Friday, March 1, 2013

Hassayampa River Preserve.....This Place Rocks

We've all seen movies where someone is pulling themselves through the desert, dying of thirst and all of the sudden there is an oasis of palm trees, grass, and water. I didn't have to look far before I found the real deal...the Hassayampa River Preserve. Translation of the word Hassayampa means roughly "The river which flows upside down",  because for most of its 100 mile course through the desert, it's underground. In the River Preserve near Wickenburg,  the water is actually above ground year round thanks to granite bedrock that domes up forcing water to the surface.
This place was so cool, it had everything from frogs, birds, amazing plant life, and rocks....yes I said rocks. I was looking through the local "what's going on today" section of the Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce and voila, today from 9 am - 11 am the River Preserve was putting on a program about rocks and minerals.
Laurie decided to stay back with Lucy and have some quiet time without me, do some laundry, and play with her IPad.
Over the years I've thrown rocks, tripped over rocks, skipped rocks across water, heck, I've even been accused of having a head full of rocks. I've always been somewhat of a rock hound but never really took the time to learn about how they were formed, how they got their colors, and the big question....why did I always get caught when I broke a window with a rock!
I got all but the last question answered by gem and mineral hobbyist Dale Keiser, the program presenter. Dale is a local who has been collecting and learning about gems, rocks, and minerals his whole life. He gave us the basics on identifying & collecting as well as leading us on a short hike around the Preserve area.
The group consisted of about 25 people ranging in age from about 8 years old to a couple in their 80's.
It was really interesting and I learned a lot from his program.One of the things Dale did was identify rocks that people brought that they didn't know what they were. I had brought a piece of quartz with some yellow flecks in it that Laurie got while on our Jeep tour in the desert. Dale checked it out and said "yep, that's real gold in the Quartz,". He said it's not a lot of gold and to tell Laurie not to quit her day job.....I said "well it's too late for that" :)
This afternoon we're going to a downtown celebration with live music, arts, crafts, farmer's market, and home made ice cream. Miss ya all.....Bob & Laurie

Dale...very good presenter

She 's now known as Laurie "Gold Fever" Fritz

Natural Turquoise found in the desert too.


  1. We really enjoyed the preserve too. Just imagine how it would look in all the different seasons. Well worth the fee . Glad you like this area.

    thanks for the gold picture... interesting..


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