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II – Travelling through Arizona & New Mexico, USA

 

Yes, we have to admit – we were lazy last year and did not post any new reports, even though we traveled as much as usual. But now, with a small help of the quarantine during the pandemic, we promise to be more productive.

We start with a photo-report from our post-Tucson show journey in 2019, that we did through Arizona and mostly New Mexico. It was a great time with a lot of nature, national parks, geology and minerals of course! So, lets go through that trip together ...

We would like to thank our friends who helped us with that trip – Phillip Simmons, Mike Sanders, Tony Potucek, Marcie Greenberg and John Rakovan.

All photos (well, almost all) by Joanna "Asia" Gajowniczek-Praszkier.

 

Visited area in the satellite photo of the Northern America.

 

Arizona and New Mexico states in the satellite photo of the USA.
 

Arizona and New Mexico in an old map.

 

Road map of the area described in this report. Our trip started in the famous Tucson in Arizona, soon after "Tucson Show" ended.

 

Arizona state flag.

 

Famous "Tucson" sign.
 

The last accent of the "Tucson Show" is TGMS - Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. It was the first of all shows that started the whole tradition. It is kind of the summarizing point of the whole a few weeks long event.

 

The main theme of the exhibits in 2019 was wulfenite – official mineral of Arizona state. In the photo one of exhibit cases with wulfenites and mining artifacts from the collections of Wendell Wilson and Gail and Jim Spann.

 

Arizona Mineral Minions case with wulfenites from Arizona.
 

Great Red Cloud wulfenite (AZ) in Mineral Minions case.
 

Case with "Wulfenites of Arizona and Mexico" from collections of Evan Jones and Tony Potucek.
 

Some of the great wulfenites from  collections of Evan Jones and Tony Potucek.

 

Some of the great wulfenites from  collections of Evan Jones and Tony Potucek.

 

Some of the great wulfenites from  collections of Evan Jones and Tony Potucek.

 

Some of the great wulfenites from  collections of Evan Jones and Tony Potucek.

 

Another wulfenite case with wulfenite-related memorabilia and specimens.
 

Iconic, probably the best, wulfenite from Glove Mine in Arizona, brought by museum from the New Mexico ... We saw the same specimen some days later in the museum ...

 

Probably the most surprising and exciting exhibits at TGMS were cases prepared by Natural Creations.  Here showcase with top quality tourmalines from Pederneira Mine, Brazil.
 

One of the incredible tourmalines from Pederneira Mine (Brazil) shown by Natural Creations.

 

Another of the incredible tourmalines from Pederneira Mine (Brazil) shown by Natural Creations.

 

Second case prepared by Natural Creations. Beryls, tanzanites, fluorites ... Morganite is about 30 cm tall!

 

About 30 cm tall morganite from brazil, huge Nigerian aquamarine, superb heliodore from Volodarsk Volynskii (Ukraine) ... all in Natural Creations showcase.

 

Incredible specimens in the Natural Creations showcase.

 

Superb tanzanites in the Natural Creations showcase.

 

Another great showcase by Naturals creations.  Tourmaline from Coronel Murta (Brazil) about 15 cm tall ...
 

Another killer specimen brought by Naturals Creations – huge and great quality blue cap tourmaline with quartz from famous the find in Tourmaline Queen Mine, California (USA). Specimen about 30 cm tall.
 

Also at the exhibition at TGMS – giant topaz crystal from Brazil. Roz & Gene Meiran collection.

 

Showcase with wulfenites, mimetites and pyromorphites plus memorabilia presented by Kristalle.
 

Details of the Kristalle showcase.
 

Details of the Kristalle showcase.

 

Chinese Mineral Treasures – big showcase presented by Gail and Jim Spann.
 

Selection of the world wide specimens in another showcase.
 

Superb gold from Eagle's Nest, California, USA. About 12 cm tall.
 

Huge topaz specimens and cut-stones presented by GIA.
 

About 20 cm big specimen of tourmaline with quartz from Pala, California, USA.
 

Incredible quality and selection of miniature and small cabinet specimens were presented by Irv Brown in his showcase. Here aquamarine from Pakistan, copper from Michigan, and scheelite from China.
 

