Special family memories can last lifetimes and picking up pretty free rocks everywhere in Oregon is a very cheap outing for an afternoon. It costs you only some time, fuel and a packed picnic lunch or snack.
This hobby is called rock-hounding; and young kids seem to naturally excel at picking out the “pretty rocks”.
Rockhounding on Public Lands Oregon/Washington BLM
www.blm.gov › National BLM › OR/WA › Programs › Minerals
Rockhounding. A “Rockhound” is generally an amateur geologist who enjoys collecting unusual or interesting rock, mineral and gem specimens. Rockhounding ..
Proficient Parents will have a plan to prolong each rock’s potential enjoyment by away to display their “pretty rocks” or make it into personal jewelry or even a future science project or report.
The key for jewelry rocks is gather only wet stream rocks because these stones have bounced down stream for many years and all the soft ones are gone. Parents can carry a pocket knife for a scientific Moh’s Toughness Test.
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Oregon Laws seem to favor a family out making family collections of rocks.
Oregonians own the streams and rivers all over the state to protect our water quality in watersheds. You can travel to a near by park to collect colorful rocks; as one does not need to go to Yellowstone National Park to collect rocks.
Oh by the way, there is no rock collecting on any federal or National Park or National Monument lands.
For example, Oregon has one famous Crater Lake National Park where one will see recent 7, 700 years old volcanic activity. The previous Mount Mazama mountain blew its top around then sending white and gray frothy pumice everywhere.
Mount Mazama and Crater Lake: Growth and Destruction of a …
Sep 27, 2002 – Mount Mazama was formed over a period of nearly half a million years by a succession of overlapping volcanoes. The first eruptions about …
Basically pumice is a stone formed like snowfall that piles up but never melts. Pumice traps air it its hidden layers which can make this rock float.
Pumice is a bizarre, soft, light-colored, volcanic rock that floats on a bowl of water. If you want a piece for your family collection, Collect them along the State Highway routes. Any rock in a roadway will be crushed by traffic-if you don’t grab it safely first in the drainage pit.
Rules of the Road recommend one seeing a large rock in the road ahead – one should pull over and safely push the large rock off the roadway or call ODOT for rock removal to protect families driving behind you. You do this professional courtesy for me and I’ll do it for you – most Oregonians do.
Rules for Rock collecting are very basic. Collect what you need that day for family use; but get a permit or permission –if selling many rock on eBay.
Oregon does have an amazing Geologic history. We all know our beaches have agates exposed every major storm at sea. What you may not know is table rock in Boise, Idaho is a 100 million years old “wave cut terrace” like we can currently see along our modern Oregon cliff-coast line. The black smokers of the famous Oregon Subduction zone was near Mitchell or-Dayville 100 MYA.
The North American Land Plate is slowly floating west towards Japan; as we all ride upon it in our daily lives. Thus, we uniquely have buried ancient beach agates in gravel all across Oregon!
Moreover, Oregon has Ice Age exposed Limestone & zircon in glaciated Northwest Oregon, serpentines (jade, emeralds, soapstone) in southwestern and central Oregon’s Blue Mountains. Southwest Oregon is all buried lava flows with agates and obsidian. One Traveling east along interstate 20 from Bend to Ontario at ODOT Green MP 70-79, one can collect obsidian just off the roads along the natural road berm
This is family safe, year-round outdoor recreation.
“Any time outdoors lowers stress and extends your life together.”
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Dave has already written almost 250 “Must see” Oregon wonders articles on file here for planning your Family’s future special outdoor recreation adventures. He writes non-fiction books for sell as EBooks and hardcovers on nature & human history on Amazon.com
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