Searles Lake Gem & Mineral Society
GEM-O-RAMA
Click here  Info Flyer  for dates and times
GENERAL FIELD TRIP INFORMATION
Field Trip Parking Layout
Layout for Field Trip Parking
(Satellite photo)
On All Field Trips You Drive Your Own CAR to Collecting Site
On All Field Trips You Drive Your
Own CAR to Collecting Site


Field Trip Parking
  - Park Your Car FIRST
1.  There are 2 parking lots - park in either one 
2.  Park in numbered lanes - lane 1 leaves parking 
     area first, followed by lane 2, then 3, etc. 
3.  Please park close to the car in front of you. 
     We may have over 600 cars to park in a very
     limited parking area.
4.  Follow directions of parking assistants 
5.  Park your car FIRST, then purchase ticket 
6.  Both lots go to the same collecting site 
7.  Both lots leave for field trip at same time 
8.  Both lots arrive at collecting site at same time 
9.  Cutting into line is NOT ALLOWED
     If you cut into line you can be required to
     leave field trip immediately 
Field Trip Ticket Prices
1.  Saturday morning (9-11:30am) - Mud 
     $15.00 per car 
2.  Saturday afternoon (2:30-5pm) - Blow Hole 
     $15.00 per car 
3.  Sunday (9am-1:30pm) - Pink Halite 
     $20.00 per car 
4.  Sign your tickets.
Be ready to give your Admission Ticket stub
to ticket taker inside lake gate
Field Trip Ticket Purchase
1.  Tickets are sold only at the show - no 
     advanced sales 

2.  Tickets are sold outside in the center of the 
     "H", on north (Main Street) side 
3.  Tickets for all remaining trips can be bought 
     whenever the sales are open 
4.  Ticket sales hours are: 
     7:30-9am Saturday and Sunday morning
     1:30-2:30pm Saturday afternoon
Field Trip Supplies
1.  Wear "sacrificial"  (disposable) clothes when collecting (see pictures below
2.  Most field trip supplies can be purchased at 
     the show (General Store inside show bldg) (see pictures below)
3.  Supplies needed are different for each trip - 
     see information on trip description pages 
Are These for Everyone?
1.  Yes, all ages (1-100) can and do go on these 
      field trips, and everyone has a good time 
2.   Colleges, high schools and scout troops all 
      use these trips for educational purposes 
3.   Serious mineral collectors find these field 
      trips rewarding for their beautiful and 
      unusual minerals

 
 
Mud encrusted tennis shoes found after one of the 
Gem-O-Rama 2003 field trips. 



Note that after the mud dried, the shoes were also very stiff.  While washing in water may largely restore the shoes to a usable state as knock-around shoes, they will never approach new shoes in feel or look.

These jeans were found after one of the Gem-O-Rama 2003 field trips. 
I took them out on the mud flats and stood them on end for this picture. 



Talk about using too much starch.  If you get your clothes wet with brine and allow it dry, the salts in the brine will crystallize and this will make your clothes as stiff as boards.  If you were to walk very far in these pants, they would painfully chaff your skin.  Fortunately, the salts are all soluble, so simply washing them will remove the salt and make them soft again.  This washing can be at the water truck provided at the collecting sites, with water you bring in your vehicle, or at home (but you will want to change clothes after the field trip, not wear the salt-encrusted clothes home)

Tools available for purchase at show
The SLG&MS has some field trip supplies available for purchase at the show. The picture to the left shows what is available.

Tools include gloves to protect your hands from sharp crystals, a 3-blade cultivator that is especially useful for digging on both Saturday field trips, a brush to scrub the mud minerals you will find on Saturday morning's field trip, deep well brine to wash your mud minerals (drinking or even brackish water will destroy these minerals), a carpet square to sit or kneel on, and a bucket for the minerals you will collect.
WHY DO YOU START THE SHOW ON THE SECOND SATURDAY IN OCTOBER?

The picture to the left shows the surface of the "dry" lake in January 2005.  The area shown is just north of the pink halite collection area.  The picture to the lower left shows Cement Plant Road with the wind blowing waves across it and trucks coming to repair the road.  This is the exit road from the pink halite field trip and one of the entrance roads for all three field trips.  As you can tell, it would not be safe for general use by the public.

This is typical of many winters when the surface becomes covered with water, or more correctly, brine.  Less than two weeks after the 2004 show we had a series of rain storms that flooded the surface.  When this happened, the rain water was unsaturated and dissolved all of the specimens that were not collected during the show.  This included all the mud specimens, all the blow hole specimens and all of the unfound and uncollected pink halite.  Therefore, we could not have field trips any later in the year than mid October. 
 

WHY DO YOU START THE SHOW ON THE SECOND SATURDAY IN OCTOBER (continued)?

Because the surface will remain at least paritally flooded into late May, it would not be possible to schedule field trips before then.  Then, by early June the afternoons can be very hot.  We have seen temperatures as high as 115oF in mid June. This is too hot for our field trips, especially the pink halite trip which requires substantial physical work.  Not until early October is it cool enough to have field trips to collect minerals from Searles "Dry" Lake. 

So as you see, we have our show at the only time of year when it is possible.

Go to GEM-O-RAMA Site Map

Searles Lake Gem and Mineral Society
P. O. Box 966
13337 Main St.
Trona, CA   93592-0966

Phone (760) 372-5356

Home  Site Map  |  Revised 09/08/2014

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