Irv's Brown superb gold from California and hematite from N'Chwaning, SA.
 

Superb Italian sulphur and Chniese fluorite in Irv's case,
 

Killer rhodochrosite with tetraedrite from Sweet Home Mine, USA, from Irv's collection.
 

Brett Keller is a collector and wine producer. Here his competition showcase at TGMS.

 

Phillip Simmons case showing the crystallography and habits of fluorites from New Mexico.
 

One of the thumbnail competition showcases.

 

Our dear and missed friend John Veevaert died a few months before the Tucson Show. Two showcases were dedicated to him.
 

Benitoite was John's favorite species, here another showcase, tribute to him. Prepared by Marty Zinn.

A few photos of the specimens offered for sale at the TGMS – here Fine Minerals International booth.
 

Some of the FMI showcases with great selection of specimens.
 

Some of the FMI specimens offered for sale.
 

Huge rubellite from Malkhan, Russia offered for sale by the Arkenstone.
 

Very showy, about 25 cm big, scolecite on stilbite from India offered for sale by Matrix India.

 

And now something completely different – fluorite art offered by UKMV.

 

When the show ended, all rocks were packed and shipped back home, it was time to leave Tucson.
 

From Tucson we drove to visit Petrified Forest National Park.
 

Some spectacular landscapes on our way, near Glove town.
 

Landscapes on our way to the Petrified Forest.
 

Of course we had to stop to examine the veins in basalts on the roadside ...

 

On the way to Petrified Forest we visited our friend Tony Potucek – long time field collector and geologist. Beside of the specimens he got special corners with all kind of crazy things related to the mining. Just a "Mining ZOO". We liked that a lot.
 

Some of the colorful miniatures from Tony's collection.
 

Great cerussite with malachite from Australia from Tony's collection.

 

Finally we reached the famous historic Route 66 going from Los Angeles to Chicago.
 

And soon first fossils showed up.
 

We decided to spend a night in Halbrook in epic, kitschy concrete teepees surrounded by historic cars and petrified wood.
 

Concrete teepees and historic cars in Halbrook.

 

Happy Asia in the front of our concrete teepee bungalow.
 

And here we got, a superb American breakfast in Halbrook :-)
 

In the area of the Petrified Forest National Park there is a lot of shops, some of them are museum-like.

 

Big, colorful petrified wood for sale.
 

Big, colorful petrified wood for sale.

 

There are also bigger pieces available ...
 

... a lot of them ...
 

... a lot of them ...
 

... really a wide choice!
 

Some shops are built using fragments of the petrified wood as bricks.
 

Time to enter to the Petrified Forest NP – it was Tom's dream from his early years!
 

Map of the Petrified Forest NP with all trails. We started our visit from South going to Northern exit.
 

First we visited Rainbow Forest Museum - very well done, with interesting fossils and well explained geology.
 

Exhibit at the Rainbow Forest Museum.

 

Exhibit at the Rainbow Forest Museum.

 

Exhibit at the Rainbow Forest Museum.

 

Just behind the museum there is Giant Logs trail. The name says it all ...
 

At the Giant Logs trail, the name says it all ...
Petrified wood in the area is Late Triassic age (about 225 million years ago).

 

At the Giant Logs trail, the name says it all ...
Petrified wood in the area is Late Triassic age (about 225 million years ago).

 

At the Giant Logs trail, the name says it all ...

 

At the Giant Logs trail.

 

At the Giant Logs trail.

 

At the Giant Logs trail.

 

Knot in petrified wood log.

 

Colorful petrified wood.
 

Colorful petrified wood.

 

Next trail which we visited was called Crystal Forest. It was full of big wood logs broken into regular fragments as an effect of jointing.
 

Crystal Forest trail is full of big wood logs broken into regular fragments as an effect of jointing.

 

Crystal Forest trail is full of big wood logs broken into regular fragments as an effect of jointing.

 

Explanation on how petrified wood forms and why it looks like it was cut by an ancient lumberjack.
 

Fragments of the petrified wood at Crystal Forest trail.
 

