Dedicated to sharing Rockhounding & Mineral Collecting Field Trips, collecting sites and collecting information!

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Moe liked Joseph LaFortune's discussion Tahoe Rockhounders
3 hours ago

Supporting Member
Connie Stillinger might attend Kris W. Rowe's event

Culver City Rock & Mineral Club 55th FIESTA OF GEMS - Veterans Memorial Auditorium - 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City, California - June 25 & 26, 2016 at Culver City Veterans Memorial Auditorium

June 25, 2016 at 10pm to June 26, 2016 at 5pm
Southern California rockhounds, lapidaries and geoenthusiasts, don't miss this great Show.As usual, I'll be there in my space at the Auditorium entrance, with a TON of rock, slabs and other delights.See you there!KrisSee More
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Connie Stillinger posted a status
"Re the Area 54 trip on May 14 - anyone else camping there the night before?"
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John tilley and family is attending Kris W. Rowe's event

Orcutt Mineral Society Annual "Rainbow of Gems" Show - Nipomo High School, Nipomo, CA - August 5th, 6th & 7th, 2016 at Nipomo High School

August 5, 2016 at 10am to August 7, 2016 at 5pm
    49th Annual OMS Gem ShowNIPOMO HIGH SCHOOL Olympic Hall Cafeteria & Parking Lot 525 North Thompson Avenue Nipomo, California 93444 3 Big Days!  10 AM-5 PM Friday & Saturday 10AM - 4PM Sunday August 5th, 6th & 7th, 2016--------------------------------------    Come and join the fun at the annual “Rainbow of Gems Show.”Lots of great dealers will be presenting their jewelry, gems, minerals and lapidary equipment. Local craftsmen will be displaying fascinating jewelry in gold and…See More
8 hours ago
scott forrest posted a video

#1 Faceting of a 48 carat Shaver Lake Amethyst

Faceting of a 48 carat Amethyst mined from the edge of Shaver Lake, California. A rough Amethyst crystal cut and polished into a finished oval faceted gemsto...
13 hours ago
James Meyer posted photos
James Meyer posted a status
"I have so many pieces to work and cut I really don't know we're to start"
James Meyer liked Joe & Alecia's photo


Early 2013

We celebrated reaching 450 members by starting our own

ProBoards Forum.

Now we've topped 500 members, and the Forum is ready!

Lots of topics and categories have been set up,…


Created by Kris W. Rowe Sep 13, 2013 at 7:07pm. Last updated by Kris W. Rowe Sep 13, 2013.



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Central California Rockhounding Marches Onwards!

Greetings, rockhounds!

The 2016 Central California Rockhound Odyssey is now part of history ...

And a great part it is!

From it's beginning in the rain at the Mariposa Rock & Gem Show, to the splendid weather we enjoyed in the field, the 2016 CentCal Odyssey exceeded even my wildest expectations.

Along with outstanding rock, and sterling attendees from as far away as Arizona, Texas & Colorado, surprises abounded.

The Mariposa Show was s great success, with as many fine folks braving the damp weather this spring as enjoyed last years sunshine.

I was most pleased to share the experience with many of you, and to welcome my new associates Craig Bowlby and his assistant Adam, and the Tilley Family to my Show booth. Their help was invaluable in making the Show a big success for me.

Monday saw us start down at the bottom of the Merced River Gorge, collecting fine serpentine and jade at Bagby. After a quick lunch, we moved just up the road to the Mariposite site, and enjoyed successful surface collecting and hard rock mining for that fine chrome marble.

As always, I had the pleasure of sharing some of the finer points of hard rocking with the newbies, but our veterans made that task an easy one. We took home lots of Mariposite, and left behind some big boulders for other rockhounds to bust.

Tuesday was our annual sojourn to Chinese Camp for dendritic opal. Using knowledge gained from last years trip, our diggers got into the pits and soon found thick seams of opal. We used our growing hard rock knowledge to wrest the colorful opal safely from the tenacious clay and serpentine that surround it.

Wednesday was a quiet day, as we traveled southward to lear Creek, but good rock was still brought to grass at Area 54 and in the Creek.

Thursday saw us up early, with a delightful surprise visit by CFMS star Tom Clark, and RFTF! members Will Puryear and Dave Allman, fresh in from the Cady's Mountains with stunningly colorful seam agate to whet our appetites.  Seeing my old friends was a most delightful birthday surprise for me!

At 9 am, we were out of the blocks and up to the top for plasma agate at the Aurora mine. Perfect weather graced our day, and smiles were part of everyone's uniform as buckets of plasma were toted back to waiting vehicles. That afternoon, some of us went "up-top" in search of mint & cream colored serp-silica, accompanied by a stunning view of the surrounding peaks, and the Central Valley below. 

Our camp was filled with tired and happy miners that evening, as the moon and stars danced overhead. Sleep came early, and all slept well.

Friday was quieter, as some attendees had departed, but other RFTF! members rolled in to enjoy the day. For me, it was back up to the top with inveterate Odyssey attendee Connie Thornburg at the wheel, giving me time to enjoy the view. More plasma and serp-silica came down the mountain with us, and as the shadows grew we all head out for Area 54.

The day dawned bright at Area 54, and the sound of happy rockhounds showing off their finds was music to my ears. As always, I enjoyed a fine day with all of my friends, and all too soon, headed home to my sweetheart, dinned and a comfy bed.

I'll be posting a full trip report shortly ,with mention of many more members, and experiences along the road. That noted, I want to give my hearty thanks to all the attendees, and especially to Dave Lang, my unofficial Co-Leader. Thanks again for all you help, Dave!

More 2016 Odyssey trips will post soon, so stay tuned.

See you on a field trip, soon!

