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Rockosophy Generosity

Figure 1: Agate hidden in gravel along the Chehalis River in southwestern Washington.

Couple things: When the day finally comes that I have compiled enough rock tales to bring my anthology to life, I'm gonna title it Rockosophy: An Anthology of Stone Philosophers, in a swanky font, of course. There's that riveting report. Also, there is the rippling, indulgent spirit of rockhound culture ever-percolating to this Rock Rat through a society built by the sharing of pocket rocks, stories, and adventures. This continually inspires titillating tales of humanist goodwill! Thus, the title of this article and most of the crazy beautiful photos in it (more on that later). Furthermore, in not-so-breaking news, rockhounds are now automagically* precipitating out of thin air -no, that's too generic...- I need something more encompassing. Oh! Everywhere. Screw the air density, these superb specimens are sprouting up EVERYWHERE to spread their love of gettin' dirty. It's true! I have an adventure to prove it from the banks of a Washington river [Figure 1]. Hold on to your butts, kiddos!

Figure 2: Photo courtesy of the NW Rockhounds.

Right. Before we begin, I must explain the photo montage. I was going to write a post about my constant abuse of the word 'sexy' in describing stones and this hobby that overwhelmingly dominates this blog experience. What is still my attempt to progress social awareness of nature hobbies, adventures, and ultimately conservation. In fact, I not only wrote such a post, but I wrote a follow-up to it, as well. After not-enough forethought, I published both Getting Bolder and it's sequel on My Morning Mile. Unless you subscribed before or during the November 2017, you have no evidence of these, as I couldn't quite retain the gumption to keep them available more than a week or so. This is relevant because, at the onset of that unsheltering blogtastic extravaganza, I hit the NW Rockhounds page to request photos of "love rocks, or rocks that you love." What I got was frickin' epic. You see them here, as the few I could still dredge out of my phone after months of pixelated accumulation. It didn't take more than two hours for some of the loveliest of hounds to throw out their heart-shaped beauts for me, complete with locations and compliments passed around as we all marveled at the striking finds.

These folks sprung at my request, and I am forever grateful [Figures 2, 3, 6, 7]. As it stands, I did not include them in the articles I ultimately withdraw from the public eye. Ever since, they have been festering quietly in my queue for an occasion such as the one I will relate now. I have peppered these four images across this article to 1) compensate for the fact that photos taken with my phone no longer download properly and the two images I did include are cut-off [Figure 5], and 2) to pepper these words with the Russian nesting dolls of illustrations. This is a story of generosity and outreach, and these photos of loverocks* were provided with affection between rockhounds and for a rockhound. Which is damn near the greatest gesture since that guy, Jeremy, tried to hand me a ball of his "super fine weed" before getting off the bus. 

If you find yourself chafing under the quietude of your urban routine, consider this allegory of wonderment a map to your own far-fetched encounters with the Fairy Rockfathers of the PNW.

Back awhile, I took a friend out to the banks of the Chehalis River to hound for agates and petrified wood. If you've never been, it's totally worth checking out. There are a bunch of places you can just pull over along the Chehalis on public land and poke around for goodies (Gem Trails of Washington Field Guide). Be sure to check the gravel bars at boat launches, swimming holes, and parking areas! The treasures are quite real and perfectly worth taking an hour jaunt south of T-town. Remember to get down on your belly, facing the sun, so that the light will illuminate everything that is not opaque [Figure 1]. Do you recall that bit 'o honey I thought was amber? Yea, little that tasty business came from the very same gravel bar as the magical man in this story.

Figure 3: Carnelian agate pendant on an heirloom boxchain.

The morning was wild. With my bud, Melissa, and the Zen-dog in tow, I selected the same Chehalis pull-over site where I struck a beaut worthy of making into a pendant for my pleasure (courtesy of the jewelry BAMFs over at Jerry's Rock & Gem Shop) [Figure 3]. A find worthy of showing off (which for me is most of them- some day I will tell you about 3-year-old me & the giant chunk of asphalt) would surely infect my new friend with that most contagious of nature hobbies: rock hounding. An hour after we set out from G Street, I swung AJ, laden with our tiny team of eager beavers, into the parallel ruts of an unofficial parking area along the Chehalis. The second my right hand left the gear shift, I blew out a definitively disappointed huff. There was a problem.

Melissa noted the instant change in my enthusiasm and asked what bothered me. Already looking at my field guide for the next stop on our Wednesday adventure, I failed to film my disappointment (spoiler alert) at arriving late to the scene for gravel picking. "Did you see those two other people down there?" I asked. She had. "So, they have probably been here since light broke this morning, and it's almost 1PM now. That guy even had a treasure scoop, and is probably in his 60's...we might want to just go to anoth