Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Getting My Rocks On...

A rainbow of rocks
Yep. I'll admit it. I loved rocks when I was a kid. *me=nerd* On those family driving trips, when we'd stop at the "souvenir shops", I'd immediately head to the bins of polished up rocks to spend my dollar on a bag 'o pretties.
One of the museum's prize displays

I recaptured my youth in a big way this past weekend when I found we have a world-class museum (The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals) right here in town...plus a free pass for admission through the library system. You'd never imagine by looking at the exterior of the house what it contains. Here are some of my favorite shots from this amazing place.

Aptly named picture jasper cross-section. Reminded me of Japanese art.
I thought this opal looked like a chicken...daughter said parrot.
More of the very cool jasper that looked to me like a painting of a river in the forest
Thundereggs--the state rock. Don't look like much on the outside, but open em up...
Amazing jade carving..wonder how long it took the artist?
A gorgeous array of agates
Huge cross-sections of petrified trees
More petrified wood. The ones with the big, dark center are palms.
The kitchen fireplace (it used to be a house), and my oldest doing some photography of the copper.
Little one goes right for the real deal...pure gold, in a huge safe.
Beautiful malachite--again, looking like art.
I remember doing this as a kid--have to get some started for the girls to grow.

Petrified dinosaur nest of eggs.

Loved the fossilized starfish.

The fossil crabs looked like they might scurry away.


New breed of dinosaur, just discovered last decade.

Nice kitty...

These shots are just a drop in the bucket. Three hours wasn't nearly enough time, so I'll have to go back again soon.

Of course, we made a stop in the gift shop on the way out, and it was way cool (and jawdroppingly inexpensive to get some neat stuff). Plus the girls got to go through the "discard pile" and choose a freebie to take home...extra bits of amazing rocks left over from when they prepare a display.

And me? I got some rocks (dangly amethyst chip earrings to be exact)...for a dollar...just like the old days. :)


  1. That is so cool! :) My university has a hallway in the geology department that makes a great shortcut between two levels of campus. Whenever I pass that way, I take my time looking at all the displays of rocks like these -- not nearly as many or as pretty! -- and I learned we had wholly mammoths all over here once because they keep finding them :)

    1. Okay this is about the fifth time I've tried to reply, so hopefully I've got this figured out!

      I have some pretty fond memories of college campus buildings for just that reason...lots of cool, historic stuff all around you. You can smell the history. LOL!

  2. Very, very cool! I find a bowl of rocks to be a perfectly acceptable home decoration. :D

    1. I do too! I have all sorts of "treasures" around my house. Driftwood, shells, rocks, etc.. :)

  3. Oh dear God. Where? My 8YO needs to see this. He would be in heaven! My mom gave him a homemade wooden box full of mineral samples for Christmas (the joys of being related to the chair of the science department at a state university -- she can totally enable your kids' incipient nerddom. :D) and he's been obsessed ever since.

    1. :D It's in the Portland (OR) metro area. And I remember having something like that collection, though not in a box..they were mounted to a piece of stiff cardboard. Loved it! I wonder whatever became of it...

    2. OH, god, I have one of those, still! Polished & unpolished samples (only half of them have been ripped off by little fingers & the ravages of time...)

      And, of course, Portland. Now that we're no longer in the Pacific Northwest I'm *finally* learning about all kinds of awesome stuff there that I didn't know about while we were stationed at Ft Lewis. *rolls eyes* Oh, well, doesn't matter, I suppose; the boys were pre-preschool & wouldn't have appreciated it then, anyway. :P

  4. What a great place. I should bring the boys.

    1. And it's totally kid-friendly, Amber. Lots to touch and handle, and the stuff they don't want you to touch is all safely put away in clear view. Lots of room to roam too, inside and out. Plus the rock pile to pick through. If you come down, I'll be happy to go back with you! :)


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