Wednesday, July 08, 2015
The fourth Thursday of June Opa and I took our young rock hound Bentley to the monthly potluck of the local rock club, Chugach Gem and Mineral Society (CGMS). The other four grandchildren went out camping with their dad, but Bentley didn't want to go. I've had the monthly CGMS meetings on my radar for a while, but between cub scouts and karate Thursdays are already overbooked. When Bentley opted out of camping, I saw an opportunity and I asked him if he'd like to go. He was all for it--an opportunity to show off his rocks and learn more about them! (It's not easy to identify random rocks when you are a neophyte rock hound. We needed help!)
As soon as we arrived we were welcomed by many different members. This is one of the friendliest group meetings I have ever attended. Within minutes of arriving Bentley pulled out his bag of rocks and Joe, a very knowledgeable member, identified all nine rocks for B. Awesome! Joe and others told us a little bit about the geology of our area, but I and Bentley didn't understand half of what they said because our geology vocabulary is lame. We will study harder!
Bentley and a toddler were the only subadults present; most of the group was my age or older. Bentley received a lot of attention and three different people gifted him rocks. A couple visiting from Washington was there and they gave him a nice polished river agate slab and 13 large sized unpolished agates! Two other members gave him fluorescing rocks.
Everyone attending was offered their choice of a small black peat agate from Chicken, AK, so all three of us received one of those. They had a drawing for six rocks and Mark won the first one and I won the sixth one--so Bentley picked up two more nice rocks, petrified wood from Utah and apophyllite from Sand Pt, Alaska.
At the meeting a member gave a report on their last rock hunting trip. It was a two or three day trip and they went to lots of great rock sites north of Anchorage. Bentley was super impressed with the list of rocks they collected--he knew a lot of the names. He wants to sign up for a rock hunting trip with the group as soon as possible. (Most of the trips are local, but someone wants to set up a trip to the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan which is where Mark and I attended college and met.)
When Opa asked Bentley if he liked the meeting and would he go again he said "Of course! The only thing I didn't like was the eating part. Why do they have to waste time on food? Can't they eat before they come so we have more time?"
Bentley was very happy with the rocks he was given and he was happy to have his bag of rocks identified. I think the CGMS has a new member!