March 15,16,17 - Fraser River bars (mainly Yale Bar)

By Zhia Mawhinney,

On Friday afternoon we set off on an adventure to Yale a very small town near the Fraser River. It was a very long drive and we got there late at night.
The next morning, we went down to the Yale Bar. It was raining lightly making all the rocks shimmer.
My dad loaded all of the large rocks he found into an inner tube and pulled them along the river to the truck easily, without having to haul them all individually across the long rock bar.
We filled our pockets and buckets and by the end of the day we were all very soggy yet satisfied with the treasures we found.

The next day we decided to go to the Landstrom Bar. It was full of pretty colourful pebbles and rocks. It was still raining but it was a beautiful day, the mountains were covered in snow, the muddy river rushed along, every now and then a train would go by, and the rocks glimmered in the rain. Once again our pockets filled,  and we set out on another adventure.

We drove along a lot of old pothole-filled gravel roads and crossed one very sketchy bridge but found a beautiful rock bar called Union Bar. We all found at least one agate and lots of other pretty looking rocks. We had been on this bar the year before on the rafting trip but we had found it at the end of the day and everyone was too soggy and wanted to put on some dry clothes. It was the best bar though and I am glad we found it again.

On Monday we packed up and stopped at the Chawathil bar before leaving. It was nice out and you could actually see a bit of blue sky. We didn't stay for long though because we had to leave.
When we got to the Vancouver ferry at about 12:40 the 1:00 ferry wasn't running (due to wind) and we ended up getting on the 5:00 ferry! So we didn't end up getting to Quadra until about 10:00 at night which was a very long day.

Overall the rock trip was successful and a lot of fun.

April 5th -  Merry Widow Mine 
Cancelled due to weather

Merry Widow update.

Hello rockhounders,

I am regretfully informing you that the merry widow trip is cancelled, (or postponed).  When I originally planned the date for

this trip the winter was looking very mild with no snow in the hills.  Well that changed soon after, and winter finally arrived in

February,  The snow is still falling in the mountains and the merry widow mine is near the tree line in elevation.  So the trip

this April the 5th is off.  I will pick a new date soon.

The next trip planned is the Argonaut mine trip on april 26th.  Hope to see you there.

Shane Mawhinney,

Wagon master

April 26th -  Quinsam Lake and Argonaut Mine.

Attention all ripplerockers

April 26th is coming up fast. That is this saturday! I have checked the location and everything is a go. 
We will meet at the canadian tire parking lot before 10:00 and leave the parking lot at 10:00 a.m.  You need to bring all the regular stuff, sturdy foot wear, rain gear (if it looks like rain) rock hammer, packsack, lunch, camera(amazing views from up top!) ect. as well you may want to bring a needle and thread for finding lodestones. 
The road in is a typical gravel logging road, but four wheel drive is not necessary.  The site is only about a 1/2 hour from Campbell River so it is nice and close for the locals.
The rocks we will be hunting include: marble,(new logging has ripped up some amazing marble) magnetite, garnets, epidote, and jasper. 

Shane Mawhinney, Wagon master, 250-285-3465

May 10,11 - Salt Spring Island ( Not 100% sure about this trip as I have never been there, going to look for help on this one.)

So there you have it... if you have any other rock trip ideas, I'd love to hear about them.
I am sure that this is going to be another great year!
Shane Mawhinney

Hello Folks,
Here is my report for the last field trip on Quadra.  The action started for me the night before as I looked out my window and witnessed snow!  I immediately thought that the trip would have to be cancelled or modified.  My house is located at a little bit of elevation so I hoped that the white stuff was not covering the beach.  but no good for the second location as it is high in the hills.  Luckily I had a plan B for this possibility. 

In the morning I looked outside to see only about 1 inch of snow had fallen.  I drove to the beach and saw that the snow level was at around 100 ft of elevation.  The beach was clear and the sea was calm.  I notified Steve Cooley and he kindly sent out an email to all of you to notify that the trip was on. 

