"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." ~Goethe~

15 May 2009

A day at the Rice NW Rock Museum

Yesterday was not a big rain day here but it was still nice to veg out in "anticipation" of it.  After a nice dinner and watching some hockey on the tube, it was decided that watching the sunset in the hills needed to be done.  So off we went to watch what was left of the storm that headed up into the mountains north of us.  I was kind of hoping for some rain to tell you the truth.  But watching the clouds and listening to the wind was just as nice.  Then after a bit it was back home where it was time to close up shop for the day around here and hit the sack.  Very exciting, huh!  Oh well, I love simple things and simple days. :)

Now, about the next day on our trip.  It was a quiet one but very exciting and interesting none the less.  It was started by making sure the pups had an awesome walk out in the field again and some kicking back around the house before we headed out for lunch to a Mexican restaurant that Gary and Chris like to go to.  Very good food and we all ate more than we needed.  The girls watched fresh tortillas being made at the front of the restaurant in a machine that handles everything from pressing them out and baking them until they were pushed out at the end.  Pretty cool and fast.  Good thing being how fast they were being picked up and taken back to the kitchen.  YUMMO!!!

Next we headed off to the Rice NW Museum of Rocks & Minerals in Hillsboro, Or.  What an awesome place!  Yes, once again I got caught up with looking at and reading everything that I forgot to take pictures!  I know, not too bright.  At least they have a web site I linked to so you could see a portion of what we did.  

It was started by Richard and Helen Rice so that everyone could enjoy all the wonderful, beautiful samples they and others have collected through the years.  I do like looking at rocks, don't get me wrong.  But Glenn, Gary and the girls were in HEAVEN!!!  Kids in a candy store!  :)  When we walked up to the museum there were HUGE specimens of rocks out to the side of the main house.  It was amazing to see the labels of what they were and where they were found.  Can you believe there was a humongous thunder egg sitting there that was found a couple of miles north of my house in the hills!  We were blown away.  So of course now Glenn and the girls want to go rock hunting up there.  

In the Northwest Gallery there was also lots of different specimens of rocks that were found just north of our house and the general area where we live.  Too cool.  One rock even looked like it had fur on it but it was tiny crystals.  The main house of the museum had lots of rooms with specific samples for each room.  Very awesome!  I do think that the favorite for us was the Fluorescent Gallery.  Rocks that looked like normal everyday rocks glowed naturally under fluorescent lights!  You never now when you might pick up a rock that will glow naturally.  I have been told that we need to go buy a fluorescent light now so that the rocks we find can be "tested".  Cha-ching!  Not only do we need to get a bigger and better rock tumbler but now a light is needed.  This group can get expensive!  The other favorite room was the Petrified Wood Gallery.  All I can say is ... WOOOWW!!!  Blew us away.  Simply beautiful!  I must tell you that we learned about all those brightly colored rocks that one always sees at gift shops all over, the bright pink, blue, yellow, etc.  that is in no way natural, should not be handled by kids.  The chemicals that are used to get all those funky colors embedded into the rocks are the worst, most toxic chemicals you could be around and the chemicals themselves tend to leach out off the rocks after they are dyed.  So needless to say, the girls no longer have any in their collection.  Get rid of them if any of you have them.  Bad stuff.

I can't possibly go into everything we saw.  Not enough time.  Today's post would be the longest yet.  And I'm sure you have other things to do besides sitting in front of the computer all evening.  Just click on the link above and get a sampling of what we saw and then you will have to go visit it yourself to see the rest of what is not listed on the site.  I wish it was closer to our house.  I know where Glenn and the girls would be!  :)

Well, off to go plant some azaleas in the yard.  I've got to go move my peonies being they attract ants and it isn't recommended you plant them near your house because of that.  So you know where I planted them don't you, before I found this out, right.  Yes, right next to the house.  FAB!

Have a wonderful evening!  I'm not sure if I will be able to post tomorrow.  We are planning an all day exploration drive in the back country and I'm not sure when we will be back.  So check back some time this weekend to read all about our second day to the coast.  That's all I'm going to tell you.  I think it was my favorite day of all out of the whole trip.  Off to go eat a bowl of Tillamook Udderly Chocolate ice cream!  It's only got white and milk chocolate bits swirled in chocolate ice cream!  What else could one ask for?  Nothing at the moment!  :)  I hope I leave some for the others to eat.  hehehehe!


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