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We took a trip to the Wrangle Mountians and Valdez

posted Dec 11, 2017, 12:23 AM by Glenn Zisa




Light up the way for us!

posted Dec 11, 2017, 12:20 AM by Glenn Zisa

Sometimes the northern lights will com out on our way to an adventure, if only we had a camera meant for night time photos to capture all the colors!


Up Close!

posted Dec 11, 2017, 12:04 AM by Glenn Zisa

Sometimes the smallest rocks look amazing under microscopes or unveil a hidden world!




The Arctic Circle Trip

posted May 4, 2017, 10:26 PM by Glenn Zisa   [ updated Dec 11, 2017, 12:15 AM ]

Our trip driving up to the highest point of Alaska through the Arctic Circle is an amazing trip. Luckily we went at the right time when the bugs were to a minimum. There were not many interesting rocks to be found until we went over Atigun Pass. Along the way, we did manage to get some nice photographs at least. Once we arrived, we found many fossil corals. It became a matter of choosing the ones we wanted. It is amazing to think that this is some of the oldest known fossils on the planet and they are on the tops of the mountains. This area had a lot of oil shale that resembles jasper but has a very strong smell when broken. Most of our coral fossil coral smells like crude oil when being created into jewelry so we often take breaks with these as the smell can be a bit overwhelming at times. Overall this was a relaxing trip and over 1,600 miles driven. If you would like to own a piece of the Arctic please contact us and we will work to create you something spectacular.


The Wondrous Scenery we See

posted May 4, 2017, 10:10 PM by Glenn Zisa   [ updated Dec 11, 2017, 12:00 AM ]

Sometimes even we have to take a moment to enjoy our surroundings. These are some photos we took a while back from various trips.


Summer is Coming!

posted May 1, 2017, 11:19 AM by Glenn Zisa

As the hills start melting out we are finally able to start getting out. This year we will be searching to find some lepidolite, tourmaline, copper nuggets, large masses of chalcopyrite and bornite, azurite and malachite, covellite and amethyst.

We went back to our prehnite spot with ease this time as we were allowed to cross private property making the trip a lot easier as we would normally have normally had to go around this property to get to our spot. The short video below shows what our spot looked like before we started. We might get only one more trip out of this spot before we are unable to mine it further down.

Prehnite


10 below we still prospect

posted Jan 8, 2017, 11:31 AM by Glenn Zisa   [ updated May 1, 2017, 8:57 AM ]

It is January, 10 below, with a wind speed of 20+ mph, three feet of snow on the ground. Most people would think that it would be hard to rock hound at this time of year. However, knowing exactly where our crystal pocket is, it is easier to prospect our area during winter. Normally there is a steep slope to climb with large boulders the size of side by side atvs to hop across. After we get through the boulder field there are large cottonwood trees that have fallen every five feet. After that we walk through thick brush and alders. The snow allows us to go on top of most obstacles that would slow us down, although this hike is still harder than climbing mountains at any time of year. Once we get to our spot we work hard to extract as much Prehnite crystals as possibly because the sun will start to set in a few hours. These crystals make all the hard work worth the reward.

One of Many Dangers

posted Oct 13, 2016, 1:34 PM by Glenn Zisa   [ updated Dec 4, 2016, 10:11 AM ]

An enjoyable day of rock hounding can quickly turn into a high adrenaline adventure. This can be especially true if any loose rocks on cliffs or slopes above an area you are hounding happen to pick the time of your visit to come down!

While it is uncommon to catch a rock slide on video, we happened to have a camera recording when this boulder, which was much larger than an old big block V-8 engine, succumb to Mother Nature's desire to reside at the bottom of the hill, rather than its present location.

Luckily, we were just above the boulder in the following video when it relocated! We didn't think it would travel very far, but once it started tumbling downhill, we realized it wasn't going to stop until it got to the bottom. It is chilling to think that we were minutes from heading down into the area this massive boulder traversed and eventually came to a rest.


YouTube Video



Many sites we visit on our rock hounding expeditions can be quite desolate, with no one else for miles around, and zero chance of cell phone service. We are totally on our own should an emergency arise or become stranded, due to storms creating high rivers that we cannot cross safely. Somehow, it usually seems that the more desirable the material or specimens we are looking for, the more remote and hazardous the area is!

So, just a word to the wise, always be aware of your surroundings for any potential dangers. Events, such as a sudden, unexpected change in the weather, an unpredictable rock movement, or an untimely meeting with certain members of the local animal population, may all have the potential to ruin a perfectly good day of rock hounding!

I only ask that you be careful and mindful of your surroundings on your adventures. The rewards of a good rock hounding trip may be great, but keep in mind that Murphy may just be waiting around the next bend!





Thunder Egg Trip 2016

posted Oct 12, 2016, 10:29 PM by Glenn Zisa   [ updated Dec 11, 2017, 12:11 AM ]

This year, we went to our thunder egg spot here in Alaska. We rode 4-wheelers about 30 miles up rivers then hiked up 5 miles to our spot in no man’s land. On the way back it started thunder storming near camp, but just a slight rain on us so we decided to head out early. On the way back riding the 4 wheelers it became apparent that there had been a micro-burst thunderstorm creating a huge mudslide. The mud and rock, created a wall over 3 feet high and 30 feet wide at the beginning. It was like rock soup containing stones as larger than basket balls from what we seen. Eventually, low on fuel, we were able to make it back to base camp, a few hours later after carefully navigating around the slide and battling the new terrain the storms had made.

Here is a video showing a little bit of what the area looks like followed by some cut thunder-egg photos.

YouTube Video


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