California Fedeation of Mineralogical Societies
Field Trip to Calico Mountains
December 13, 2008

by Adam Dean and Shep Koss
CFMS Field Trip South Co-Chairs - 2008, 2009

Photos from Adam Dean

no 1 4X4 Action
4X4 Action

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Adam and Shep Prepare for Field Trip

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Adam Giving speach to Group

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Calico Icon

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Calico Sagenite from the Collection of Adam Dean #1

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Calico Sagenite from the Collection of Adam Dean #2

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Calico Sagenite from the Collection of Adam Dean #3

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Calico Sagenite from the Collection of Adam Dean #4

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Calico Sagenite from the Collection of Adam Dean #5

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Calico Sagenite from the Collection of Adam Dean #6

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Four Wheeling for Sagenite

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Jason Badgley

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Jim Hareat Silver Lace Onyx Mine Tailings

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Jim Hareat talking to group

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Paul Kinney Sagenite, Calico December 13, 2008

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Robert Burson telling Adam and Shep how to find Rocks

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Jay Valle at Silver Lace Onyx Mine

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Silver Lace Onyx Mine

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Teresa and Peanut searching for Sagenite

Teresa and Shep

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Young Rockhound

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Young Rockhound in Training

Field Trip Report

From: Adam Dean

Early Saturday morning I was the first person to arrive at the designated meeting spot, along with my better half Teresa Felix. Upon stepping out of my truck, I was greeted by a cold breeze that soon kick upped into a strong wind. Before I knew it; I was surrounded. There were 37 Rockhounds itching to go rock collecting.

Shep Koss and I had a Guest Speaker/Field Trip Guide on this trip from Diamond Pacific (Jim Hare). We started the collecting trip with an example of the material that had been found at the Silver Lace Onyx Mine, as well as, from the Sagenite area. Jim Hare showed us some very nice Red Onyx that he collected at the mine that really peaked our interest! I also showed my collection of Sagenite from the area that made many excited as well. We talked briefly about how to find the materials once we get to the collecting sites, and how to stay safe while doing so.

Now it was the moment of truth, we all dashed for our trucks and we where off to collect. The road was fairly rough and tricky in some areas, maneuvering around old mine shafts, however every body stayed together as I led the group in, and we all made it ok.

What a Day! It was windy and cold all day and I never heard one complaint. It was all positive. The wind was so strong it blew several of us to the ground. We got up, dusted ourselves of and went back to collecting. I have to give it to you all, your one tough group of Rockhounds that would never let anything get you down.

During the day we found many nice rocks. Several people found very nice onyx and there was some great pieces of sagenite found to top it off! We met some new friends, and saw some of the old timers there, which just made my day. There is nothing better than collecting rocks with a bunch of friends while enjoying nature with a windy extreme. My pleasure comes not only from collecting rocks, but all the smiling faces. Without you I would not have the joy you all gave me that Saturday. We all went home with our sacks full, what a great day.

Best Wishes and Better Agates.
Adam Dean
AKA The Agate Hunter
O.B.M.S. Federation Director 2008-2009
C.F.M.S. Co-Chair Field Trip South 2008-2009

Field Trip Report

From Shep Koss

The morning started nicely with sunshine and mild breezes as 37 of us gathered at the Calico exit to search for silver lace onyx and sagenite.

Shortly after arriving at the onyx quarry (with thanks to Jim Hare a guide from Diamond Pacific) the mild breezes quickly became gale force winds kicking up massive dust storms. Storm clouds also moved in but it remained dry for the day. 37 of us scattered up the steep hill collecting patterned silver lace onyx plus occasional vugs with druzy.

Soon we headed for the unmarked Sagenite site Guided by Adam Dean where high clearance 4wd was absolute. Even burros would think twice about that road. It took us through the colorful hills.

Once again, we scattered among the hills searching for the elusive sagenite agate, finding some and finding lots of green/clear fortification agate. The wind was cold and relentless but it didn't detour us.

Later in the afternoon we packed our gear and headed back to civilization with our finds hoping to beat the coming storm. Another adventure and more finds was "notched" on our hammers. Until the next hunt,

Shep Koss
C.F.M.S. Co chair Field Trip South 2008-2009

Thank You

Adam Dean & Shep Koss I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share this C.F.M.S. adventure with you. Thank you for the invite as a guest speaker and guide. Adam Dean called me several months ago and asked me to do this, as he was aware of my knowledge of the mine I obtained from working the mine with diamond pacific during my employment with them.

The day was cold and windy and in spite of this, the Rockhounds where still rearing and ready to go. After a brief history of the mine, where to find the best material and a short speech about the hazards associated with the Mine, I passed around some samples for everyone to see and then we where off and running.

