Sportsman’s Report: Rock Hounding and the summer vacation | Sports

Rockhound Weston Leavens wanted to go on more rockhounding trips than the local rock club schedules, so he took the bull by the horns, so to speak. He took the time to form a group on Facebook, Sonoma County Rogue Rockhounds. The goals are simple; Want to meet up with other Sonoma County rockhounds for a local adventure. Just post where you want to go and when. Also, they ask you to share pictures and videos of what you find. This was last fall, 2021, his idea grew among those who have an interest in rocks and rock-related sports. Today the group has 430 members, and anyone can put a group together and take off, shovel, bucket, and that old west ‘Gold Fever’ well, ‘cute rock’ fever.

A recent trip was organized by member Misty Poloni to the far away Pacific Ocean at Goat Rock State Beach. If you have been in our area for a very long time you know where to find Goat Rock, drive west until your car goes into the drink. Taste the water, if it gags you with too much salt, you made it to the ocean. Her group searched the gravel at the wave break. Once wet, the colors come out in some detail. Jasper, quartz, green chert, and many other beauties are there for you to wonder at. Your young ones will enjoy field trips, the littlest ones will find lots of “wocks” and maybe bring the “gog.”

Some of the Rogue trips are local, driving an hour or two at most and some are long trips and some that are days of camping or motels and restaurants, for those who don’t do dirt. A rockhound that is not into dirt? Must be a marriage issue. Aaron Poovey, silversmith in Sebastopol, loves rocks and gems. Digging? No way. Camping? Nope. Driving for a few days to visit rock shops? Not a problem – no digging. He and his lovely wife Jennifer are truly a happy couple, so it is possible to be happily married and one is a rockhound. Long trips require a lot of planning and difficulties with schedules, none the less, longer trips do happen.

Some of the most memorable trips in recent years have been organized by the Santa Rosa Mineral and Gem Society (SRMGS). The club organizes monthly field trips, for members only. Field trips add to your rock pile, to take the next step and start to cut, polish, and set your treasure on your finger, neck, or ear. You will need lots of tools and some instruction, enter the professional rock club. You become a part of society by paying a low annual fee and attending events. The club has an excellent rock shop near Old Red and Shiloh Road. Shop stewards will walk you through some safety guidelines and will mentor you through your lapidary experience.

SRMGS.org – also on Facebook, Sonoma County Rogue Rockhounds is a group on Facebook. Search the net for rock clubs for the many, many groups. They often have special events open to non-members, rock sales and open houses, field trips and other activities. If you have your summer planned out, you can add a rock trip with advice from a rock club near your destination with a little planning.

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.

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