Southern California Desert Agate Collecting
By Jim McGlynn
Went out to Las Vegas with the family, and made a couple of side trips into
California to scope out some agate sites that I found published in Gem Trails of Southern California.
First trip was out to Death Valley; not for rockhounding, just for sight seeing.
It was very hot and windy that day, but I managed to get a couple of pictures of some interesting
rock formations that looked as if they were ready to topple.
Death Valley was interesting, especially when it was near 100 degrees on valley
floor, and I could look up at snow capped peaks in the mountains to the West!
Anyway, on to the agate! I went to the Afton Canyon site which was a very
scenic ride, and my all-wheel-drive rental vehicle paid for itself as it took me through a stream
and sand trap without any problem. I only found one pretty agate nodule but was a little disappointed
in not finding more... the trip was worth the magnificent views!
Went on down the Interstate (I-15) between Baker and Barstow to the "Field Road"
collecting site. This was an agate collectors paradise. I spent the afternoon looking around and
then went back the next day to collect. Really nice agate colors and patterns were to be had with
just a little driving and walking... all on the surface.
Horn toad lizard
Road to agate fields
Some nodules too large to take!
That big red one on top of pile was from Afton Canyon site.
Nice pile of agate to be shipped home to the Carolinas!
My Vegas vacation turned out just fine! (Anytime I find some pretty agate, I
feel like a winner!).
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