Everybody found material and seemed to be having a great time. The weather was not great but the company was. Thanks once again for inviting me on you Field trip

Jim Hare.
Diamond Pacific

Thank You

Howdy C.F.M.S.ers,

I commend the efforts of Adam, Teresa, and Shep in bringing to us rockers top quality entertainment. I can't remember a more challenging road. This required white knuckles, teamwork and a leap of faith. I can honestly say, I now know that my vehicle can do more than thought was possible. Breath taking views of rock formations, mining districts, made this trip a five star adventure.

P.S. thank Diamond Pacific rep, Jim for his contribution to masterpiece.

Robert Burson,
Searchers of Anaheim

Thank You

Adam and Teresa,

Thanks for sharing your wealth of information and taking us to the Calico Mts for an enjoyable day. We think we got some great silver lace onyx and maybe a small piece or two of sagenite. I hope you can make something with the variscite. That was one rough ride!!

We stopped on the way to Quartzite at Lavic siding and picked up a bunch of jasper. It sure makes the equipment red, but has some nice patterns. We are now in quartzite for a month and will spend our time doing some Lapidary work, and hopefully some field trips! We would enjoy joining You all for another trip if one is planned and we are in the area.

Thanks again,
Sherm and Ricky

Thank You


What a blow out!!!.
It was a pleasure meeting you folks. This was my first time out with the local clubs and I'm looking forward to many more. Check out the attached photos. The piece of Sagenite is about 3 inches square and over 1 1/2" thick, if this is what we were looking for, I got a great piece!!

Thanks again to all.
Paul Kinney

Thank You

Adam and Shep

Thank you for an exciting and memorable trip to the Calico Mountains. My grandson and I thoroughly enjoyed it in spite of the sandstorms and that cold wind. I was astonished to see how far my Toyota got on that jeep road before we had to abandon the car. Then Mr. Paul Kinney was very gracious to offer us a ride and we continued the adventure.

I really appreciate going with the club and all the help that you two give me. I am new at rockhounding and it is so rewarding to be able to pick something up and have someone there with the knowledge to be able to identify it.

This trip was especially exciting because every year I start my 3rd graders on a rock and mineral collection and we spend time at Calico and Mule Canyon rockhounding. What I learned with you fellows will be used next Spring with my own students.

Thank you again for the wonderful adventure.
Dennis Gibbs

Thank You

Adam and Shep

The trip to the Calico Mountains on December 13th was great! I was able to see two new places that I haven't been to, the Silver lace onyx and the sagenite area. It was very windy and cold that day & the drive to the Sagenite was difficult. On the way we saw the subterranean mining town of Bismarck. When we got to the only hill with sagenite in the Calico's, I had to dig into the crumbly andesite to find the agate. I found a few to take back. My best one was orange, surrounded by blue chalcedony. It was a great trip & I look forward to going out again!

Jason Badgley

Pre Field Trip Flyer

This trip is open to all rockhounds that agree to abide by the AFMS Code of Ethics, the directions of the field trip leader, and practice safe rockhounding. A Consent and Assumption of Risk Waiver of Liability form must be signed upon arriving at the campsite.

TRIP LOCATION: Calico Mountains.

WHEN: December 13th (Day Trip). Sign-in and 8:00 am; we will depart by 8:30 am sharp!

SPONSORS: CFMS Field Trip South Co-Chairs

LEADERS: Adam Dean and Shep Koss
Please notify us, if you plan on attending. Feel free to email or call us if you have any questions or need more information:
Adam: Ph: (909) 489-4899 e-mail:
Shep: Ph: (661) 248-0411 e-mail:

MEETING PLACE: Calico Road on the north side of the 15 Freeway.

ROAD CONDITIONS: This is for a 4-wheel drive vehicle only! Some sand and steep canyon grades are expected. No 2-wheel drive or low-clearance vehicles. You may need to get a ride with a friend with a 4-wheel drive.

ACCOMMODATIONS: If you choose to stay overnight, there is nice camping in Mule Canyon (dry camping only) or you may stay in Barstow (there are several motels). Motel 6 allows pets. Food, water and gas are also available in Barstow.

MATERIAL TO COLLECT: Palm wood, Silver Lace Agate and (our primary objective) Sagenite. Sagenite in this area is not overly-abundant, so donít expect to fill your sack. You must dig for the best material. It is great agate and you must work to obtain a small amount; however, when you find a good one, it makes all your hard work worth it! This is a remote area, so please bring extra water, packed lunch and supplies.

NOTES: The desert can be very cold at night. Bring extra jackets and blankets if you plan to camp out. Donít forget your camera. Calico is well-known for itís geological scenery.

Please help protect our deserts and pack-out what you packed-in!

All those attend the collecting trips will be required to fill out a Liability Waiver form.

For further information, please contact
Adam Dean @ (909) 489-4899 or e-mail him:
Shep Koss @ (661) 248-0411 (home phone) or e-mail: