all the areas a person can go to hunt rocks, the Crook County area of
is one of the most productive and pleasant. The countryside is
gorgeous, altering between rolling hills, to tree covered mountains
and deep winding canyons. Lakes, streams, and wildlife abound. Towns
are small and friendly and offer all the necessities for hungry or
weary travelers. If you are not a town person, preferring either built
and maintained or primitive camping, you will find yourself at no loss
for great spots to park yourself, either. In fact, the only thing I
can see being a problem with going into this area at all is the
problem of wanting to leave when it's time to go home.
I have my favorite little secret spot on
the south side of Prineville Reservoir, somewhere between 20 and 30
miles south of Prineville on highway 27.
The first few times down in the area I
trolled the landscapes and found an abundance of excellent materials
of all sorts: Heavily patterned jaspagates, beautifully colored banded
agates of greens and golds, slabs of clear sharp quartz crystals, and
geodes. After a few times there, I started exploring other areas, from
the North East area of the reservoir out to the Ochoco mountains
directly East, North, and South of Prineville.
What I found was that everywhere I
went new and exciting types of specimens were just scattered around
waiting to be picked up and carried off.
For those of you who are crazy about
obsidian, take 27 down to the highway leading into Burns and take a
left turn towards Burns then go to mile marker 81. Take the 4 wheel
drive trail to the south of the highway. You are now in the Glass
Butte area and my bet is you've never seen anything like it for
obsidian. Anywhere back toward the Butte itself if you get out of the
car you will find yourself walking on ribbons of obsidian of all
varieties, some of these ribbons are several feet wide and most just
continue on for any distance you wish to follow them. I have picked up
specimens of gold sheen, silver sheen, mahogany, black with red, red
with black, and occasionally a piece of coveted rainbow.
There are a few things you will want to
watch for on your Prineville adventures: the first being rattlesnakes.
In the lower areas, especially in the canyon on the way to the
reservoir. I saw no shortage of these little guys, but have never seen
one in the Mountains to the West of the town.
Of course, that doesn't mean they
On my third trip to the area I did find
that porcupines roam freely in the area. I found that out by sitting
for an hour or two at a local veterinarian's office having quills
plucked out of my dogs mouth and nose. I never saw signs of bears
anywhere there, although Iíve heard there are supposed be some, but I
did see wolves and a an impressively sized cougar. The animals seem to
be well fed there, as none acted particularly aggressive. That isn't a
great theory to press, however, and if you are going to be in those
areas it's a good idea to brush up on how to act safely around various
types of wildlife.
While you are scouring
over maps and info this winter looking for great vacation hunting
spots for next summer, you really should include a trip to Crook
©2005 Sally Taylor