and Tucker said, Head south…so we did

Summers almost gone and winters coming on…. We have laid around and laid around……..

We have had quite a creative fall, still trying to finish our house.

After 3 years of trying to figure out how to put the cut rocks into the floor AND still show the beauty of the rocks, (like when they are wet). The only way to keep them shiny looking seemed to be to polish them, and the only way we have is with a tumbler. These rocks do not fit in the tumbler. I even tried to paint them with polyurethane, but it yellowed them, and so finally I turned to the rock club, and a very clever lady suggested epoxy. ….. and now we are epoxying everything 😛 It has solved the issues with the previous “rocks in the floor” projects.

In a way it is like walking on water…

Epoxy is quite expensive, but we bought one “kit” for 150 dollars and we have done all three of our projects with it. It does seem to take some practice working with it.

It is nice to be getting the holes we left in the floor filled with our little treasures, we have 4 done and have 4 left to do, but now that I know better how to do it, I wish we had more to do now. The living room design with all the red….. is rocks we found in California, and we do not have enough to finish the other 2 parts, so are on the lookout to get more this trip.

Other things this summer, I finally gave up my badge….. my licence to practice medicine, so am not officially retired. I have a year with which to get it back (If I want) easily… but I think it is time.

We are now taking a leisurely trip south. For some reason we cannot remember why we have never taken this trip leisurely…… Maybe running away from something (weather) or to something else (better weather) 🤔🤔

It always seems to take us a few days to get our “traveling legs”….the routine down. The first few days is often like…. what the heck are we doing?? We checked out the Pike street Market in Seattle beautiful new art work.

.. and THEN we remember that we are NOT city people.🤔

Time to get out of town.

We did have plans to go down to Eugene and take in some events in the city, however it was… too cold, so we headed for the coast, and it is lovely here, sunny and just a little below freezing at night. We cut over at Longview WA, towards the coast on the north side of the Columbia river. We found a very cool campground that was just on the side of the road, but our spot was right on the edge of the river.

AND rather quietly these huge ships would go by creating huge waves, hence the warning signs when you go onto the beach. We would be walking along (OR looking down for rocks) and suddenly there would be a massive ship, no sound at all??

We then crossed the Columbia over to Astoria, OR, on the huge and scary bridge. I took pictures so that Ken could see what it looked like 🥺🥺

It is a very long bridge that goes WAY up at the end to allow those huge ships under it in order for them to get up the river to Portland and other ports up river.

We are now on the Oregon coast wondering why we ever left it……Oh ya, it was because we could not afford 1500 dollars a month for health insurance.🤔 AND the very high deductable.

So all in all, I think we have gotten back into the travel mode…. walking different beaches each day and …. Checking out the pubs too. Pelican brewing company. Studying the rock books for where to go tomorrow.

Well bye for now, and thanks for reading my blog

Janet, Ken and Tucker the beach walker dog.

Muggins mountain and the BIG canal

We moved further south a week or so ago. We have this wonderful book called “collecting agates and jaspers of North American”, by Patti Polk. I fell in love with one rock she has a picture of, that she claims, comes from the Muggins mountains. Unfortunately Muggins mountain is not mentioned in any of my rock hounding books. So I took to google to find out more information to find this.

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It took a lot of guess work to FIND THE SPOT….. but we got as close as we could with the jeep, then walked in.

So it was a wild ride in and parts of it Tucker and I got out and walked. He is not buckled in and so he tends to struggle when we rock and roll. The very clever Tucker has figured out that if he sits on the console and faces backwards that he does not get shaken up as much.

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Not sure what a muggin is?   but the landscape looks like it could be on the moon.

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Unusual flora, as well.

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Unusual rock formations.  We did find some rocks that could be like the picture shown in the book, but we need to cut them to show what they look like inside.

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The VERY best part of the day, is that we came across a friend for Tucker.  For the most part, we never run into anyone when we are rock hounding and we never run into hounds either. so what a very special day.  Tucker had a very fun romp with this chocolate lab, named Fury.  Looked just like Stella, a now departed dog of our friends, Irene and Paul.

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The area around Yuma is very flat and with extensive vegetable farming. Scallions above, and ? broccoli below. Looks much healthier than my veggies looked last summer.  We are currently quite near to the Gulf of California, and we have watched some storms developing south and west of us, which never seem to hit Yuma.

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Yuma only gets 3 inches of rain a year, and the incredible agriculture system was only made possible with construction of the first dam on the Colorado and completion of the Yuma Siphon – delivering water through a huge tunnel built under the riverbed – in 1912, the same year Arizona became a state.

“Now, of the 230,000 acres of land utilized for agriculture in Yuma County, 100 per cent are irrigated with Colorado River water delivered by one of the county’s seven irrigation districts. Every single field in the county is also laser-leveled and graded using GPS technology, making Yuma’s irrigation network one of the most efficient in the world.”

We had noticed how incredibly TIDY all the fields were, makes sense that they are all level.

ANOTHER irrigation canal, the All American Canal is a place we went rock hunting at. It is north 30 miles or so from Yuma.

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The All-American Canal is an 80-mile (130 km) long aqueduct, located in southeastern California. It conveys water from the Colorado river into the Imperial valley and to nine cities. It is the Imperial Valley’s only water source, and replaced the Alamo Canal which was located mostly in Mexico. These canal systems irrigate up to 630,000 acres (250,000 ha) of crop land and have made possible a greatly increased crop yield in this area, originally one of the driest on earth. It is the largest irrigation canal in the world.

The OTHER interesting thing about the canal is that “The All American Canal runs parallel to the Mexico California border for several miles. With over 500 people having drowned in the canal since its completion, it has been called “the Most Dangerous Body of Water in the U.S.”

So the areas we were directed (by the book) to find rocks were the large piles of “earth” you can see on either side of the canal, according to the book, these piles were made by the earth they removed 70 years ago to create the canal.  However to look at these piles there was no growth on them …. PLUS we found nothing there….🤔🤔

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I wandered further back and found an area that looked like it could have been there 70 years and we found LOTS Of cool agates and Jasper. So what I figured out, is that they MUST have to dredge the canal to maintain its depth over time. The piles you can see in the forefront of the pictures of the canal, MUST be the silt that they dig out of the canal, much more recently that 70 years ago.  SOOOOO back to google. What I did find was that the water from the colorado river is extremely high in silt, and there is an extremely complex procedure the get rid of the silt (at the imperial dam) . I found this great slideshow to illustrate the process….  slideshow of the imperial dam/all american canal

But apparently even with this whole process, they do still need to dredge the all american  canal about every 7 years, and I am certain that that is what the piles of earth were alongside the canal. In the slideshow (link above) there are some pretty cool pictures of the construction of the canal.

I find that our quest for rocks gets us into some very interesting areas, often much more interesting than the rocks themselves.

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I find that wherever we go we find things that are very interesting. Every place is different and things like the whole water system likely seem pretty HOHUM to the locals, is fascinating to us. I am sure there are some HOHUM things about where I live that would be fascinating to others.

Much love and thanks for following our travels, and happy New Year

Janet…. and Ken and Tucker.