New Mexico Fire Agate

Greg Merritt and I went out hunting fire agate again out in Mule Creek. First time in many years I got to take the ATV's out as I will not ride one while alone. Here is a bit of a photo journal of the day.

Believe it or not these ATV's are 2005 vintage, needless to say they are stored out of the weather and rarely used.

About twelve years ago when myself and my friend were first really researching and looking for fire agate we found a soft rhyolite outcrop that had all the signs of being a fire agate producing formation, because it was so early on we marked the location and went on our merry way in search of other locations. Over the next few years we found about five very promising fire agate locations.

Last time Greg and I were out we only had a few hand tools so we could not move much dirt. This time we came armed with this hammer drill, large pry bar, pressure sprayer and many hand tools.

I fired up the hammer drill right off and the soft Rhyolite drilled to the depth of the drill with little effort.

I drilled about five holes in close proximity to each other so we could use the pry bar to pop out large chunks the soft Rhyolite.

Greg working another out crop.

After Greg and I worked this out crop you can easily see the soft Rhyolite once it is exposed.

We worked three outcrops over the next few hours with no luck, we found a few small pieces that were worth throwing in the bucket, but nothing that looked exciting.

As we knew where we could find fire agate with color on the surface not that far away I said lets take a walk.

Working our way down the wash.

There are many other types of stone worth collecting where we are. Here Greg is pointing at a vug with quartz crystals growing in it.

Close up of the vug and quartz points.

Looks like Greg found something interesting.

Close but no cigar!

Got to the surface find area and started finding a few small stones with color.

There are hundreds of want to be stones and once in awhile you pick one up that goes in the bag.

Time to head back to the ATV's no gems which was alright with us. After all we got to spend the day out in the forest in peace and quiet, a wonderful day with mid seventies temperature.

I can not say 100% for sure but I am 99% sure this is a New Mexico fire agate. I got the piece of rough from Marvin Ellis about ten years ago. Marvin was born in Mule Creek in 1922 and spent the major portion of his life there. He was an avid hiker and ATV maniac (when he was about 80 I had a hard time keeping up with him). Marvin showed me more than one location for fire agate and I assume he found this and others he had out in the area I just wrote about.

More to come later!!