Adventures in crocheting…… and….hunting dumorierite

As the name of this blog implies, I tend to go from one obsession to another, sometimes back and forth (IE mushrooms/rocks) This winter I decided to learn/relearn how to crochet. I need something to do with my hands while we watch Britbox, because they are already very good at obtaining more food.😀 Also something to do while we bounce along the bumpy roads finding remote rock sites.

I vaguely recall crocheting in my long ago past, but I believe that my older sister tended to rescue me from my projects, and I finally just left it to her. 🤔🤔 Or was than knitting. Either way, I totally forgot how to. So I started off by watching you tube video. Ended up lining up the lines wrong, after taking it apart many times before I realized it was not going to work.

Then I got some expert advice from a friend while in Fountain of Youth RV resort, but had forgotten it all by the time we were 10 miles down the road. So I went back to YouTube and found a video that better suited my yarn. I basically put this pattern together about 10 times, tearing it apart many times before I finally got to this

So there is clearly a weird ridge along this hat so I did rip it apart and start over again. By ripping it apart and RE crocheting, I did finally get the tension right and so the next hat went MUCH quicker, only tore it apart… maybe 3 times. I guess crocheting is more of a journey VS destination sort of thing, so the more times you rip it apart, the longer your yarn lasts. 🙄

I tried all these things in my youth, but had MUCH less patience back then, I remember a jacket I made in high school that I sewed the sleeves on upside down ….if you can imagine……. A story I often told drunks I was sewing up in the ER years later.

All this exciting crocheting EVENTUALLY gave way to rocks again.

We have been in south eastern California now for the past few weeks. Staying in a “dispersal” site, which means big open desert that is basically like a gravel parking lot that extends for miles

The mountains behind us are called the Cargo Muchacho mountains. On top of a very cool name for the mountains, an unpronounceable name for the rocks we were looking for here. Dumortierite. Upon looking up more about this rock, the article had a whole section on how to pronounce it.🤔. We have been practicing. We also knew that the rocks are blue. So these are the types of maps we rely on. They are NOT drawn to scale and are a geographical exercise in themselves. IE.. what did he MEAN with that little squiggle? So the first day we went out we did not see a thing that looked blue, in fact we did not find ANYTHING of interest. So went back to the books (google) to find out what dumortierite looks like in the rough.

So the next day we tried another place on the map and ….LO and behold we found LOTS. It is so rewarding to finally find what you are looking for. Not sure what we will do with it, but apparently you can cut and polish it, so likely they will find a place in our floor.

So in the same area is a rock quarry/ deserted mine, a massive hole in the ground, called the blue bird mine. We could not help but wonder where the rock that HAD been in the hole, had gone to???

This one is looking up.

This was from the very bottom. We did not find one interesting rock all that way down. Nothing.

What we found at the very bottom of that mine though………”Turned the stone and looked beneath it”. voila a Tarantula.

Worth the trip…. gave him/her some water and climbed back out of the hole in the ground.

I had meant to publish this, but then we ended up at a campground with poor internet, so I just carried on.. We have been staying for the past several days at Oxbow BLM site, and right on the shore of the Colorado river. Everything I have read in recent years is how it is turning into a bit of a creek with the draught. We have camped several times in Parker, and the Colorado river was actually quite marshy. HOWEVER… it seems to have come up considerably with the recent substantial rain/snow that has hit western Canada and the US. All kinds of “stuff” floating down the river, I guess the river cleaning its shores. I read somewhere that the Shasta reservoir was up 12 feet. Perhaps this is a reprieve……

We have been rockhounding the past several days along the Wiley’s well road.

Wiley’s Well is a natural artesian well in Southern California. It is named after storekeeper and postmaster A.P. Wiley who, in 1907, made a shallow well deeper that was dug in 1876 by a stagecoach company which traveled along the Bradshaw Trail Wiley expanded the well in the hope of attracting business to his remote desert store; it was maintained by local ranchers and cattlemen for years afterward. However, the rapidly falling water table meant a drop of the water’s depth to 60 feet (18 m) within a dozen years. Today, the well’s original depth is only about 20 feet (6.1 m) at best after wet weather and is unfit for drinking.”

THIS is the history of the well, which everything in the area is named after… I guess because a well is kind of an important thing in the desert.

This area is about 9 miles from Palo Verde across desert like terrain. There is a historic Fire agate mine here called Opal hill mine. Apparently the mines “former owner was well known and a cantankerous woman known for her prickly manner and salty language. She was ALSO known for driving her bulldozer into Palo Verde for a late night binge at the local saloon.

According to our rock book which is 25 – 30 years old, it says “for those planning to spend several days digging, a few small trailers are available to overnight in”…. at no extra charge 😀🤔. EEK.

Needless to say, we did not go anywhere near the mine… very creepy place. But in the surrounding hills we found lots of gems.

The morning of the big rainfall.

Perhaps the plants in the desert will make it through this year.

I want to make an official plug for peace in 2023, much love from Janet, Ken and Tucker (🤔 I wonder if HE would like a toque?)

One thought on “Adventures in crocheting…… and….hunting dumorierite

  1. I’m glad I came across your delightful travelogue in my Facebook feed, Janet. I hope you guys are having a great time and that I’ll see you both soon!

    Liked by 1 person

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