Rock hounds, collectors and the geologically-curious will be able to enjoy a weekend of exploration at the Rock, Gem and Mineral Show. Jerry Hansen, president of the Moab Rock Club, expects more than 30 vendors at the 53rd annual event, held this year at the Old Spanish Trail Arena.
“A few of the vendors are letting us know they will have something special this year,” Hansen said. “This is a great show for children.”
The traditional spin wheel will be there, offering geologic prizes for both adults and children.
“The kids love the spin wheel. It’s not really a game of chance: They will always win something,” Hansen said. “It’s there for their enjoyment and to enjoy what they would find in nature.”
Moab Grill will be providing food and refreshments to encourage guests to stay the entire day.
The show also features two field trips: One to Yellow Cat and the other to Ruby Ranch.
“Someone will always find a treasure worth taking home,” Hansen said.
The Yellow Cat area, north of Arches National Park, is known for Yellow Cat redwood.
“It’s a limb cast,” Hansen said. “It’s not the petrified wood itself.”
The Ruby Ranch area, northwest of Moab, is known for variety of colorful, exquisite agate.
“One named pigeon blood looks like blood droplets in the rock itself,” Hansen said.
The Moab Rock Club started in 1959 with a bunch of people interested in geology.
It is filled with people who enjoy the outdoors and get out and about, said Moab Rock Club president Jerry Hansen.
“Rocks are their primary reason,” Hansen said. “Moab has a multitude of pertrified wood, agate, and other collectible items, as well as dinosaur bones and other items that can’t be legally taken off government land.”
Up until two years ago now the club’s name was Moab’s Points and Pebbles.
“People weren’t relating Points and Pebbles as a rock club,” Hansen said. So they changed the name to Moab Rock Club.
The club meets the third Thursday of every month at 7 p.m., at the Grand Center.
“Periodically we have a show and tell session,” Hansen said. “Folks come in to talk about geology or earth science.”
The club also focuses on responsible rock hounding
“We don’t advocate hauling off things that are illegal,” Hansen said. “BLM has specific limits on how much petrified wood you can have.”
Vertebrate fossils, such as bones, teeth, skin impressions, footprints, trail drags and other traces of animal activity may not be collected from state or federal lands.
“We respect property rights,” Hansen said. “If there is an area we want to go into, we check with BLM or adjacent landowners to make sure.”
“We want people who are out there to be responsible for their actions.”