Rome, Oregon is a small town in Malheur county Oregon. If Malheur county sounds familiar, it was in the news 2 years ago when the Malheur wildlife refuge centre was OCCUPIED by Idaho ranchers….. you can read more here. OCCUPATION OF MALHEUR REFUGE SITE
To call Rome a small town is an exaggeration. Rome has a cafe, RV park and gas station, and they are all one place. The cafe likely seats 12 people, 13 with a highchair. RV park has 8 sites and…. well gas station is Expensive. The only OTHER place I could see what a farm in the distance.
I did not take this picture and it really does make the place look bigger than it is. I was surprised, since we WERE in the middle of nowhere when I asked about camping for the night and she asked me if we had a reservation. This time of year we NEVER get asked about reservations, and never make them. What the draw was, I later found, was it IS hunting season, and none of the OTHER hunters appeared to be Rock hunting, and their dogs were NOT rock hounds. We felt rather safe at this rather disheveled campground, because we knew that absolutely EVERYONE else had a gun EEEEK..
This next picture I also did not take because we were in Rome for one reason and one reason only ROCKS. But on reading about the town later on, I found out how the town got such a unique name……… The Pillars of Rome
We learned a powerful lesson in Rome.
The place were WE went hunting was about 8 miles south of the Rome Station, and another 5 miles off the highway.
We were looking for Snake skin agates and green opal. BOTH of which were very beautiful, and while we did not find a lot of snake skin agates, we found lots of Green opal of a variety of shades….. ALL OF WHICH would look good on the floor of our new house.
So I offered to go back to get the jeep and bring it closer to where we were. Only, turns out, I went totally in the wrong direction.
As you can see, not much difference either way. No land marks. No cell coverage. I walked for a LONG ways, eventually coming to the conclusion that I had somehow MISSED the Jeep. So then I thought, I will walk in the direction of the road (OR at least where I thought the road was). Not much luck there either. Finally, I decided to use my noggin(as my mother referred to it as) and go to the highest point I could see. I should add at this point that I also had a GPS, but being a poor one, it only showed red dots and it was hard to know if I was getting closer or further way from them.
From the highest point I could see Ken (he has a way of wearing obnoxiously visible clothing and it was bright orange that day) He was a long ways away, and did not see me, because I am MUCH more stylish than him I was wearing a lovely shade of red that was much closer to camouflage….. Fortunately Tucker (remember him…) saw Ken and went racing towards him. Tucker always likes us all the be together. Turns out I was at least a mile and a half from the Jeep, and when Ken went back to the Jeep, it was not much help because I had the keys….
Needless to say we had a joyful reunion and went back to looking for rocks.
Now these are not great pictures, it is 5 in the morning so not much light….. but they are common opal. “COMMON” opal is usually white.
The more valuable “Precious Opal” is a rainbow of colours and personally I think seem a little TOO bright, almost fake like. However I found this…. “Because opal has the colors of other gems, the Romans thought it was the most precious and powerful of all. The Bedouins believed that opals contained lightning and fell from the sky during thunderstorms. When Australia’s mines began to produce opals commercially in the 1890s, it quickly became the world’s primary source for this October birthstone.”
I do not have any “precious opal”, but our property has lots of white opal and this is the first time we have found green opal.
These will all need to be cut to show their real beauty.
Much love to all, from Janet, Ken and our utterly useless (when you are lost) hound Dog Tucker.