Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Quick trip to Southern California.

As part of my spending one-on-one father and son time with each of our boys Travis and I recently went on a one week rock-hounding safari to southern California. We had a great time spending time together, hanging out with friends, even some TV stars.

Here is some of our adventure.

A new moose display at our airport.

"Oh I really have to get my picture taken with the moose?"


For several days we camped out at a turquoise mine while we chased some of the blue stuff.

It was a little cooler here this time. Last summer when we were here it was 110 - 120 degrees. This time the nights were cool and the days were in the low 80s.

Hey Frank! Where's the coffee and what's for breakfast?

Travis gettin' his rock-hound on.

Chasing the blue stuff.

We took a short break from our mining activities to visit with some TV stars.

Hangin' out with the Barter Kings Steve and Antonio.

Barter Kings - an American reality television series on the A&E network. It features Antonio Palazzola and Steve McHugh as they trade items for better items without any currency exchange. Antonio has Tourette syndrome, which complicates his negotiations.”

From our blog last summer.
"When our boys first saw Barter Kings two years ago they were having some difficulty with their Tourettes. When they saw how Antonio did not let Tourettes get him down and that he has a successful life with Tourettes it inspired them and they decided that if Antonio could do it so could they."

Thank you Steve and Antonio for spending time with us. 

Barter Kings (link)

Express Super Pawn (link)

Later, back at the Mine...

Yup, it's the MMCMC, aka, the Mojave Motley Crew Mining Company!


Our next adventure was at the Pala Chief / Oceanview Gem Mines. They are pay-to-dig gem mines near Pala California.

Photo by Ron Schmidtling

Some of the treasures we found at the Pala Chief and Oceanview Mines.

We had a great time at the mines. Our dig hosts Ron and Lisa ROCK!

Update! - Travis, The Turquoise Hound, had found some high grade rough turquoise that Rob made into Cabochons, (cabs), for him.

Travis digs a nice pocket of turquoise he found.

Awesome cabs that Rob made for Travis.
  Photo by Rob Stapp.


  1. Entertaining as always! Beautiful sunset. May I ask what the 'blue stuff' is?

  2. What beautiful gems you found! And the one on one time is priceless!