Recently I met some of the few people who is crazy enough to hang off a rope with a pick and a hammer and mine quartz and pyrite from the Cascade mountains. Their efforts are worth it, as you can see by the pictures of things I bought for the shop. Rick Dillhoff and Joe George both obviously enjoy what they do, it is truly a labor of love! Access is difficult, crystals are pointy and cliffs are dangerous. But the claim they have has come up with some of the brightest Pyrite I have ever seen and the crystals are remarkable and wonderful! They come from the Green Ridge above the middle fork in the Snoqualmie River in King County, Washington. They also find Amethyst intermixed with the quartz and the crystal forms often are twinned or scepters. I am amazed by the miners care and handling, gently removing these pieces from the matrix, often there is only a very thin base for the clusters you can see light through. Each piece has to be wrapped and packed away immediately, as there is no place to set things without danger of them rolling off the cliff side, taken down the mountain by backpack to be cleaned and sorted. Wow!
Actinolite is from the Wenatchee Ridge, and many people from the area recognize it when they see it in the shop with it’s long thin crystals of olive green. I have not been to Lake Wenatchee, but it is there in small pieces on the lake shore for rock hounds to pick up along the way!
Love, love, love those local rocks!