Queen Obsidian Site and The Sumpphotos

obsidianNevada, here we come! It's not often that we have time to explore out of the Southern California region, so it's no wonder that the Lizardmobile is so frisky this morning as it scampers north out of Bishop toward the Nevada border. We've picked two spots to explore today. The first should be coming up in just a few minutes since it's just across the border and a few miles north of Highway 6 on a dirt road. It's the Queen Obsidian Site. Gem quality nodules of banded, flow, silver sheen and mahogany obsidian are reputed to cover a large area here. The Indians, of course, beat us all to it and had camps nearby that were used while they gathered and processed this multi-use material. We're anxious to see what we can find! The scenery is absolutely spectacular with the Sierras and White Mountains in view so we're looking forward to an enjoyable morning!

The Sump, NVThe second stop will be at The Sump. This area, located in the Volcanic Hills south of Highway 6 on Highway 264, seems to have faded into obscurity in recent years, possibly due to its rather unflattering name! We've no doubt that it's still there, though, and that we can find it. It's an eroded badlands landscape scoured out of a large bowl shaped area that uncovers sediment deposited by ancient Lake Esmeralda some 40 million years ago. The climate at that time was very similar to that of present day Southern California and consequently the sediment contains fossilized remains of a variety of familiar trees such as oak, willow, fig and ironwood. Other ground cover like ferns, sumac and soapberry also are present and have been fossilized in the same manner as the trees. Fish, shellfish and early mammals suffered the same fate. We hope that if we're lucky we might run across some of the petrified limb casts. Those would be nice finds. We've heard, though, that what's really stunning about this site are the tilted, eroded and colorful formations that create a grotesque fantasy land that needs to be seen to be appreciated.

Well, will either of these sites live up to our expectations? Hey, we're pulling off the highway at the Queen Obsidian Site right now! Why don't you join us? Those bedroom slippers sure look comfortable and will be perfect for virtual hiking! Just click on the picture link below and we're off!


Click here for photos.