101st Anniversary Holbrook Trip
First stop, Franconia
A small group of meteorite hunters from the southwest converged again in Holbrook, AZ for a meteorite hunt in honor of the 101st anniversary of the fall. Several folks hunted on the actual anniversary date (July 19) and had success! I elected instead to stop for a few hours in Franconia and try to find my first meteorite from the Yucca DCA.
I lasted about 3 hours swinging my detector in the 104* heat. There was a nice breeze to keep me cooled luckily (and drinking 3 liters of water helped, too). I was getting great targets all morning and found several hot rocks (of course), one being my deepest find yet at about 8". I also found 1 piece of WWII aerial target wire, which sounds just like the iron meteorites found there. I dug one target that actually stuck to my magnet, I was pretty excited for a moment. Most of the hot rocks at Franconia do not stick to magnets, so this was a good sign. It didn't jump to the magnet like an H-chondrite, but it had the gentle attraction of an L. L-chondrites have been found out there, but they're not as common as the H's. I pulled out my loupe for a closer look and unfortunately I could tell it was not a meteorite. I took it with me to clean up and ground a window in it just to be sure. One of these targets will turn out to be a meteorite eventually!
On to Holbrook
Friday night we all hung out at the hotel, and then first thing Saturday morning we hit the strewn field. Within an hour I found one of the Holbrook marbles right in the middle of a bush. A short time later I found a second marble that was almost completely buried.
After finishing the first hunt area I met up with Robby and Bob and headed back to the vehicles for a quick snack before moving to the next area. Robby had found a 0.1g meteorite on an ant hill. I grabbed some munchies from my ice chest and waited for Robby and his dad to make their way back. There's always stories about people parking on meteorites or finding them right next the their cars, so I figured I'd look around the parking area while I ate. Would you believe it?! I found a perfect Holbrook pea not 20' from where we parked at the main parking area for the strewn field right where the road ends at the railroad fence. How cool that this little guy had been buried there for 101 years while literally every person who has visited the strewn field walked over him.
Always check around your vehicles!
0.9g, complete individual.
Robby searching the strewn field.
Bob looking for those elusive Holbrook meteorites.
Just before noon I spotted a small meteorite in the bottom of a hoof print. I called Robby over to have a look and he tripped over a huge 12.5g meteorite on the other side of the bush next to me! Next time I'm searching the immediate area before I call him over! [30 second video of the find - http://youtu.be/o9IeqEZ-5PM - best viewed full-screen @ 720p]
Just chillin' in the shade.
We headed back to the trucks for a late lunch. Robby had found 5 meteorites already, so he and Bob left to grab a bite to eat in town. I ate my lunch in the shade of my truck, then headed out to finish up the day hunting with Ben. On the way out to the area we were going to search I split a set of my gps tracks from earlier and spied this little guy popping up from the soil.
Only about 1/3 of the rock was visible, the rest was still buried.
1.7g, individual missing a small fragment from the bottom.
Not 15 minutes later I found another one! This would end up being the last find of the day.
4.0g, fragment. I dug around hoping to find the rest, but no luck.
Sunday morning everyone packed up and headed home except for Ben and myself. Ben got to the field very early and hunted a spot while I hung out around the parking area hoping to get lucky again. Ben came back from his area and showed me two more small peas he found. We said our good-byes and he hit the road, while I ponied up for one more go. I looked at my gps and noticed a hole in my tracks from the day before, so I hiked out to fill in the gap. Boy was I glad I did! I let out an audible gasp when I saw this sitting on the ground, this was way bigger than a typical Holbrook find (despite the 2 monsters Robby found the day previous)!
11.4g, fragment with flowlines. I dug for the missing pieces but did not find them. I would have loved to see what this looked like when it was whole.
On my way back I found this railroad debris, dated 1979.
I also found this poor, unfortunate fellow. He's kinda cute.
My non-meteorite finds for the weekend, including two marbles and a broken piece of old glass insulator from the railroad power lines. Note the interesting criss-cross markings on the .50 cal.