Monday, July 28, 2008

The Blue Forest

One of the joys of traveling is meeting new people and finding unexpected surprise adventures. This blog is about both. We stopped to get information on camping at the Buckboard National Forest Campground and while visiting, discovered that the campground hosts were avid rock collectors. Cliff and Doreen shared with us their beautiful samples and discussed how they made them,(they cut and polish rocks into carbochons, crosses, and weave gold and silver jewerly). While talking they told us about the Blue Forest.
Now the Blue Forest is out in the Red Desesrt, east of Fontenelle, and is an area where you can find forty million year old opalized petrified wood. It has been dug for decades but stll has wood fragments on the surface, so we decided this was a must!
The next day we got up and got an early start, 7 am, and headed north. Of course we had to resupply, before heading into the desert so we got diesel and dougnuts in Green River. From Green River we got on the interstate and turned west until reaching exit 83. There we headed north to Fontenelle, passing trona mines, wild horses and the Seedskidee National Wildlife Refuge,(We visited there in one of our earlieat blogs).
Nearing Fontenelle the road narrowed as we entered an area of road construction. Turing east we crossed the Green River and then turned onto rough gravel and rock roads. The truck bounced on the washboard road as we slowed and drove through a large gasfield, with lots of evidence of new wellheads.
We shouldn't have worried about finding the place as the internet directions were very accurate and the site was covered with diggings. Getting out of the car we quickly found bits and pieces of opalized wood everywhere. Finding a large piece was another matter as it would involve digging with a pickaxe, and we didn't bring one.
We seperated and wandered around and quickly filled our gold pan to overflowing with wood and opalized samples. Molly laid under the truck and looked bored while treasure fever gripped us,(I can't imagine what it would be like if we ever find gold or visit a gold field). Finally the heat got to us as the sun climbed towards noon,(did I say we were in the Red Desert in late July?).
Deciding we had had enough we headed back. As we drove I found myself wondering if we were on the right road? Using the compass and gps I didn't have to worry as we headed south and west and the Green River and Fontenelle appeared.
On the way home, we stopped at a place and looked for agates and turetella fossils. The only thing we found was found by Molly, our dog, who discovered lots and lots of small stickers with her fur.
From there the trip home was uneventful. The wind came up and buffeted our truck with the loaded canoe on top. Returning we stoped and showed Cliff, Doreen, Jan and GC our teasures. A fine day! Clear skies.

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