After meeting the people off of the ferry, we headed to the beach.  Tsakwaluten lodge had allowed our group to access their beach using the road intended for lodge customers.  This was great as it allowed us to pull right up to the beach and minimize the distance to the 'hot spot'.  The beach there is littered with the petroglyphs.  The site is an ancient Salish village and there is allot of evidence of this.  We walked around the boulders looking for the carvings and we found a few, most are so weathered it is hard to see any definition. I did manage to find a face carving and showed most of the people there.  The rocks there have been deposited by a glacier so finding any type of rock is possible.  We found some epidote, chiastolite, and other beautiful rocks.  The wind was steadily rising and the southeaster was making it colder.  We ate lunch and regrouped at the landing pub again. 

The second half of the trip we headed north to a spot that Ron knew in the woods for some blackcarbonaceous limestone.  The material is weathered out into large slabs of rock suitable for carving.  We picked out some pieces and rolled them out of the ditch and onto the road.  It started to snow on us but at least we were protected from the wind in the trees.  After everyone had their fill we loaded up and went on to beach again where there is some interesting limestone.  The wind had picked up even more there and the beach was taking the brunt of it.  It was surprising to me how many people went out into the wind and on to the beach.  There was huge crashing waves there and it reminded me of the west coast.  We walked along the beach toward the outcropping of swirled and contorted limestone.  The rock here is very twisted and bent It is amazing to marvel at the forces involved to make such a structure.  We found a few rocks but we did not spend very much time there as the wind was making us cold. 
It was a beautiful day and everyone had a good time despite the February weather.  I always love the adventurous nature of the people that
follow me on these trips.  Thanks everyone.
Shane Mawhinney
wagon master


Quadra Island, June 29th

Hello folks,
I am writing to tell you about the next trip I have planned.  It is a continuation of the trip we did on Quadra Island in February.  This trip will bring us into the north end of Quadra Island, where there is much history of mining, and abundant old mine sites.  I will bring you to some of those mines.  The first site we'll visit is the famous Lucky Jim gold mine.  Although there are not many collectable rocks here, the mine is quite a sight and worth checking out.  Next we'll visit the spot we couldn't get to on the last trip because of snow.  This is to collect a very nice banded limestone.  The road here is a little rough: although 4 wheel drive is not necessary, it is a mountain logging road.  (There will be car pooling possibilities). 
There are two options for second half of the day. I'll take those who are interested to a copper mine that has radioactive uranium. This mine site is quite hard to get to: there is no trail so we will be doing a little bush wacking.  For people that don't like hacking through the bush with no trail, and whom don't care for radioactivity, an afternoon on a rocky beach is option two.  The beaches on Quadra have an incredible array of rock as it was all deposited by a glacier; there is a lot of variety. 
 A note on the radioactive copper site, from MinFile: "Carnotite was reported in fractures within the volcanic rocks.  An analysis of a carnotite sample taken in 1932 gave 24.5 per cent uranium and 21.1 per cent vanadium oxide (Geological Survey of Canada, Economic Geology 11)". Russel Ball from the Courtenay club has agreed to come with us and bring his geiger counter with him.
This field trip is Sunday June 29th.  Sunday morning is a better time to travel to Quadra on the ferries as summer ferries can be quite full.  Bring all the usual supplies: good footwear, rock hammer, water and lunch, and your geiger counter (!).  We will meet in the Landing Pub parking lot; the very first right hand turn after departing the ferry.  We will meet at 9:30-9:45 in the morning off of the 9:15 sailing.

Hope to see you there, if you have any questions or suggestions you can call me at home: 250-285-3465.   

Your Wagonmaster,

Shane Mawhinney

WEDNESDAY, July 16 camping at the Municipal RV park in Sayward 

THURSDAY , July 17 Adam River field trip

Meet at the Junction of Hwy 19 and Sayward Rd at 10:00 a.m.

Drive out to the Adam River for Dallasite, banded chert, limestone, and river rock.

POT LUCK dinner back at the campsite 5:00 p.m. Bring something to share. Jan is bringing chilli for all.

FRIDAY, July 18 White River, Salmon River, Elk Creek field trip

Meet at the junction of HWY 19 and Sayward Rd at 10:00 a.m.

