Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rockhounding... results


Well, here are some photos of what I was looking for:

Aren't they beautiful?   These are actually photos from the Visitor's Center.  They have a lot of rocks on display, and whole as well as opened Thunder Eggs.  The third photo was a HUGE geode that was found by accident when someone was out in the fields with a large piece of machinery.  It ran over the geode, cracking it up, and the piece in the VC is only a part of the whole thing.

I was looking for a totally different rock - more of an egg shaped, light colored rock, like a chicken's egg.  This is what the Thunder Eggs look like from the outside. The first photo is a rather large one, and the second one was about the size of an orange.

This came from Rockhound State Park and is representative of the geodes here.

This Thunder Egg is from another place, and looks different from the ones found here.

So...  Jeanne suggested that I walk down to the Visitor's Center to see what they actually look like - that way I'd know what I'm looking for.  Thank you for that suggestion, Jeanne!  It's so obvious, I should have thought of it before we went looking for Thunder Eggs yesterday.  While we were there I took some photos and asked lots of questions about opening the rocks.  I left for camp, excited about opening the rocks to see what was inside.

I had one that might have been a Thunder Egg - it was the closest rock I had, and I was going to crack open that one first.  This is it:

My "Thunder Egg?"

Well, I took my rocks outside and first put them on a large flat rock by our door.  There were some depressions that worked perfectly to hold the rock on place.  I hit it as hard as I could with my hammer.  About broke my eardrums, but the rock didn't split.  I went inside and got some earplugs and tried again. Nothing. I put my screwdriver firmly on the rock and hit it's handle as hard as I could.  Nothing.  Whew, what a bust!

So I took them over to the picnic table which was higher and would give me better leverage.  Again, with and without the screwdriver, and with and without a towel covering the rock.  Yes! A small piece of the end of the rock came off.  Hummm.

It looked kind of interesting, but not like a geode.  I needed a larger piece - nearer the middle of the rock to see more of what was inside.  I think this poor rock is only a regular rock, though.  I tried and tried and couldn't break it up more.  I put it on the concrete pad with and without the screwdriver and towel, and... nothing.  Well, my friend Pete told me to get a really good break, I should have a saw - I guess a special kind of saw - to get a good clean, smooth slice. My hammer just wasn't going to do it.

So I gave up.  Sorry, folks.  :(  I could tell from the colors and shapes that the rest of my rocks wouldn't be geodes, so I didn't even try to break them up. 

I'm going to need to find someone that has either the right tools or more strength than I have before I try to crack open any more rocks.  In the meantime, following are a couple of really pretty rocks that are in the VC.  

And so ends the Thunder Egg saga.  Disappointing, but another adventure, and another learning experience.  And I'm going to keep looking.

The Volunteer in the VC did tell me the best place to go for Thunder Eggs, and Katie and I will be taking another walk to try to find some - now that we know where to go and what to look for.  I'm not hopeful, but the exercise is good for both of us and who knows?  We just might get lucky!

From me and Katie, have a great Saturday evening, everyone!   :)


  1. My mama always said....if at first you don't succeed, try, try again! Hope you go rock hunting again!

    Thanks for trying...have a great Sunday!

  2. When we went to Quartzsite in early January, we purchased a crack hammer to break the rocks open, 2 chisels to break rocks(takes place of your screwdriver, a gad (pry bar) to get a partially buried rock out of the ground. You can find some of these items on

  3. Breaking rocks is difficult. I think that's why they call them rocks!! Hope you find a winner.

  4. Sounds like fun. I'd like the hunt...but not so much the breaking them open part.

  5. good luck in your rock search. I'm sure you'll do better now that you know what to look for. I'd love to do that!

  6. O.K. found it. I just hit the wrong button.
    Checked the program. As I thought. It seems to be for Windows based PC only and mine is a MAC.

  7. Had to laugh to myself over your rock story... we have ALOT of thundereggs in this part of central Oregon, they are more bumpy on the outside than yours, spent LOTS of time as kids trying to get those darn rocks open. You would always see other people that had cool ones, but they had rock cutters!!! Huge electric machines to do the cutting. Was always going to do that just one more thing by the wayside of life :) Maybe in future years....

  8. Oh, this sounds like fun! But better tools would be more fun. Not sure that my hands would forgive me
    Thanks for sharing the others for us.


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