Recently, the Mineral Science staff was contacted by the executive producer of the Kid's Science Challenge, Jim Metzner. Jim was looking for geoscientists, researchers, and specialists in the field of geology to produce a kid-friendly program on the topic. Alyssa Morgan and I got interviewed by Jim at the Museum, and we also did a fun field trip to collect rubies in Cascade Canyon, near Mt Baldy, only an hour away from Los Angeles. As Alyssa already wrote a blog post about the geology of the deposit (here), I'm reporting here just a photo album of our field trip.
Our group getting ready to hike across bushes and rivers.
The valley in which we will find the ruby-bearing rocks.
On our way to the outcrop, the first part of the trail is magical.
Enjoying a bit of shade.
The hike really begins when there are fallen trees to climb over and poison oak to avoid.
Danger: poison oak next to the fallen tree!
A beautiful boulder of gneiss showing flux features with white veins showing boudinage.
Just before the outcrop, a last obstacle: the river to cross. We were lucky, there was not much water in San Antonio Creek.
The rubies are found in an aluminum-rich metamorphic rock, most likely a gneiss representing the ancient ocean sediment.
A close-up on the same rock with the elongated pinkish prism of ruby.
I extracted a group of ruby crystals out of the rock, which looked good...
... until I found this better one!
After 30 minutes of searching in the same area, each member of the group began to collect on its own, finding great specimens.
Alyssa got a good one on matrix.
And here is a good one I extracted from the matrix: view of the hexagonal base.
View from the side of the elongated prism.
Alyssa getting interviewed by Jim about the geology of the area.
The program will be find a few months from now on the Kid's Science Challenge channel.
Jim Metzner also recorded some sounds for his radio program Pulse of the Planet.
Some more rubies extracted from the matrix.
More sound recording by Jim while the rest of the crew is still ruby hunting.
Nice view of the creek just by the ruby outcrop.
Meditation by the water.
View of the river.
And everybody is ready to go... that means crossing the river again!
And finding our way back through the bushes.
I just loved this odd looking rock that was scattered along the boulders of gneiss. Meanwhile, people are climbing fallen trees again!
My favorite shaded area! Must have been a cabin there a long time ago.
Back to the main trail, not far away from our cars, our trip is almost over.
But there is no good field trip without good food at the end! Pizza from Zelo Pizzeria in Arcadia!
Thanks again to the Kid's Science Challenge team for involving the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in their program!