As any Collector, Geologist, or Rock hound knows, sometimes it takes a little luck to find what you're looking for. Well sometimes you accidentally leave the luck at home. Trial and error seems to be what it takes for successful crystal hunting. You see, in my career as a rock hound I have found that you find a lot more disappointment in the field than you do crystals, but that doesn't always mean the crystal trip is disappointing. With this article I will recount with you one time I went looking for false hope and came up empty handed.
Working at a rock store opens you up to a whole new world of crystals and where to find them, especially when you're in Northern California. A LOT of my regular customers either own mines or know of places to find crystals, so I get a lot of good tips on where to look. So far I am 0 for 3 with these tips. The first trip seemed easy enough, I was told there was a bridge overlooking Lake Oroville that had crystals littered all around the bottom near the water. So naturally I gathered up a few of my friends to go see what we could find!
Problem #1 There are a lot more bridges that overlook the lake than I was inclined to believe. We spent an hour looking for what we thought was the one (and it got dark)
Problem #2 Those bridges are really hard to get under. The one we picked was roughly 100 ft. above the water level, so getting down was a hassle
Problem #3 We picked the wrong bridge
Unfortunately, the trip ended almost as soon as we got to the bottom, but that's where the most memorable part of the trip started. We didn't find any crystals under the bridge, but we did find a giant tunnel that the train runs through. And, as if it were planned, we sat at the top of that tunnel and watched a train zoom just beneath our feet at what seemed like 100 miles per hour! Plus, as if Mother Nature was trying to be dramatic, the sun started to set over the water. That day I saw one of the best sunsets in my life. So, even though I didn't find any crystals, I found one of my new favorite places in Butte County! Plus we got Sonic afterwards and that's always amazing.
Moral of the story: Rock Hounding is tough, man. Countless hours spent staring at the ground, hauling giant heavy rocks all over the place, coming home with nothing, its really not the easiest hobby to pick up. But, if you ask any collector, any Geologist, ANY rock hound, even when you find things its all about the story. Just having a crystal isn't the ultimate goal, you want to be able to talk about it. The best part about showing off your crystals is letting everyone know the fun you had looking for it. It's about taking time with your friends to go explore the world! And to see what it has to offer. Even when you don't find anything, you at least gotta find the time to #doitfortheGRAM