After Thanksgiving dinner I drove to my standby motel in Barstow eager for an early start in the morning to rock hound at the world famous Lavic Siding jasper fields. Most newbie rock hounds would’ve been out of their element. But as a desert geocacher the 45 mile drive on Route 66 felt comfortably familiar. The turnout for Lavic Siding is at geocache 155-Route 66 (GC2JXWB).

I parked only .25 miles in, planning to hike a circle while looking for jaspers for my rock tumblers.

Immediately I saw that no hike was needed. The ground was COVERED with red, yellow and red-yellow jaspers. This is the view at parking.

I walked about 500’ away in each direction, collecting on my walk back and then depositing in my Subaru. The sheer abundance of jaspers was overwhelming and I wanted to grab everything. It’s legal to take “reasonable amounts” for non-commerical personal use.

After a few minutes I became selective and avoided rocks with extreme shapes, visible fractures, deep holes or pits. I took home about 15 lbs to fit in my table top tumblers. Here’s the first batch.

The afternoon was spent 4 miles west, geocaching at Pisgah Crater.

Here’s ground zero at a lava outcropping. The cache was a rodent-chewed decon container.

And a sea of untumblable volcanic rocks was underfoot.

The next cache was a DNF and the one after that was in a lava clearing.

More caches were ahead but so were a dozen wildly speeding quads on the narrowing road. Instead of risking a collision or breathing volcanic dust I went back to Barstow to recharge for another day of geocaching.


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