a bit steep in spots so sandals here would not be a good choice.

rock hammer, prybar, or small sledge and pick are all good tools for picking the fossils out of the shale rock.

protective eyewear.

a way of packing fragile fossils - paper towel works, newspaper, and maybe cardboard. and a bucket or packsack

snacks or lunch.

 And there you have it!

Hope to see you there.

 Shane Mawhinney



Gordon River Trip

Hello Folks,

 Sunday is fast aproaching and I am getting excited! 

I would like to add a meeting place to accommodate the people that want to come that live south of us.  We will meet up and re-group when we are almost there.

The time: 11:30-11:40 a.m.

The place:  Deering road and Pacific Marine road intersection.  The road into Port Renfrew from Lake Cowichan is called Pacific marine road.  You follow it until you are almost at Port Renfrew.  Then you turn left onto Deering road at a bridge.  We will meet there.

It looks like the weather will be great!

Hope to see you there,

Shane Mawhinney

Wagon Master

Hello there ripple rock hounders!

 It's time for another adventure: this time we are going south.  The destination is the Gordon River.  At the meeting on Friday I said the trip was May 30th but upon checking with the dates/email I originally set, the 30th is wrong!. The Gordon River trip is  May 31st.  This day works better for some of our members; also being a Sunday I think more people will hopefully be able to make it.  I am going to make this a day trip but people are welcome to make it a camping thing if they want.  The area is beautiful and there is camping in the area.  It is a long drive so I am leaving early, catching the first ferry off of Quadra Island, the 7:05 am. 

Meeting place: the intersection between the new highway and the Cumberland/Courtenay off ramp.  There is a large parking area there right on Cumberland road just below the highway.  We will meet there at 8:15 a.m. Make sure you are have a full tank of gas as it is about a 3hr drive from here.  This gets us to Port Renfrew at around 11:15-11:30 a.m. 

You will need all the standard rock hounding gear.  Hammer, safety glasses, spray bottle might be helpful, backpack, sturdy footwear, Sun hat, and rain gear ( this is the true west coast!) and a lunch. 

The Gordon River is situated on the southern part of Wrangalia Terrane, where it is colliding with another small volcanic terrane called the Crescent Terrane.  This should make an interesting mix of 'foreign' rocks.  Some of the rocks we'll collect include Bronzite and marble; there is gold in this river for anyone that would like to try there luck at panning.

So there you have it folks,

If you have any questions you can email me ( or call me 250-285-3465



Merry Widow Trip

Its time for another trip.

 The dates for this trip are May 2nd (Saturday) and 3rd (Sunday).  The place is the Merry Widow mine.  This old mine site is located on the North island near Port McNeil.  We will be spending the night up on the mountain. The mine was mined mainly for the Iron deposits there in the form of magnetite.  There are lots of interesting rocks to find there: calcite crystals, Chalcopyrite, limestone, quartz crystals, garnets, and other cool rock. 

 You will need:

Camping gear -- the place to camp up there is a large and open. 

For the less adventurous, Visa or Mastercard at Port McNeil!

 Water -- there is not any running water up there.  It is high up the hill so you will need warm clothing.  The last stretch up to the mine is steep and you may need 4wheel drive to make it up.  There will be opportunity to park at the bottom and carpool up to the top, if you don't have a 4wheel drive vehicle (it's about 15 minutes drive up). Food, you will need to bring meals for 2 days, cooking and cleaning supplies in a camping style. 

Clothing:  rain gear (this is the north island), warm clothing (top of a mountain on the north island, spring may not have reached there yet), sturdy footwear.

Rock hounding gear:  pick, pry bar, and safety glasses are an asset. 

 We will meet at the Canadian tire parking lot in the morning of Saturday (May 2).  We will depart at 8:00 a.m. The drive is about 2.5 hours on the highway and about 40 minutes on the logging roads to the site.

Great,  Hope to see you there.

Shane Mawhinney  Wagon master   250-285-3465


Hello to all Ripple Rock Hounders!

 We are going on a trip this weekend, to the Oyster River. Jack Falconer is quite familiar with the river and has selected some sites for us to explore.  We will meet at the Oyster River Discovery Foods parking lot at 10 a.m. on Sunday April 19th. 

 You will need good footwear, maybe gumboots (it is a river bed we are searching in).  lunch, and rain gear.  Bring a spray bottle if you have one -- it's to wet the rocks with. Wet rocks show off their beauty better.  A rock hammer is not totally necessary as most of the good rocks in the oyster are easy to identify.  But if you love to smash rocks bring it (along with eye protection of course!).

 Hope to see you there,

 Shane Mawhinney  Wagon master  250-285-3465

Ripple Rock Club Fossil Hunting Fun

 On January 18th we had a fossil hunting trip. The day started a little grey but what do you expect in January on the wet coast, grey is better than the ground covered in snow and no rockhounding!  We went to the Hamm Road location, an area known as a hot spot for fossils, evident by the fact that we were not alone out there hunting fossils in the rain. This area has become renowned since highway construction crews blasting their way through this area came across many large ammonites.  Soon after highway construction, local fossil hounds started hunting and many great ammonites among other specimens have been found here. 

 After a quick lesson on what to look for we began scratching around, looking for concretions in the rock and digging through the loose shale to find small shells and bits of unidentifiable fossils.  A concretion is a spherical rock that sometimes  houses a fossil. In the creation of the fossils layers of mud and sand collect around the fossil and petrify into rock.  Concretions are easily found in the solid layers of shale.  Finding them is different than removing them!  Often the ones you find are there because other fossil hunters couldn’t remove them from the rock; it can be quite a chore. Some are a little more uncovered from our efforts but remain in place for the next people to attempt removal.  It seems that the success rate for finding a good fossil in one of these is about 1 in 10 so you are not guaranteed to get a fossil when you finally do remove one from the rock.  

 Finding a fossil in the rock can be quite tricky to remove or reveal the specimen.  Often there is more work to do at home.  I have a few of these that I took home.  Dennis carried one home that he was too nervous to smash and was going to use tools in his shop to help.  Quite a feat, carting such a large rock home.  The weather took a turn for the better, and for an hour it was sunny and warm, the sun illuminating a dark ominous rain cloud coming our way.  Soon it reached us and unleashed its torrent on our heads.  We collected for about 15 more minutes just enough time to get drenched!  Then we decided enough was enough, packed up our treasures and headed home.  Another great winter trip!  The coast here may have the only rock clubs that can rock hound right through the winter (especially this winter)!  Yay! 

 I am attaching some photos of fossils I brought home; thanks to my daughter Ocean for her photography skills in making these look so good.

 I have not come up with an idea for a trip in February so if anyone out there has any bright ideas please speak up.

Thank you to everyone that came out and I will see you on the next one! 

Your wagonmaster,

Shane Mawhinney