Day 5 Monday
The morning walk included a dirt and gravel path to a lookout spot. On the way back to the paved road my attention was not on the ground and I tripped on one of the rocks that were randomly sticking above the path surface. Given a fall last year resulted in a broken wrist, it caused a moment’s panic for my companions on the walk. Fortunately this was a much different situation and I ended up with only a few scrapes and bruises from the rocks.
Now that the basic scouting had been done, the pace could be a lot slower. I headed off to the Hotel Tucson to pick though the bags of old rough John Garsow had to sell. Even after it had been picked over by others for a week, there still was a lot of interesting items there. Of course, a lot of them were for much bigger budgets than mine. Eventually I found an assortment of items that worked.
In my initial visit to the Hotel Tucson, right off the hotel lobby I noticed a display for DVD sets of the PBS show “The Mineral Explorers”. I got email approval from the SLO Gem & Mineral Club board for purchasing the DVDs. So the two season set will be available for the club for future programs and as a library item for members who want to binge the series.
Other Freeway Shows
During the afternoon, I had time to walk through the tents at the Red Lion Inn as well as browse the vendors at the other hotels along the freeway strip.
It was an early return to the hotel followed by dinner and some shopping at a local big box mall.
Day 6 Tuesday
Wildlife on the Walk
The highlight of the morning walk came as we got towards the end. Some movement in the brush below us turned out to be a herd of deer. As we walked further down the road, we could see the deer one by one crossing to the other side at a spot just beyond a curve in the road. We arrived at the curve and another deer was visible in the brush beside the road. We waited a few seconds and it came out of the brush. Then the deer went to the middle of the road where it stopped, turned to look directly at us and paused for its photo op before calmly crossing the rest of the way.
Rough Shopping at New Era's Rooms
It was off to New Era’s rooms at the Pueblo show for the day’s rough shopping. Having checked out the material they had on display, I had a pretty well defined shopping list. Before I headed over there, I had estimated how many pieces, sizes and weight I expected to get. I have been trying to get better at recognizing the size/weight of rough on sight. I found that I often underestimate sizes and pick pieces that are larger than what I wanted and my budget allowed. At least for the first few items, my purchases were right on target.
While I was at the New Era rooms, Rej Poirier of GemCutStudio fame came by and we talked a bit about how concave faceting was done. One of the many challenges Reg is thinking of taking on for future updates to his software would be to include the impact of concave facets.
That evening, New Era Gems held a party. Good food and good, friendly people.
Day 7 Wednesday
The temperature Wednesday morning was a bit warmer, so for a change, I didn’t have to scrape the frost off the car windows. It was still cool enough that my hands were cold. I need to get some light gloves to bring next year.
I headed to the other side of the freeway that morning to the 22nd street show to take a second look at the facet rough I had seen a few days earlier and make sure I had not missed something. It was a lot quieter than it had been on the weekend.
At one of the sunstone booths, the mine owner answered some questions I had about the material. Since I admitted to previously faceting only one sunstone he gave me additional tips for faceting his material. I came away with a couple pieces of practice clear rough and one with a red color center.
After a couple more hours of wandering around the various freeway shows, I headed back to the hotel to rest my feet.