Saturday, May 2, 2009

Petrified Wood Trip Report and Hope For A Sick Dog.

Hi everyone. Sorry I've been out of it lately.
My nearly 12 year old Rottie decided to have congestive heart failure. The day I took him to the vet I thought for sure that I'd be putting him to sleep - he was hopelessly sick, or so I thought.
Once the diagnosis was confirmed the Vet put my little old guy on Vetmedin - which is a new drug that is new here since 2006.
I have to say, I am flabergasted at the change in Munchie. It's like he's 6 years old again, spunky, strong, and wanting to go rock hunting EVERY DAY! I've been watching carefully and we do a bit more each time out and so far he's had NO adverse reaction to exercise - and yesterday was extreme.
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I have to say - I know he only has so long, drugs or no drugs, because he's already a Rottie Methuselah but at least we are getting some extra quality summer time for his final days. If he didn't have any quality time left I might forgo the price of the meds and let him go because he wouldn't be happy if he didn't get his adventures, but the quality of life this stuff has given him
is worth every dime - and it's costing a lot of them, trust me on that one. Vetmedin isn't cheap - but if you have a fuzzy friend whose illness is right for this treatment, you can give your pal a fine finish to a good life with this stuff. (for those of you who buy my eguide to natural skin care - the money goes to keeping my best friend alive and feeling good so your money is going to two worthy causes - yourself and a great furry personality).

So...........about our trip yesterday. We (Munchie and I) went to Saddle mountains after I did some study in some older books to find out where the hot locals for petrified wood is. I wasn't equiped for digging - just wanted to poke around and see if I could find some on the surface and maybe come back and dig another day.

Well, you know how new locations are. I found a nice little cache of stuff where someone else had cordially dug and left some nice specimens behind. With my backpack loaded to uncomfortably heavy for the mile and a half hike back to our car, we made a slow exit from the area. I looked back and studied the area after we got back to the car and found that I walked a heck of a long way when all I would have had to do is climb a couple hundred feet down a hill. Go figure. Of course, I went back and got another pack full after finding that out.

After that we drove around the mountain for awhile and talked to a few of the other hounds that had the same idea for the day as I had. They were not being as fortunate as I was. It seems from what I have read, and after talking to these folk that not too many people who visit Saddle Mountains ever really find anything there. Of course, I have a guess about why this is.

Saddle mountains are quite steep and arduous to walk around on. It's not a stroll through the park at any stage of the game, not if you are going rock hunting anyhow. I'm assuming that many people that go there just plain don't get far enough off the road to find anything. The place is highly visited and to think that you can get out of the car and just stroll the easy areas to find anything is a bit optomistic at best. Even the stuff I got "close to the road" was one meanly steep treck, but a welcome one after a mile and a half walk out to the car on the first visit.

There are other areas of Washington that involve much less vigorous energy and strength, so if you are a light weight at climbing up and down sometimes very steep treks, you might want to consider someplace beside Saddle Mts. to rockhound at.

That said....there is a big variety of wood types in that area. I got everything from green opalized to black, white, and brown opalized, to agatized browns - all in one location. I've never seen such variety in one spot before. I didn't find any rounds, but it would stand to reason after the years of popularity of this location that any rounds left in the area would be won only by digging - and then only the first digger in any location. I also think that in the particular spots I was looking only one seemed as if it may have contained any rounds in the first place. But nice wood is nice wood - even the smaller pieces. You can fashion a lot of nice articles from small pieces of wood with the right lapidary treatment so a nice find, to me, is a nice find, even if you can't saw it down and build cabins out of it.

That's it for this trip report. Stay tuned for info on more trips - mixed with some miscellaneous other info and rants, of course.

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