Wyoming Weekend

One of many trip reports by Alan Silverstein.
Last update: February 12, 2009

(Email addressed to a rock-hunting friend:)

From:  Alan Silverstein <ajs@hpfcajs.fc.hp.com>
Date:  8 Sep 1998 11:35:39 -0600
Subject:  Wyoming rockhunting

...I just got back from a very full 3-day weekend in Wyoming. No intentions of serious rockhounding, but we did some anyway! :-)

Saturday -- we (me, Kathy, another lady from HP, and three dogs) hiked up Medicine Bow Peak, 12013'. Very pretty quartz monzonite and colorful quartzite(?) up there; red and green. Then -- just I and Kathy and her dogs -- went on to Saratoga and soaked in the hot springs (well a quick dip, it was too hot!) We checked out the moss agate site north of town. There's a spectacular amount of black and mossy agate on that rim!

We had to rush off to make it to Delaney Rim by sunset, which we barely did, by way of Wamsutter. Awesome moonrise, a calm, warm, bug-free night on Delaney Point -- wow. Next morning we drove the 7.6 rough miles back south to the turitella area, since we didn't have time the previous evening. This time I explored around further... There are hundreds of acres covered with that turitella agate!

...We drove back north past the Point, and west along the rim with one more stop at the swirl (stromatolite algae) agate location.

...Next, back north to the highway at Tipton (15 miles west of Wamsutter) and west to Rock Springs for a late lunch. I didn't think we'd go that far west, but Kathy also wanted to, so we did. Then up to Farson for dessert (ice cream, yum) while it rained. Then northeast toward South Pass with a muddy side trip to Woodtop for an hour of surface hunting there. I was able to find it without my hand-drawn map, which I left at home, but I took a couple of wrong turns. Also had some difficult sloshing through fresh mud for about a mile; it dried out significantly before we came back out.

We went over South Pass before dark. Camped in the woods. Next morning, Lander, Riverton, Shoshoni, Thermopolis for a short hike up Monument Hill and then a soak in the State Pool. Back to Shoshoni, then east, past Hells Half Acre (badlands). Museum in Casper, then we took the pretty but slow back roads over Casper Peak and south, past the Shirley Basin mine sites (moss agate) and then 4.2 miles east on Carbon County 2 to the wood site...

The little two-tracker west of the bridge does get up the hill with no gates or fences, just some deep ruts to avoid, to the west end of the top of the bluff. We didn't have much time as it was getting dark, just walked around the edge of the hill until we couldn't see very well.

...So we didn't get home until 11:15pm... we stopped in Laramie just before 10pm, just long enough to gas up and wash the car (!) at the place on the north end of 287. About what I expected...