Rockhounding with Rich and Jeanie Brierley by Jeanie Brierley


We left town on Thursday, March 2nd, for our first rockhounding trip (but many more would follow). It was to Green River, Utah, and we were so excited and didn’t think we would ever get there. We were like a couple of kids on Christmas morning! We camped at Flo Station, which is approximately 10 miles outside of Green River. When we finally got there, we built our first bonfire—our favorite thing next to rockhounding and roasted hot dogs. We sat around it for awhile, enjoying the bright orange light and the sound of the logs popping before we finally went to bed.


Friday morning Rich got up and went for a hike with our two dogs, Tank and Clyde. I got to sleep in a little while longer. Rich hiked up a canyon where he found a ton of agates—which, if we can get enough interest it is our goal to get a to get a rockhounding trip with all our friends.


Rich came back and got me out of bed, and rather than go out rockhounding first and having to come back for lunch, we then made lunch then, ate it fast, and headed out to rockhound. After all, that’s why we were on this trip!


Once we got out there, I realized that we were not in cold, snowy Heber City,anymore, so I could work on my tan by wearing my shorts.  We got back on the four-wheeler, drove to the trailer (which was only about half a mile), and I change into my shorts—but that cut into our rockhounding time!


We hiked toward a steep hill—and my balance and hiking up hills is not a good match, but you don’t tell me to stay at the bottom! If I see a rock up the hill, I am headed up to get it with Rich in tow. After many hours we went riding and looking for more rocks and we came across some amazing abandoned old homes, so we had to stop and take a look.


On our way home there was a beautiful sunset that we just had to stop and snap some pictures, these you can check out on our Instagram[1]  page rockhound_randj. We also feature some pictures of the rocks we found. 


Once we got back to the campsite, we built a bonfire and cooked our tinfoil dinners. We then sat around the campfire, rehashing the day’s finds and making plans of where to go the next day.


The next morning, a Saturday, Rich went on his morning hike so as to let me get my beauty sleep! He got back to our camp after hiking and looking for rocks. He also scouted out locations for where to go, this new day,because we hadn’t decided where to go the night before. He had found a nice honey-hole of agates, so he woke me up and we made lunch again—because, you know, we couldn’t spend time on menial things like going back to the camp for lunch! We got it prepared and set out on our next rockhounding adventure.


So I mentioned that I have balance issues—well, 15 minutes into our hike down a very steep rocky hill, I tripped and down I went! But rather than hobble back to the trailer, I bounced right back up. You can’t keep a lady down when pretty rocks are to be found.


As we continued to find more agates, we came to the middle of three mountains where a volcano had erupted thousands of years ago. There was one small hill full of petrified wood. Not very pretty, but it was cool to find it there, especially because we were not expecting it. We also found a lot of gypsum, which is kind of like a clear crystal flake.


The sun was setting and, not wanting to hike out at night, we left and headed back to camp for our nightly bonfire and good pork spareribs. That night the wind howled and blew so hard we though our trailer was going to blow over and end our trip. Thankfully, it didn’t and we got a good night’s rest.


The next morning was the Sabbath and, as church is important to us, we started our day out by reading an article in the Ensign. It was windy, chilly, and raining a little, but like my dad always said to me, “you’re not made of sugar so you won’t melt,” so we bundled up and went out again. We headed to the same location we had been on Friday because there were a lot of agates with quartz crystals. Those are my new favorites! But I really love all kinds of rocks.


We had another all-day affair there, but before it got too late we rode over to another site that had more agates but we actually found some with green in them. I’ve looked all over for an agate with green in it because green is one of my favorite colors. It was getting late so we called it a night and rode back to camp for yet another bonfire. I didn’t plan well—on the menu, anyway—so all we had that evening was leftovers but they still tasted good.


The next morning we woke up and it was the day I had dreaded—the day we had to leave. But we found time for a last quick ride and rockhounding excursion, but mostly we just rode because it was chilly and really windy. We left camp and stopped at a good diner to eat, called the Tamarisk, because we were celebrating our anniversary. I highly recommend eating there because it is right by the Green River, it kind of feels like being on a cruise because there are big windows in the diner so you can see the river outside.


Here is the best part—well, aside from the rockhounding, bonfire, and four-wheeling—we got to talk to a lady about our Passion-Biz. There was a flier in the restaurant window advertising a rock fair. We got to talking about rockhounding and we got her phone number to call us if she was interested in Passion-Biz. Our trip led us right to her!