Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Glass Butte, Oregon's best obsidian!

Wow.. a trip to eastern Oregon. We had been talking this up for over a week and it was a week that had temperatures in the valley soaring as high as 107 degrees. But, we were determined to head across to the even hotter desert to Glass Butte for obsidian. And not just any obsidian, this stuff is choice and the site is host to the famous mahogany, gold and silver sheen varieties. Here's Jerry's truck at the milepost 77 turnoff. Glass Butte (officially Glass Buttes) is in the background.

Abel and I have finger shot this sign to heck. The sign for Obsidian Road has been down for some time. Needless to say, we were totally stoked for what lay ahead.

Jerry and Abel compare notes on their photography. Here on top of one of the lesser buttes it was 92 in the shade. That wasn't too bad with a wind of about 12-18 miles an hour. the vistas were great up here. We saw the whole valley and there were thunderheads forming to the east. Occasionally the clouds would cover and shade us as we dug in the pits.

Abel and Spencer swinging along in a mahogany pit. This hill top had great mahogany and mahogany lace obsidian. I got GPS coordinates for our favorite spots. I want to get into a routine of documenting our finds. I dug in the pit, too. It is quite a sensation to remove a rare substance from the darkness of earth and be the first to enjoy its beauty. I also walked around the pits and selected samples others had left. Some of these had been worked and had weathering that could be 500 or 5,000 years old, I just don't know.

After leaving Glass Butte we took a side road out to a place I had heard about for years...Pine Mountain Observatory. This place is owned by the University of Oregon and maintained by the Friends of Pine Mountain. Unfortunately it's closed on Sunday and we could only walk around the buildings. Here I am in front of the larger observatory. Next to this place is a Descutes National Forest campground that was deserted! I want to come back here with the tipi and a telescope.

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