Field trip: Ella Beach, Sooke Pot Holes for gold panning, October 30th ’22

It was planned to be a two-destination trip; first to Ella Beach in Sooke for an hour and a half rockhounding and pebble picking, then moving on to the Sooke Potholes for gold panning…

Sean: “Due to the rather heavy amount of rain, we elected not to attempt to pan in what is now a raging river. So we went to the secondary site, Ella Beach.

There was a rather large storm a few nights prior that ripped up the seabed, dumping normally deep bedded sea life on the tides.”

Arlene: “It was a slightly damp morning (tongue in cheek) (“atmospheric river” – ed.), and due to the Sooke River swelling its banks Sean decided to call off the gold panning part of the trip

Ella Beach however, was a delight.  Everyone was decked out in rain gear and other than an initial bit of a downpour when we first arrived, it cleared up and was quite an enjoyable morning.   After a couple of hours it started showing signs of getting wet again and we packed it up

There were a few treasures found including a “very first flowerstone” find, an actual small clear agate, as well as some interesting washed up sea creatures and shells, a beautiful huge abalone shell, and assorted interesting rocks. 

Sean: “We spent a few hours combing the beaches finding interesting rocks. One actual agate (surprised), a lithium purple rock yet to be ID’d; as well as sea urchins, scallops, one abalone shell and other stuff not normally washed up on beaches.”

Arlene: “Sean was amazing at his rock identification as usual and was kept busy answering questions as we sauntered slowly down the beach, eyes to the ground as only a true rock lover travels. 

We had a fellow traveller with us for a good hour – a big seal lion who kept pace with us and talked to us all the way up, eventually, like an hour later, joining his crowd out in the water near the end of the beach.  There was so much kelp, dead wood and crud at the tideline in the water that it was hard to differentiate his companions who were out there somewhere and also very vocal.” 

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Rendezvous 2022

Rendezvous 2022 was held in Coombs at the fairground from June 2nd through June 6th, 2022. It was well-attended with both tent and RV campers. Despite changeable weather and rain, the field trips were full and the workshops and demonstrations also filled up. For a taste of what was on offer see the photo albums below (there was more on offer, but these are the events I have photos for).

Field Trips on offer:

Horne Lake Caves

At the guide centre we were provided with helmets and headlamps. Our guide, Ryan, took us on a 20 minute walk uphill to the cave entrance. The walk is dotted with interpretive signs of the landscape. The entrance to Big Bend Cave is gated and locked. The floor of the cave is in its natural state as a river bed and requires some nimbleness to navigate.

Our guide
Walking along the original river bed
Squeezing up through a narrow passage towards the exit

Click on an image to see it larger, use your arrow keys to move between images

Mt Arrowsmith

The trip to Mt Arrowsmith afforded the chance to see Dallasite in its original form as part of basalt pillow lava as well as red, green, blue(ish) and purple jaspers. Thanks go to Jim Jeffs (Parksville club) for leading the trip, providing insightful explanations and organizing the gates to be unlocked for access.

Click on an image to see it larger, use your arrow keys to move between images

Formation of basalt pillows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KCFOy26jFg

Argonaut Mine

The Argonaut mine is an idle open pit iron mine. Active from 1951 until 1957 its minerals were used in the steel manufacturing industry. Minerals to be found are magnetite, garnet skarn, epidote skarn, calcite, marble, pyrite, limestone, diorite and actinolite. The trip was led by Jim McKinnon (Parksville club) who provided good interpretation of what was available and how to find it.

Introduction by Jim McKinnon

Argonaut Mine introduction

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Carving rock bowls – demonstration

Gary Veitch from the Duncan club demonstrated how he carves rock bowls. He uses a Makita Wet Stone polisher that he has modified to keep the powdered rock out of the workings. Gary shapes and sands the outside before starting on the inside. It takes a couple of days to produce a finished bowl from a rock.

Videos of the process (playlist with 5 short videos)

Exposing and cleaning fossils – demonstration

Russ Ball from the Courtney club explained how he uses an air scribe to clean out the matrix surrounding fossils to better expose the structure.

Workshop: Tree of Life Pendant

Allison Gallant and Cari Taylor (Victoria Club) stepped in at short notice to give a great workshop on making a Tree of Life pendant.

Showcases in the Arrowsmith Hall

Here are some of the showcases set up in the Arrowsmith Hall

Island Area Rocks and Minerals: there is a lot of information in each picture, so I’ve left the picture size large – click on a picture to see it bigger, or download it to enlarge it even more.

