Tuesday morning, Helmar and Heidi arrived at 9:00, but we waited another 45 minutes hoping John and Julie would be able to make it up. They didn't, so we drove on to the east continuing on road 301 for 8 miles to where road 457 branches off to the south. Before that junction, we began seeing small snow patches under the trees and on the edge of the road. I was pleased to see that the Forest Service had finally fixed road 457. There had been some rough spots and one water hole the size of a good frog pond. It looked like the road had been fixed with a bulldozer, and was rough and had large water bars, but at least it did not have any truck-grabbing mud holes. We drove the 2.5 miles south to road 363 and turned east towards Moses Butte. First we looked for two small pits that are reported to be at this junction, but did not see them.

We drove on, in this stretch, there were more patches of snow, including one snow bank that half blocked the road. Two trees had fallen across the road. We sawed the first in two places and moved it out of the road. The second had been cut out, barely wide enough to allow us to pass. We stopped at 1 mile, where there are garnets in the road; some of these are round, granular garnets up to at least 4 inches across. Smaller garnets are sometimes fairly sharp.


Almandine, rough dodecahedron, that does show its form, with biotite covering some faces, 1 inch across.

Almandine, similar dodecahedron, 1 inch across.

We collected a few of these, then drove on the remaining 0.2 mile to the parking area to the right off the road towards Jug Rock. When everyone had gathered their gear, we hiked on up the south side of Moses Butte. Our first stop was an area of large round garnets, granular crystals up to more than 10 inches across. There also are similar crystals up to 4 inches across in the low outcrops here. Similar material was seen on the south side of the summit, a short distance higher.


Hilmar hiking across the southeast slope of Moses Butte with three large round garnets lying on the surface in the foreground.

Margo and Dexter at one of the outcrops that contain round garnets to about 4 inches across, with some larger garnets lying on the surface in the foreground.


One of the outcrops that contain round garnets to about 4 inches across.

The Leonards opted out, and did not hike further, partially because of the short stretch through some dense alpine hemlock and fir with their dog on a leash making this section of the route difficult. The remaining three of us continued on to the north part of the ridge to an area with sharp, red garnets in anorthosite and white to pale blue kyanite in the rock above it. The red garnets here are almandine-spessartine; their composition is nearly half spessartine. In the other areas where analyses have been done, the spessartine content is much lower. After collecting here, we hiked back to the vehicles.


Kyanite in one of the outcrops at the north end of Moses Butte.

Hilmar and Heidi looking at the kyanite in one of the outcrops at the north end of Moses Butte.


Kyanite from the north end of Moses Butte, the large crystal is 2 3/4 inches long.

Kyanite from the north end of Moses Butte, the pale blue crystal is 1 1/2 inches long.


Almandine-spessartine crystal, 3/4 inch across.


Almandine-spessartine crystals, specimen is 1 3/4 inches across.


Almandine-spessartine crystal, 3/8 inch across.

Almandine-spessartine crystals, 1/4 inch across.


A view north across the almandine-spessartine and kyanite zones to the south side of South Butte.

Almandine-spessartine crystals exposed in the anorthosite rock.


A piece of hornblende from the road on the east side of Moses Butte, 2 1/4 inches across.

Next, was a short hike up the road to the north where we discovered that about 50 yards north of the corner, the road was completely blocked by snow; fortunately we hadn’t planned on driving any further. In the bare area of the road were small pieces of black hornblende; 1 to 2 inch pieces were fairly common, and a few were larger. These were subhedral crystals, and one did show a rough termination. These are inclusions in the anorthosite here.

We hiked on down the road to where there was a huge anorthosite boulder with a few garnets. These round crystals had inclusions of kyanite. They looked mineralogically interesting, but didn’t want to come home with us, but stay there, safe in their multi-ton matrix.

This was the last stop, we started back out, camping one more night at Crater Peak. It was a trip, with good company, good weather and some good collecting.


August 26, 2008

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