Buena Vista Area, Colorado
August 2003
By Jim Fetty

Mike asked for some reports of the field trips that were going on, so here is mine.

I just spent 2 days climbing mine dumps in colorful Colorado. All of the sites that I went to were within about a 30 minute drive of Buena Vista. Buena Vista is located between Salida and Leadville along the Arkansas river and is near both copper and iron mining districts. I spent one day just East of Salida on two of the copper ps picking up Cuprite, Chrysocolla and Malachite, and Calcotrichite/Cuprite in Calcite (Brian Busse which was hunting with me was the person that discovered this mineral in Colorado a few years back and shared his secret spot with me). Also came out with some Copper Pyrite and a nice piece (for me) that had Titanite, Biotite Mica, Chalcopyrite, Copper Pyrite, Quartz and Gneiss. I don’t them, but I was told what was there, I’m still learning. We spent the last part of the day over near the Clara May mine on a hill side picking up some very interesting Jasper that had, what we are calling, “Bulls Eyes”. Very interesting material of varying shades of dark brown to butterscotch with areas of Chalcedony. This area was first mined by the Indians for there points. I plan on sending some to Carol when I have a chance to cut some, just to see how they work up. Perhaps it will make up some good trading material.

The second day was only a partial day due to light showers and other plans. We did do some digging at a couple of spots near the Calumet iron mine. We picked up pieces containing Hessonite Garnet with Epidote, Calcite and Quartz. The Garnets that I found were ¼” and under, but some of the Epidote had nice terminations. We were rained out of that spot so we moved down the hill to another area and found some Calcite, Epidote, and Magnetite.

All in all I had a lot of fun and found some minerals to me. I think I brought back 150 to 200 lbs. of material. I found out real fast that I was out of shape for that of climbing, but it was worth it. I hope the story wasn’t too long.

Jim Fetty – Western Kansas