Hampton Butte Wood is a primarily green fossil of jasper and agate. This is another landmark Central Oregon rockhounding area about 80 miles east of Bend, OR.
To start the trip we loaded up the cooler with food and drinks and took off from Sisters.
When we arrived, the first thing we noticed were newly posted, "No Trespassing" signs
nailed to some of the trees. That is an area where you must be careful to stay on BLM land.
This was my first time out to the area and I brought my nephew, Justin along. We both noticed a lot of digging sites with piles everywhere. We found a likely place to park and Justin and I wandered for awhile searching for the beautifull green petrified wood that might lead us to a buried log. We found little pieces and the more we walked and looked the more we
were able to discover. It grew hotter and hotter and eventually we headed to the car for drinks and a lunch break. The heat began to take it's toll and we were getting tired. We headed back to the truck, dumped our finds but then went out looking for another half hour before we decided to pack it in for the day.
I found some real honest to goodness Hampton Butte Petrified Wood and was very happy. Justin also found some interesting pieces and we both had a great time.
I had never been to Hampton Butte before Justin and I went out there, but on Tuesday the 26th I was back out searching again. I was excited because large pieces of jasperized wood with bark make great specimens. Justin and I only looked for a short time so we didn't find much. But on Tuesday the trip was much more successful. I wandered around the desert and the sky seemed to have an electric blue aura. It was beautiful to be out in the desert at 8:00 am. As I wandered closer to the road I saw a camper coming slowly toward me. The man stuck his head out the window to ask if I had found anything. I told him not yet and he said "you're always only this far away" as he made his thumb and index finger form a small gap. He laughed, drove on, and then I started to get lucky. The road had a new drainage ditch which was at least thirty feet long. The dirt along the ditch was rich with all kinds of good pieces. I couldn't pick them up fast enough and some where so big I had to carry them back to the car. These were the size of my fist and bigger. I spent three hours collecting several pounds of rock. I took the load home to the rock saw. A couple pieces are specimen material, a few more are too good to cut up just yet. In 2009 I was again out at the hunting area with rockhounding buddies Jack & Lola when Jack, stopping to rest for a bit, poked a bit of deep green jasper with his pole. Unable to move or unearth the piece, he came back to the truck where we were having lunch to get us all. Yep! The find of a lifetime! Jack had found a whole tree on his very first time out. Talk about beginners luck! The pictures on this page are some of the pieces we recoved on that amazing day.
An Unusual Specimen
Copyright 2003-2004 Ken Dinneen
All rights reserved