Fragments of the petrified wood at Crystal Forest trail.

 

Huge petrified wood log at Crystal Forest trail.

 

Colorful petrified wood.
 

Beautiful landscape of the colorful continental Triassic sedimentary rocks in Petrified Forest NP.
 

Beautiful landscape of the colorful continental Triassic sedimentary rocks in petrified Forest NP. Note big petrified wood log.

 

Moon-style landscape at the Blue Mesa trail. Unusual forms are effect of the recent weathering of Triassic continental sedimentary rocks.
 

Moon-style landscape at the Blue Mesa trail. Unusual forms are effect of the recent weathering of Triassic continental sedimentary rocks.

 

Moon-style landscape at the Blue Mesa trail. Unusual forms are effect of the recent weathering of Triassic continental sedimentary rocks.

 

Petrified wood at the Blue Mesa trail.

 

Spectacular winter landscape of the Painted Desert seen from Chinde Point.
 

Spectacular winter landscape of the Painted Desert seen from Chinde Point.

 

Spectacular winter landscape of the Painted Desert seen from Chinde Point. From there we left National Park and drove to the East.

 

Soon after leaving Petrified Forest NP we crossed the border of Arizona and New Mexico – state flag pictured above.
 

Our next destination was Valles Caldera and Jemez Mountains.

 

Valles Caldera, located in the Jamez Mountains, is one of the best researched volcanoes in the world. Here in the puzzle.
 

On the way to Jamez Mountains.
 

Historical museum showing the Indians culture on the slopes of Valles Caldera.
 

Super cool old-style Los Ojos Saloon in the Jemez Springs.
 

Inside of the Los Ojos saloon – everything in this photo is soooo American :-)
 

Inside of the Los Ojos saloon.

 

Valles Caldera is located at elevation of about 3400 m, the higher we drove the more snow showed up around us.
 

View to the snowy Valles Caldera. Caldera itself formed about 1.25 million years ago, but the last eruptive episode took place only 70,000 years ago.
 

Young lava dome (small hill with forest) inside the snowy Valles Caldera.
 

Winter landscapes of the Jemez Mountains.
 

From the top of volcano we drove down direction Los Alamos, crossing big areas with dead forrest.
 

Los Alamos – home to one of the most secret and famous laboratories in the world.
The first atomic bomb was constructed here. Now a lot of research about solar and nuclear energy is done. Pretty ironic to call one of the main streets  "Bikini Atoll"
– the place where nuclear tests were carried out for decades destroying environment and local community ...
 

Driving down from Los Alamos we crossed beautiful valleys and landscape formed
by the recent erosion of volcanic clastic rocks (mostly tuff).

 

Driving down from Los Alamos we crossed beautiful valleys and landscape formed
by the recent erosion of volcanic clastic rocks (mostly tuff).

 

Driving down from Los Alamos we crossed beautiful valleys and landscape formed
by the recent erosion of volcanic clastic rocks (mostly tuff).

 

Volcanic tuff was used for about 10,000 years by Indians to carve their homes inside of the rock. The most spectacular and dense constructions are now located in Bandelier National Monument.

 

Tuff cliff with Indians carved houses, Bandelier National Monument.

 

Tuff cliff with Indians carved houses, Bandelier National Monument.

 

Tuff cliff with Indians carved houses, Bandelier National Monument.

 

Tuff cliff with Indians carved houses, Bandelier National Monument.

 

Tuff cliff with Indians carved houses, Bandelier National Monument.

 

Tuff cliff with Indians carved houses, Bandelier National Monument.

 

Tuff cliff with Indians carved houses, Bandelier National Monument.

 

Tuff cliff with Indians carved houses, Bandelier National Monument.

 

Interesting weathering forms in tuff cliff.

 

Next point of our trip was Socorro.
 

Mineralogical museum in Socorro is almost 100 years old.
 

Modern building of the Mineral Museum.
 

Mineral Museum in Socorro.
 

Mineral Museum in Socorro.

 

Mineral Museum in Socorro.

 

Mineral Museum in Socorro.

 

Of course the core of collection presented in the museum are minerals from New Mexico. Several showcases are dedicated only to them.
 

