Monday, December 18, 2006

"And in the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst." - Exodus 39:12

Another hobby of mine is rock hounding, particularly for agates. In the past, my parents would take us kids rock hounding on the banks Fraser River. Every Sunday would be spent driving up and down the Fraser Valley in our Volkswagen Bus, looking for choice rock hounding places. We never really new much about rocks, but we became acquainted with the pretty agates, which glowed in the sun with their unique radiance. The winter is the best time to go rock hounding at the Fraser River, as the water level is usually much lower than in the summer and choice rock hounding areas are exposed. Agate is a relatively light weight rock, so the banks of the river are replenished every year by rock being deposited by the current and the scouring action of the river when it runs high. It can be a lot of fun to hunt for these colorful rocks when the sun's angle is just right and a recent rain has washed the area clean. The Agates in the picture above are rocks I have found at the Fraser River and on the beaches of Boundary Bay. Click here for a larger picture of my Agates.

Agates will always hold a special place in my heart. I love the way they glow in the sun, I love the way they feel (Agate is a softer rock, therefore it feels different than other rocks) and I enjoy the challenge of finding them. It always amazes me how the Earth has produced such interesting wonders as the diverse amount of rocks and gems. I always wonder from which volcano and when in history an Agate that I find was made.

There is also gold dust on the banks of the river, but usually it can only be found in very small quantities by gold panning. I have several gold pans which I received as a child which have been put to good use on the Fraser River. Unfortunately, I've only ever recovered a small amount of gold dust.

There are also Agates to be found in other parts of British Columbia, particularly a type of Agate called a "Thunder Egg". I have never found a Thunder Egg, but I look forward to taking the dog and kids into the interior of the province to do a little Thunder Egg rock hounding. This is where my dream of having a Volkswagen Westfalia Camper comes in, something like that would be perfect for exploring the back roads and wilderness of British Columbia.

I'm hoping that I'll be able to return to my hobby of rocking hounding in the near future, plus I would like to enlarge my scope to hunt for other rocks and fossils, and possibly dabble in some lapidary.

Life is going to be so much fun once I gain a little bit of freedom. This is so exciting!

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