Monday, September 23, 2013

Wonderstone Field Trip

Our first field trip during the rock unit was to Vernon, Utah to collect some wonderstone. I had never heard of the stuff before, but I read about it on the Utah Geological Survey (great website), and my friend Andrea's family was studying rocks too, so we went together.

The wonderstone (if I understand it right) is an igneous rock, specifically a kind of tuff---so it's made of volcanic ash which was compressed, and then water seeped in between the layers and left deposits of minerals behind, creating beautiful bands of color in the rock. You break open a rock and it's filled with circles and waves of maroon, orange, white, and yellow. It is seriously beautiful. I couldn't believe it was just lying around for us to collect! Amazing!

I would caution, if you are going there, that if you have just driven through Vernon as these directions describe, the dirt road you turn onto is BEFORE you reach the railroad tracks. It is right by mile-marker 17. These directions make it sound like you will cross the railroad tracks, but you will not---the turn is just before the tracks. We got going onto the wrong dirt road and drove several miles before realizing we were too far away from the mountains to be in the right place.

The site is clear out in the middle of nowhere, but at this time of year the dirt roads weren't bad and even the minivan was fine. I was glad to be with Andrea just in case we got a flat tire or something, but there were no mishaps. The area is just lovely. I love Utah; I think our desert is so often beautiful!
We were right up next to this nice hill, which of course the children had to conquer. They are so tiny in these pictures!

A lot of the rock is broken up in piles already,

but some of it is in rocky veins on the hillside that you can chip into with the rock hammer. So cool.

Elfish Emeline.
Everyone. In silhouette.
So pretty! I love the faraway mountains.
Patsy is such a good dog. Malachi loved playing "fetch" with her.
Junie and Harriet show off their finds
Yay, I have two babies! Marigold and Oskar.
I love the serious collecting going on here!

When we got home we put some of our wonderstone in the rock tumbler and it came out beautifully! I'll show that in another post.

1 comment:

  1. The kids and I just looked through the pictures. What a lovely day we had!! Thanks for letting us hang out with you.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...