With no doubts Kelly Mine blue smithsonites are the most famous specimens from New Mexico. There are several great specimens from that locality in the museum.
Size of the label about 7 cm.
 

Blue smithsonite from Kelly Mine, New Mexico, USA. Size about 15 cm.

 

Superb blue smithsonite from Kelly Mine, New Mexico, USA. Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Huge blue smithsonite from Kelly Mine. New Mexico, USA. Specimen Is about 35 cm big.

 

Hemimorphite with rosasite from Kelly Mine, New Mexico, USA. Size of the label
about 7 cm.

 

Azurite from Kelly Mine, New Mexico, USA. Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Azurite from Kelly Mine, New Mexico, USA. Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Second famous location of New Mexico is Blanchard. Above a great fluorite on quartz from Mex Tex Mine, Blanchard, New Mexico, USA. Size of the label about 7 cm.
 

Great brochantite from Blanchard mines. Size of the label about 7 cm.
 

Another Blanchard classic – brochantite pseudomorphoses after galena.
Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Malachite partly pseudomorphosed to linarite from Blanchard mines.
Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Another great location strongly represented in the museum is Chino Mine, famous for native coppers. Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Herringbone style native copper from Chino Mine, famous for native coppers.
Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Big spinel law twinned crystals of native copper from Chino Mine, famous for native coppers. Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Herringbone style native copper from Chino Mine, famous for native coppers.
Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Spinel law twinned crystals of native copper from Chino Mine, famous for native coppers. Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Herringbone style native copper from Chino Mine, famous for native coppers. Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Azurite and malachite with calcite from Chino Mine, famous for native coppers. Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Superb for the species - specimen of very rare aphthitalite from US Potash Mine, New Mexico. Truly world class specimen. Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Uranophane from Poison Canyon, New Mexico. Truly world class specimen. Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

 

Zippeite (also uranium mineral) from New Mexico. Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Unusual native gold from San Pedro Mine, New Mexico, USA. Size about  8 cm.

 

Beside of the New Mexico specimens US mineralogy is strongly represented. The most iconic specimen, maybe in the whole museum, is this monstrous wulfenite from Glove Mine in Arizona, USA. Yes, we had seen it previously at the TGMS exhibit in Tucson.
 

Another US classic – smithsonite pseudomorphose after dolomite from Rush Creek, Arkansas. Size of the label about 7 cm.
 

More geological sample than mineral specimen, but interesting high temperature silica in the obsidian from California. Size of the label about 7 cm.

 

Huge fluorite on sphalerite with baryte from Elmwood, USA.

 

Monstrous, about 40 cm big calcite from Elmwood, USA.
 

After New Mexico and USA specimens Mexican mineralogy is strongly represented in the museum collection. In the photo a huge, around 50 cm, cluster of blue anhydrites with yellow calcite from Naica Mine, Mexico.
 

Big (about 12 cm) and very high quality nifontovite from San Bertolo, Mexico.
 

Good size mimetite from San Perdo Corralitos, Mexico.
 

Big crystals of wulfenite with great luster from Los Lamentos, Mexico.
 

Classic cavansite on heulandite from Wagholi, India.
 

Great sphalerite with talc and lollingite from Bou Azzer, Morocco.
 

Cuprosklodowskite with vandenbrandeite from Musonoi, DRC.
 

Halite from Wieliczka, Poland.

 

Go to Part II



  Comments

Great article, fantastic photos! Best wishes!
Don
2020-05-04 22:28:16
Nice! Wait for other articles.
Pete
2020-05-04 23:31:52
Fantastic
Sergio
2020-05-05 23:39:22
Great trip! Gorgeous photos!
Evelyn
2020-05-06 00:12:02
Great travelogue, Brought back nice memories of visiting the Petrified Forest when I was a little boy. Seeing the Jemez was bittersweet as it was one of the last places my Dad and I went trout fishing before he passed. Really well done. Bravo.
Richard Palley
2020-05-07 12:12:23
nice one
smwatkins@bigpond.com
2020-05-14 13:04:26
Thanks so much for sharing!
Great stuff !!
Gary Cartre
2020-06-28 05:36:39


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