Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Special Pebble Pup Fall Field Trip

Today we experienced a very successful trip to the outer reaches of the South Park basin.  There were nine pebble pups attending the field trip.

We found very attractive epidote and unakite. Unakite was first discovered in Unakas mountains of North Carolina. Unakite is an altered granite composed of pink orthoclase feldspar, various shades of green epidote, and clear quartz. The Pebble Pups and the Earth Science Scholars were finding many specimens with a mottled appearance-which makes it a semiprecious gemstone. Unakite takes a very good polish.

Blake R. proudly displays his fine Unakite specimen. Note the rich green
colors.  Photo by S. W. Veatch
Near the Elkhorn Road we discovered petrified wood.  Some were very large pieces.  Blake Reher discovered a finely-grained quartzite that had preserved Liesegang bands. These bands are poorly understood chemical structures often seen in rocks, especially sandstones.   Blake examined the specimen more closely and made a further discovery, the edges on two sides had been flaked by early Indians who lived in the area.  The specimen material, quartzite, is not from this area, and was probably traded for by local native Americans.  The sharp edges were abraded, meaning that the artifact had been exposed to the forces of wind, rain, and transportation.  This made the once knife-sharp edges dull.  The artifact, found on private property, was a scraper or knife used in the processing of bison.
Everyone on the trip made a good collection of nicely layered metamorphic rocks (gneiss) and black micaceous schist. 

We had a great picnic in the center of South Park where we had a great 360 degree view. We saw an antelope and some wandering llamas.
Christopher (left) and Charles (right) are Pebble Pup and Earth Science Scholars
teaching assistants.  Christopher helps with the Lake George Gem and Mineral
Club unit.  Christopher and Charles both help with the Colorado Springs
Mineralogical Society program.  Both young men are taking a break for lunch.
Photo by S. W. Veatch.

Jonathan Cole experiences lunch from the roof of his car so that he can
get the best views that South Park has to offer.  Jonathan found a complete
garnet crystal as large as a quarter.  We carefully wrapped this treasure
in newspaper so the specimen would not be scratched by other rocks.
Photo by S. W. Veatch

At the conclusion of the field trip we all went to Dave Harvey's store in Hartsel for ice cream. Dave Harvey owns a large ranch with massive amounts of petrified wood and agates.  He will take the pebble pups there next year on a special trip.

Welcome! This is the gateway to adventure and discovery

Through this blog pebble pups and junior members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society can access their lessons, work on assignments and projects, and receive details about field trips in the Pikes Peak Region. This Internet program is also suitable for young people who are interested in Earth science but do not live near a rock club or gem and mineral society or for young people anywhere who want a deeper dive into these topics. The only requirement is that all participants must be members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society and must fill out the CSMS membership form (under important websites) and send their registration and membership fee in. Steven Veatch is the senior instructor and will need an email from you with your name, address, phone number, and permission from your parents to participate in this program.