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June 17, 2019, 01:21:54 am
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Arizona west desert anyone?

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Author Topic: Arizona west desert anyone?  (Read 1195 times)
bilquest
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« on: March 03, 2013, 07:22:58 pm »

I'm heading out the 60 next weekend to try and find some reported agate/jasper caches around the towns of Brenda and Wenden. Anyone care to share directions to any good agate fields? I'm taking the grocery-getter so clearance is a factor, but graded dirt roads are A-O-K.
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Bentiron
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 02:20:46 pm »

Be careful and watch the washes it is supposed to raining on Friday and Saturday, no much but then again it don't take much to get you bogged down sometimes. Take lots of pictures, OK? dancer5
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denny
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 02:34:46 pm »

I wish I could remember precisely the location of the Brenda jaspers, but it occured over five minutes ago so...  What I do remember is that as you come into the thriving metroplis of Brenda from the west on 60, there are several roads that lead to the left.  One of the first roads is paved initially for about 1/2 mile then turns into dirt road.  We went approx 4-5 miles before we stopped and parked at a place that was pretty obviously a parking area and then just started finding all kinds of jasper all over the place.  As I recall there were a coupe forks on the way out and we just kept taking the left fork.

I wish I could be more precise but I was just along as part of a group and didn't have to pay attention to any directions.  Maybe someone on the forum can help.
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Alvin
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 06:38:20 pm »

we took the right fork at a marker post. big wash just after the right then go all the way to the foot hills. hills on the left had lots of stuff. not a car road. need some clearance in the wash. good luck.
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bilquest
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 02:46:59 pm »

I got spooked from the Brenda site. Since the whole family decided to go with I chose a location closer to the big city (Phoenix) as the kids are averse to long road trips. Furthermore, I figured with Brenda being so close to Quartzite, it was probably picked over.

We ended up going to 4th of July Peak, southwest of Buckeye. Supposedly this site (AKA Chimney Beds) has been a popular site for years for agate hounds. As we discovered, indeed it had been popular as there was little material to be found. As the guide stated, go to the center of the GPS coords, walk in any direction, and start finding agate. 'Small' was the operative word. We found small chips of white agate in various patches but nothing anywhere near slab-able. I'm afraid to even tumble it as I think it will probably disintegrate. We probably wouldn't have even found small stuff if it hadn't rained the day before.

Disappointed? Far from it! It was a beautiful day to be in the desert. Bright blue, cloudless sky and mid 70's, with my favourite people on the planet.

My quest for cuttin' material continues... I'm beginning to wonder if any sites of my youth exist any more. I can remember rock huntin' with dad out in the Mojave desert. Seems like every site we visited filled the Chrysler with another trunk load of cut-able rough. There was always plentiful quantities of float... I grew up thinking the southwest deserts were an endless supply of varied jasper, agate, jasp-agate, and other interesting stone.

Did all the good stuff get picked up over the last 45 years?
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Haderly
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2013, 03:19:17 pm »

Bilquest – Those areas are hard to hunt without going with a person that has experience in the area. The problem is the float material had been removed my numerous rockhounds so your “dig here” indicators are gone. I was out in that area a few months ago and I came home with 2 5-gallon buckets of agates. Granted most were small but they were not chips. I was lucky to go with someone that has hunted there for a few decades and knows some “secret” spots. My suggestion is to join a local rockhound club and go on some of the trips. The club dues are cheap (>$20) and you get the opportunity to go on a lot of trips beyond the official club trips.   
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bilquest
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 04:52:12 pm »

Yeah, I'm a slow learner. I should have used my copy of Arizona Gem Trails to start a campfire a long time ago. Actually, I thought of a better use... to tell me where NOT to go!

I don't know of any local rockhound clubs. Once in awhile I see an outing posted here or elsewhere but it's usually on days I can't go. I met one old timer, but he wanted $125 just to show me his rhyolite claim. Included in the price he said I could dig 25 lbs. for myself. Instead I bought a piece of rough off his front porch for eight bucks and bid him a good day. I left satisfied.

I'm thinking I'll start spit-ballin' .. do a google earth search for some interesting geology and then 'walk the earth' in search of some un-discovered rough. Although I'm guessing with everyone owning some form of ATV nowadays, there probably isn't very much land that hasn't already been scoured.

*sigh*
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denny
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 05:08:39 pm »

I suspect that Brenda is one of those places that keeps on giving.  Another place to consider not too far from there is Bouse.  We had reasonably good luck there, especially with green banded rhyolite.  Closer to Phoenix, I understand that the Wickenberg area isn't too bad.
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Haderly
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 05:39:31 pm »

I don’t have an ATV but my truck sure wishes I would get one. The Gem Trail books and similar are very good at getting you in the right area but not in the right spot. Careful observation can often yield better results then aimless walking. I cannot even count the times that we have found a gold nugget, meteorite, fire agate or whatever we were after right in the road or campsite. People tend to dig where others have dug but hunting the fringe areas are sometimes more rewarding.

If you are talking about the mushroom rhyolite a lot of people claim to have claims. The area is big and a lot of material is available in the areas that are not under claim. I was out there last year when Gene Mueller was digging on his claim and got more then I will ever use.

If you are interested in any of the clubs I would recommend the AZ Leaverites club. Send me a PM with your email address and I can send you the information for the next meeting and answer any questions you may have.
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foxtail
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2013, 08:39:47 am »

I have coordinates to a Brenda spot where the agate is so thick that you could not pick all of it in a lifetime. If you are interested, I will post it.

However, you will not get there with the low rider.
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stanley
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2013, 09:05:18 am »

I'm definitely interested.  Is any of it the red, white and blue "patriotic agate" people used to collect there?  I'll be spending a good part of this winter in that area even though I already have a couple buckets of gorgeous stuff I collected there last year.  The more that is available, the choosier I can be.
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foxtail
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 11:05:27 am »

This is both sides of a slab off of the only piece I have cut open so far




Here are the coordinates. 

33 42 40.9 / -113 58 54.3

You will find this at the coordinates.



Here is a closeup of the cactus and tree that marks the beginning of the mother lode. You go to the coordinates, find the cactus tree and go to it. Once you are on the other side of it look down. You are standing on an agate. Move your foot and pick it up. Rinse, repeat.

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denny
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2013, 12:04:50 pm »

Looks pretty much like the place I went (although what doesn't out there?).  Most of mine were a little disappointing in that there were quite a few that weren't overly solid inside.  Also, mine were mostly a deeper red - which I like - although still jaspagate.
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tkcaz
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2013, 12:40:31 pm »

If you zoom way in on Google Maps satellite view you can actually see the tree!  There also appears to be a chupacabra just off to the north, but I could be mistaken.
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Tim

stanley
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« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2013, 02:29:20 pm »

Hey foxtail, I think we were collecting in the same spot; I remember several conversations with that same cactus.  You do have to be selective there but with so much to choose from it's easy to avoid collecting the grainy, pitted stuff.  My favorites are the ones with some orange along with the red and especially the ones with vugs filled with druzy covered botryoidal spheres. Some of the slabs also have a lot of hematite in them.  The first two pictures show some of the smaller rough, then a slab with details and the last is a totally different type I found just a short distance away.  I'm not sure that last one is even agate but I'm looking forward to seeing how it polishes.



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