Tuesday morning we headed to Madras Oregon and our first photo of the day.... A fire along the way!!!
Our mission of the morning....to do some mining......Thunderegg/Geode mining.....at Richardson Rock Ranch
Pink Alabaster they had on the ranch
Petrified Wood from the ranch
HUGE Geode from South America....Can be yours for $4000!!!!
So, how does this mining work??? Well, you sign in, and listen to a safety lecture, are given a 5 gallon bucket, a pick-axe, and told to drive 8 miles, down a dirt road towards Pony Butte (easiest for kids) where you will mine straight down, into the ground for Geodes. This was the sight at the beginning of our journey...which Mechelle aptly names "Thunder Road" due to all the washboards throughout the 8 miles....
Brandon starting his mining...He found a HUGE Geode in the ground
Ryan and Roman in the background
Tori and Matt mining......notice the brilliance of my daughter. She hands the pick axe to Matt and then contributes verbally (must be genetics.....)
Morgan, Tyler and Ryan
Matt mining, Tori drinking water (did I mention it was 100 degrees????) and I think somewhere at this point Bret shouted "Oh DOGGONE IT....and found that mining causes MULTIPLE blisters)
The mining crew hard at work
Morgan and Sarah!!!
Our greeters when leaving the mining road
Peacock on the ranch
Ostrich on the ranch
The end result....we had 13 pounds of Geodes....all of which I forgot to take a photo of, however, look for upcoming photos in a future blog, because we received the name and number of a man in Portland to bring them to, so he can split and polish them!!! This could have been done at the ranch, but we weren't up for waiting for the job to be completed.
After a long day of mining, or next stop was ABBY'S PIZZA!!!! This is our favorite Pacific Northwest Pizza Parlor and I think it surprised the lady at the counter when our family walked in, ordered 2 pizzas, spuds, a sandwich and salads and then continued to eat every last morsel!!!
Our next stop was an impromptu pit stop at Ogden State Park!!!
Absolutely Gorgeous, with the Crooked River running through it.
Our family photo...taken by my auto photo setting on my camera sitting on the bridge ledge!!!
Another photo into the gorge from a different angle
Our next stop was Smith Rock State Park just as a Thunderstorm was coming in
There are hiking trails that go all the way down along the Crooked River and many places for rock climbers to climb up the face of the rocks. There weren't any rock climbers when we were there, most likely due to the impending storm.
Another photo, this one looking North
The Thunderstorm coming quickly and the winds picking up a bit.
So, pretty...I asked Matt to come back on a blue sky day.....
We took a quick family photo just as the first round of thunder came, and then we watched as the dry dust became a huge dust storm with the winds that arrived, prior to the rain and lightening.
After dinner, we had Matt's brother Justin and his wife Pam and my nephews (they were also vacationing in Sunriver for the week!!!) over for dessert and adult beverages. Photo above is my nephew Noah and Ryley!!!