Monday, March 24, 2014

Glass Buttes

Not long after we moved here we found a book called "Bend, Overall" by Scott Cook.  It's a great book for exploring the multitude of things to see in Central Oregon. It has great descriptions, pictures, and directions.

On my last days off we decided to visit #9 in the book, Glass Buttes. It's an area full of obsidian that people are allowed to collect, unlike in the Newberry Caldera's obsidian flow where it is stricktly illegal to collect obsidian.

The directions were right on, advising that the turn off is a road at the 77 mile marker of Highway 20. At the road we found it marked with a giant wooden arrow. (If you look closely in the background of the picture you can see the 77 mile post marker under the back end of the arrow head where it joins the shaft.)

2.2 miles down the road is a campground, where we were surprised to find had quite a few campers. They looked like "permanent" campers. Anyway, as the book described at the campground we took a sharp left until the road split. Right there we parked and started looking around.

The road was actually sparkly from the obsidian bits. I tried to get a good picture but it just didn't show up.

The ground was littered with bits of obsidian, some bigger than others.

We had our hammers, gloves, and eye protection and went to banging on rocks.

Here is a piece I split. You can see how it just looks like a dark rock until it it is split, then the shiny glassiness  shows through.

I guess these ones with the reddish brown in them are called mahogany obsidian.

Here's a shard that was broken off. Look at how you can see my finger on the other side.

This was not staged! We actually found this wildflower poking up next to a shiny piece of obsidian.

We gathered some interesting pieces and I found a good sized chunk of unbroken obsidian to take home. 


Anonymous said...

So cool!

Anonymous said...

Do you have plans for them? I just love it. I remember going to a lake with you, and the rest of the families and I gathered (legally?) some pumice and obsidian, I just put it around my potted plants,
it looks great.
Such a great find in that book, with accurate directions to boot!!