Rocks of the USA by Grant and Angela Bailey. there is a lot of information in each picture, so I’ve left the picture size large – click on a picture to see it bigger, or download it to enlarge it even more.

Unusual fossils from the Vancouver Island Cretaceous: there is a lot of information in each picture, so I’ve left the picture size large – click on a picture to see it bigger, or download it to enlarge it even more.

Vancouver Island Rocks

Auction

Our auctioneer in action

General Photos

Field trip: Meade Creek, Shaw Creek, Cowichan, May 29th ’22

Field trip to Meade Creek and Shaw Creek north of Cowichan lake. We have two locations for this months field trip, that are relatively close to each other.

One: Meade Creek; Rhodonite, Potential gold, Laurel Stone

Two: Shaw Creek; Rhodonite (More then at Meade), Jasper (bright red and black kind), Potential Gold, Laurel Stone.

Same as Meade, just more of it and better….

Suggested things to bring:

  • Gold panning pans
  • Water (for drinking)
  • Rock hammer
  • safety glasses (eye protection)
  • gloves
  • hiking boots or good treaded running shoes
  • food (optional)

Meeting location: Juan de Fuca center parking lot at 9:00 am, see red circle on attached map.

Juan de Fuca Rec Centre meeting place

Rendevous 2022 booking

Register for Rendezvous 2022
June 2 – 6, Coombs Fair Grounds, Coombs
Dear members and rock enthusiasts,

We would like to alert you to that the registration form for Rendezvous 2022 scheduled for June 2 – 6, 2022 at the Coombs Fair Grounds in Coombs, BC is now on our web site. Rendezvous is our Society’s annual gathering which has taken place since 1958 (well, until the COVID pandemic). Rendezvous 2022 will feature:Field TripsCamaraderieMini Rock Show and SaleBCLS Annual General MeetingThis year Rendezvous and Gemboree have been combined into a single larger-than-usual event focused on bringing us all back together after 2 years of COVID retreat. Rendezvous 2022 will be hosted by our Vancouver Island clubs including Victory Lapidary and Mineral Society, Cowichan Valley Rockhounds, Parksville & District Rock & Gem, Courtenay Gem and Mineral Club, Alberni Valley Rock & Gem, Ripple Rock Gem & Mineral Club (Vancouver Island Zone).

Visit our web site at the URL below for the registration form and everything Rendezvous. Let’s make a point of getting back together again and rocking BC!

https://www.bclapidary.com/rock-hunting-rendezvous.php

Sincerely,

Andrew Danneffel
BCLS President
president@bclapidary.com
604-323-4273

Field trip: Island View Beach, Saanichton, November 28th

Where: Island View Beach, Saanichton
When: 9 am to 12 noon(ish)
Difficulty: Easy

Sean is offering to run a field trip on Sunday, November 28th along Island View beach. Participants should meet at the Island View Park parking lot at the end of Island View road.

Island view is a good beach for general beach combing and to look for fossils. On a previous trip a club member found a huge piece of Dallasite – our club stone. On the 28th high tide is at 11:30 in the morning, so we will be rock hunting with a rising tide, but this should present no problems. This beach is an easy walk, suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

Numbers are not limited, but please use this form to sign up if you plan to join the field trip so we will know when everyone has arrived. If your plans change and you no longer plan to join, please contact fieldtrips@vlms.ca to let Sean know.

Island View Field Trip sign up form for November 28th 2021

As the field trip is outdoors masks will not be required and vaccine passports won’t be checked.

Suggested things to bring:

  • Water (for drinking)
  • Rock hammer
  • safety glasses (eye protection) if you plan to use a rock hammer
  • gloves if you plan to use a rock hammer
  • hiking boots or good treaded running shoes

Field trip: Meade Creek, Cowichan, May 30th

Limited to 10 participants, prior sign-up essential, use this sign up form.

Please fill out the following Covid screening questionnaire by Saturday May 29th, 7pm: Covid 19 Questionnaire for the Meade Creek Field Trip – May 30th

Field trip to the Meade Creek area north of Cowichan lake. This is an easy hike and possible finds include Rhodonite. Gold panning is also an option.

Suggested things to bring:

  • Gold panning pans
  • Water (for drinking)
  • Rock hammer
  • safety glasses (eye protection)
  • gloves
  • hiking boots or good treaded running shoes
  • Masks (not a bandana) for covid

The meeting place will be at the Ice Cream Mountain ice-cream shop at 9 am. See map link below