Explore the 3 local streams for cherts, limestone, Dallasite, epidote and other interesting river rocks

  Sayward Rivers Fieldtrip

            The weather cooperated extremely well for the trip to Sayward and the exploration of the Adam, Salmon and White Rivers and the Elk Creek during the week of July 16 – 19. Our campsite on the ‘pond’ in the Village of Sayward was terrific and economical at only $15 per day.

            The Adam River trip was made by 5 members from the RR gem club and 2 from further south. Lynn and Penny drove up from the Cowichan Valley to participate in the collection of cherts, dallasite, epidote, limestone, Gordonite and great river rock. Hauling all of the loot from the bar to the car was strenuous but worthwhile. Crossing the road after lunch proved beneficial as 1 member brought back a 45lb art rock that resembled petrified wood. Nice find, Faye!

            Ken led us up the road to a claim that was held by one of our members in the past. Unfortunately the brush has overgrown the road and we did not get up to the area but we pushed on and came across some lovely marble in a banded black and white pattern. Unfortunately this marble is very powdery and not much use except for display. We brought back a few pieces to show off.

            The evening saw most of us back at the campsite for games and a potluck dinner. The fun lasted long into the evening but we all got to bed at a good hour so that the next day’s trip would not be negatively affected.

            The next day 5 of us made the trip to the Elk Creek Forestry site to explore the rocks left high and dry by receding waters from the Elk Creek. We found lots of banded chert and a good amount of Gordonite. The largest piece I sourced weighed at least 20 lbs and is still sitting in the stream bed. I found a lot of eroded and water-worn rocks suitable for bases of gem trees and filled my bucket for the future.

            After several hours of searching we made our way to the White River just in from Hwy 19 at the Sayward Junction. We parked at the abandoned gas station and got permission from the land owner to cross his property to the river. Almost immediately we found some wonderful samples of the kinds of rock we were searching for. Some of the material we collected will end up in gardens and others will make their way to a gem tree. Most of the rock was very decorative without promising much of use in lapidary. I got limestone, iron, quartz, and a few flat granitic stones. We all got our fill before lunch.

            The drive from the White to the bridge crossing over the Salmon River was quite short but we were glad to arrive at the site in such a short time. By this time, though we had most of what we wanted and so the collecting along the banks of the Salmon was pretty specific. Some quartz, flower stone, and dallasite pieces were picked up. I got a piece of epidote in quartz to add to my collection.

            Saturday saw us setting up an information display and selling some items at the Sayward Community Market which is housed at the Heritage Community Centre on Sayward Rd. The people were friendly and very interested in hearing what we had to say about rock hounding and lapidary. Several pamphlets on pebble identification were sold and many questions answered. The kids loved looking at the rock and mineral samples through a lens. Several of our members sold samples of their wares during this time and one person even brought a piece of jewelry for repair. It was quite the event and we all appreciated the invitation and the interest shown to our Club.

            Later in the afternoon members of the Club put on demonstrations back at the campsite. Only 1 person from the community came to participate but we had a lot of fun never-the-less. Thanks to Linda, Faye, Janet, Pat and Bob for working to make this event a success. Perhaps we can build this into our list of events during our year.

Hello folks,

    I am planning a trip this weekend on Sunday the 21st of September.  It will be at the Elk river which is the river that feeds the upper Campbell lake, on your way to Gold river.

     We will meet at the usual spot, the parking lot of Canadian tire at 10:00 a.m.  You will need the usual rock hounding gear, rock hammer with eye protection, backpack, lunch, raingear, sturdy footwear is important, you may want to have gumboots as this is a river bed that we will be in. 

    I am going to bring an inner tube,  It is a great thing for rivers as you can collect your rocks into it and simply float them downstream.  If you want to make your own innertube rock carrier, you simply cut a piece of plywood the size of the middle and put a series of holes all around it,  then thread some rope around and around the tube going through the holes in the plywood.  don't forget a tether rope so the tube doesn't float away on you. 

 If you have any questions you can always call me: 250-285-3465

 great, so I hope to see you all there!

 Wagon master,

Shane Mawhinney