Paulina Limbcasts

 Near a place called Post, Oregon, is a long famous hunting area that offers beautiful pink, green, white, and sometimes blue agate limb casts. There are several collection areas open to the public and to rockhounds that make up the Congleton Hollow, or Paulina Limb Cast Area. We used our GEM TRAILS of OREGON, to locate the turn-off from the highway and followed it until we came to a small clearing just past an old bridge made of concrete. I should note the bridge is no longer visible and the concrete is barely discernable. The sun was hot, so wearing my hat and carying my hand pick and walkie talkie, I made my way up to one of the nearby pits. I dug a little then moved on to another pit and dug some more. After my fourth or fifth hole, and not finding any hint of agate, I decided to go for a walk and look for float. I walked and looked and still no sign of agate anywhere. Some time around then I got a call from my mom on my walkie talkie saying she almost walked right up on a big rattle snake so I should be careful. She was walking up a hill toward a large juniper tree when the viper started to buzz. She instinctivly started to side-step away from it as quickly as she could. She and Shirly both remarked at how very dark brown in color the snake was. I, of course, wanted to find out exactly where the snake was so I walked over to where my mom and Shirly were digging. She pointed up the hill toward an old growth juniper tree. That was close enough for me. I decided to have lunch. Why does food always taste better at a picnic? After lunch I left them and walked up the hill past the area with the snake. Nothing. I looked in a wash bed and didn't find anything there either. Eventually I stopped walking at the base of a steep hill. I began to climbing it and that is when I started finding float. Midway up the hill I finally found a nice piece of agate. All across that hillside I noticed small chunks of agatized wood, twigs, and little limbs. I imagine they had been heaving out of the ground there on that hillside for thousands of years. I dug with my long handled pick in the ground plowing up the limb casts with my point. All over the hill there were small pieces of pink agate. I even found a small ball of agate, most likely a vug or a puff ball, but I think it looks like a birds egg with a hole in the shell. We collected for awhile but we didn't stay for very long because the no-see-ums were giving us misery and we were all getting tired. We spent a few minutes looking for a missing pick but once we found it we packed up and called it a day. Everyone found agate and we were all happy to think about returning to this super area.

While we have had great success over the years at this area, nothing compares to the piece in our collection that our friend Judys' dad found! This museum quality specimen is full of bright yellow zeolites, double terminated quartz crystals, deep blue agate....and more! WoW!


Copyright 2003-2004 Ken Dinneen
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