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Love is a Bag 'O Rocks

Figure 1: Bag 'o treasure found at Holleywood Rock Ranch.

Whilst meandering around the dig site discussed in The Holleywood Likelihood, I found something of the upmost interest to any and everyone in the universe. See photo above.

Figure 2: Hidden under this pike of petrified wood was my treasure bag 'o rocks.

I oft find that travel is not a prerequisite for seeking truth and treasure, as unique and beautiful things can be found in humbling numbers beneath my field-battered boots. Staggering accounts of rock tales are piling up in my blog queue, patiently waiting to illustrating our shared human experience with you. Alas, of these I have shared startlingly few! Friends, coworkers, and strangers pour their stories into my cup and it runneth over in these- the blue days of our government's capitalist regime.


Love can be sought & found amid even the bleak winter! So cuddle up, my faithful framily, and let me impart unto you irrefutable evidence of rockhound bonding: a blissful bag 'o rocks.

Concealed in a load of mid-quality petrified wood specimens on the Holleywood Rock Ranch outside Corvallis, OR, this treasure lie in wait for one such as myself to roll off the basket-ball sized fossils entombing it. It was not a special day when I ventured forth from my companion's place of work to explore parts little known to me in western inland Oregon. It was not rare that I should find a sexy chunk of petrified wood underfoot betwixt the bric-a-brac of tailing piles strewn about a dig site. What was unique and beautiful about that morning was this ossuary of not bones, but stones! Resting in the peace of a tawny canvas bag, a small collection of bonafied Oregonian treasures buoyed my soul to ecclesiastical pronouncements in praise of the human spirit.

Was it a geocache waiting for the correct Lat/Long degrees to be punched into another adventurer's GPS? Was it a gift intended to shock and delight a child on their inaugural dig? Did the proprietor of Holleywood Ranch stock and plant this pouch of goodies for devout patrons? Who knows. What I knew, was the identity of all four of its contents- and a magnificent spread that was.

As you can see in my washed-out photos from that day, there were four types of classic Oregon rocks left in gift: a thunder egg half from the Lucky Strike Mine (you can tell by the green tuff that it is of Lucky Strike and not Richardson's), a pouch of sunstones (classic!), a lovely slice of perfect petrified woodiness, and a bit of that deliciously purple Holley Blue Agate.

With the practiced lack of grace characteristic of a rock rat, I awed and fondled each sample with the affection deserving of a paleontological gift. And no, the petrified wood was not the focus of my marveling- although a photo of that tasty slice is currently featured under the Webster's Dictionary definition for "drool-worthy." An eye for gem stones would indeed gleam in the robust purple of a true Holley Blue agate! What a beaut it was, a color gently hovering between lavender and periwinkle.

Until that day, I had only even seen a genuine Holley Blue in that rock shop in Sea Side, OR, where the blessed shop owner gave me tips on fixing the awful grinding sound emitting from my tumbler. Even the samples in his shop would pale in the morning iridescence of what I saw in this gift from the Oregon Rockhounds. I saw potential. I saw promise. I licked that dang rock like a native rockhound and kneeled breathless in the bountiful soils of its inspiration.

Anyway, after all that, I did what any rockhound would do: I took some & left some. The photo below depicts the contents of the bag 'o treasure before I re-buried it under the same pile in which I found it. Hopefully, the next hounds to abound on that site appreciate the sunstones (I took about half and shared them with Bristol), petrified slice, and thunder egg half I left. In reverence of custom, I added six of the best clam fossils and a third of my Willamette agates to replace what I removed. All of those were also natural Oregon stones from the area, as Bristol and I had ventured about hounding in glee the day before.

Figure 3: Contents of the Holleywood Ranch bag 'o Rocks. A thunderegg half from the Lucky Strike mine, a small pouch of sunstones, a bit of Holley Blue Agate, and a lovely slice of petrified wood.

The lessons at Holleywood Ranch still reverberate in the undercurrents of my mind when I see posts online from Oregon Rockhounds. That Holley Blue now sits on my window sill, although now instead of overlooking a view of Mt. Rainier, it greets the Spokane sunshine.

This is our shared experience. In the end, we're all just psychotic apes, out here trying to keep each other alive. This is Rockosophy. Whatever that looks like, this is part of it. Our lives beat with the life blood of creation with gestures such as these.

With love & nothing else,


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