Bring the chains for your car, Helen, and head to Madras and
Richardson’s Ranch. Ask in town how to get there. They have digs in
the summer, but not sure about the middle of winter. Pretty cold over
there! If no digs, the shop is worth the visit and Mr. Richardson is
Also, in Prineville, Elkins’ Rocks and Gems. Judy runs her late
dad’s shop well! Has great jasper slabs, the picture variety.
You are headed to one of the richest mineral areas in the US. Do a
little more research, i.e. Owyhee River Canyon for all kinds of
Jaspers (probably covered w/ a good blanket of snow), Opal Butte
opals from West Coast Mining, mostly in central and eastern Oregon.
If you’re a skiier take a few days at Mt. Bachelor about 45 min.
Bend is a great town. It has grown by leaps and bounds, but still a
great historical Old Town. (Madras is about 45 min. no. of Bend).
Have great fun.
Added note: be sure to check the sunstone mining claims’ policies
before trekking all of the way out there. Some allow free mining,
with a fee for your finds. Others charge to mine and will remove the
best of your finds for their own coffers, then charge for the rest.