Kris Rowe
Rockhound Field Trip Fanatics! 
Lapidary Specialties
Hand-2-Mouth Mining


As always, feel free to post your own field trips, Club Shows and Shop Days, and other Events. Additionally, members are encouraged to post their rocks, lapidary equipment, jewelry and other on-topic wares in the Photo stream. If you need help doing so,  just message me.

The NEW RFTF! Supporting Member T-shirts are here!

This year, due to popular demand, I'm offering members a choice of artwork on the front, or back. Priced at $24.95, each t-shirt order includes a RFTF! Supporting Member window sticker and luxury USPS Domestic Priority Mail shipping. Each purchase supports the 0ngoing mission of RFTF! ...

Sharing GREAT Field Trips!

Order yours today at The RFTF! Rock Shop T-shirt page.

See you in the field, friends!

Kris, the Admin

Blog Posts

Petersen Mountian

Posted by Moe on April 25, 2016 at 9:28am 1 Comment

Hi!! How is everyone doing today? My name is Zack Moe Mosier and I am posting this because I am interested in getting some people together for Petersen Mountian. I am lucky to live two miles north of halleuja junction witch is four miles south of Petersen Mountian. I have not been to the top of this Mountian but have had some luck at the base collecting some Quartz and other minerals. I also found an abandon mineral mine across from the Mountian on the west side of the 395. This was like… Continue

Kris Rowe Motorcycle Accident

Posted by Tom Zlamal on April 24, 2016 at 10:18am 2 Comments

I am not sure on any details, but does anyone know Iif Kris Rowe was in a Motorcycle Accident on Saturday April 24th. 2016.

2016 Spring Odyssey - Everything I hoped for, and more!

Posted by Trish Guy on April 18, 2016 at 7:30pm 0 Comments

It may have been Kris' birthday, but it sure seemed like I got all the presents last week. Being located in Fresno, I was able to drive to all four locations and still be home at night to take care of my husband's needs. What a fabulous blessing!

Being a newbie rockhound, each site was a fresh new adventure. I forgot how many times I fell in love with new material to play and work with! 

Along with buckets of new rocks, I met new friends, as well, and it would be hard to find a…


Thank you to Kris and Birthday wishes

Posted by Joe & Alecia on April 17, 2016 at 2:22am 0 Comments


While my wife and I were not able to make it in physical form to your party were there in spirit.  We are thankful for your birth as with it you we would not know how to properly beat a rock with a hammer, use super glue and many other useful things. 

And by the time we part ways my friend you will know two people who can properly swing a sixteen pound hammer.Took a couple swings of the ten pound hammer today.

It has been so long since I have felt this…



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Advice for first rockhounding trip to Hallelujah Junction

Started by Kristie Kwong yesterday. 0 Replies

Hi everyone, My friend and I are planning our first rockhounding trip to Hallelujah Junction/Petersen Mountain and are hoping to get some more information before we make the trip. We have been…Continue

Peterson Mountain 9/14/2013

Started by Parker Thaler. Last reply by Cat Campbell on Tuesday. 12 Replies

Ok so I recently went to Peterson Mountain with no awesome finds :/.I wanted to ask the group if they know of any roads or anything to get to the base of the mountain around Hallelujah Junction? I…Continue

Rattlesnake season has begun in San Benito county!!!

Started by John tilley and family. Last reply by Cat Campbell on Monday. 8 Replies

Just a quick note to people and dog owners,we were out at the "big pile " yesterday and our dog peanut was bitten in the face by a rattler she's ok but snake season is here early this year. Please…Continue

Running a tumbler for 1 month straight?

Started by Jason Batdorf. Last reply by John Dolman Apr 22. 5 Replies

I am going on vacation for a month and I am going to run my 15 lb tumbler roughing for a month. Anyone ever do this? Did you add 4 times the grit?

About the disclamer on each Field Trip page ...

On the advice of a sensible attorney friend, I've added a liability disclaimer to each Field Trip announcement. This is to cover my a*s.
The disclaimer does not imply any unusual danger.
Fact is, a sensible individual is far more likely to come to harm in their own neighborhood than out in "the wild." I do my best to assure that my own Field Trips maximize comfort and accessibility, and are "family friendly."
I recommend traveling to any "off road" destination with no less than 2 vehicles. Thankfully, I've yet to experience any of the horror stories I've read of danger and deprivation, due to my penchant for over-planning.

The mountains and desert can be dangerous to the unprepared, but on the average, crossing the street in town is far more deadly.

Kris, the Site Admin

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Very Useful Links

*** NEW! ***

The RFTF! Amazon Store

Find tools, supplies and accessories that every rockhound needs, and support RFTF!

 Kris's Featured Product:

This padded "bucket seat" has become one of my favorite field trip tools. The swiveling seat snaps right onto most 5 gallon plastic buckets. It's a great product at a great price!

RFTF! Amazon Favorites:

Estwing E30 Leather Grip Pointed Tip Rock Pick

Broll Pro Bucket Cart with Bag


Facebook Lapidary Marketplace

Top rockhounds, miners, lapidary artists and rock shops offering gemstone  for trade AND sale. I like it, since I sell rock!


Now we have our own easy to use bulletin board style forums!


RFTF! member Lew Helfrich moderates one of the best places on the Web to swap lapidary materials @


Easy Specific Gravity Test - Determine the density of your rock finds!

The Rock Tumbling forums - This is one of the greatest resources on the web for meeting other rockhounds and lapidaries, asking and answering lapidary questions, discussing the rockhound life and showing off your cool rocks!

yelp! - Real reviews by real people, really useful. just about any city or locality you can imagine.

BLM Geocommunicator -

Crippled, but still a useful tool for determining section and map coordinates, with some additional info services still available.


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