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Douglas Merson's Blog

Diamond Lake, Oregon collecting trip

5th Sep 2009

On Sunday, 19 July, we left home for our trip to Diamond Lake in southern Oregon. We left about 0800 and headed down Interstate 5 to Eugene, Oregon where we picked up highway 58 to cross the Cascade Mountains. It was then down highway 97 to the road to Diamond Lake. We arrived at the campground about 1600. Our friends from Kelowna, British Columbia had arrived earlier and had a campsite selected along the lake shore. We joined them and got our camp set up and had dinner. We were entertained by many hummingbirds busy in the flowers around our campsite. Osprey were soaring over the lake looking for a fish dinner. Sunset and sunrise were colorful due in part to the smoke from the fires.
On Monday we went to Summit Rock to collect. This is an andesite plug dome. There are numerous micro minerals to collect here. We started at the top of the dome. There we found a fire crew that was spotting for one of the two fires burning just inside the northern boundary of Crater Lake Nation Park. We spent some time showing them what we were collecting and suggested that they take a look at and when they had a chance. Not finding much interesting at the very top, we proceeded to collect in the pit where most of the summit had been removed. We found rock containing cristobalite, enstatite, ilmenite, fluorapatite, albite, sanidine, zircon, and tridymite. We were hoping to find some cuprorivaite but did see any in the field. I have only found one piece in five trips here.
On Tuesday we started at Lemolo Lake along the spillway. We found a few rocks that may have some pseudobrookite, flour-edenite, fluorapatite, tridymite, ilmenite, or diopside in them. The pickings were a bit thin. After having lunch we proceeded to the Lemolo Lake Quarry below the dam. There we found a few rocks containing hedenbergite. These crystals are coated with ilmenite, hematite, and magnetite. There is also albite, sanidine, fluorapatite, cristobalite, and enstatite in the cavities. It was very hot in the quarry. With the air temperature at 97F the quarry became a furnace. We had to retreat to the shade to cool off and drink plenty of water.
On Wednesday, my wife and I took off a bike trip around Diamond Lake while Sue and Bob Campbell recovered from the heat of the previous day. The trail around the lake is paved and off of the highway. There were beautiful views across the lake to the mountains. At the south end we found a large grassy meadow and just past that a nice stream running to the lake. Part of the trail was closed as helicopters were taking water from the lake to drop on the fires. We had to detour along the road for a short distance.
On Thursday, Becky and I went into Crater Lake National Park and hiked to Red Cone Springs. This is located near Red Cone, a cinder cone from some past eruption. We had seen reference to pseudobrookite crystals to 1 cm being found in the area. We did find some cavities that may have had the remains of such crystals along with enstatite and cristobalite. As we were in the park, we could not break any rock or take any home with us. Part of the trail runs along the Pumice Desert which was formed during the eruption that created the caldera that the lake now sits in. There were many wildflowers blooming along the trail. It was another hot day and we had the trail to ourselves.
Friday was spent back at the Lemolo Lake Quarry. We found a number of very good rocks with many cavities. There will lot to look at this winter when collecting is done from the garage. We also looked for another quarry supposed to be near this area. We travelled several different roads to no avail. I will have to do some more research on this quarry and see if I can find it in the future.
On Saturday we packed up and headed home. It is usually hotter east of the mountains. This time it was 85F on the east side and 95F on the Westside. Four days after we got home the temperature reached 104F for an all time record in our area. Diamond Lake is a very beautiful area with good mineral collecting. Doug

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