Annular Eclipse & Rockhounding in the Virgin Valley Caldera October 13-15, 2023
Join Alison on a weekend exploration of the Virgin Valley Caldera within the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge on the Oregon/Nevada border during the annular solar eclipse. Unlike total eclipses which darken the day, annular eclipses provoke a bright bring of fire in the sky.
The Virgin Valley is the remnant of a massive volcanic caldera in which petrified wood, opal, obsidian, carnelian, and other fabulous rocks and minerals can be found. Come learn about hot spot volcanism, the formation of volcanic glasses and the fossilization of wood as we hike around the cliffs and badlands of this long-ago disaster.
Even more exciting, the path of of the annular eclipse swings over the Virgin Valley Caldera on Saturday morning, October 14th, 2023. The sunrises that day at 7:06am and maximum is slated for 9:20am. View of the eclipse cannot be guaranteed due to the possible occurrence of cloud cover. But it's the desert, so perhaps the odds are in our favor.
We'll camp at Alison's petrified forest within the caldera or the nearby Virgin Valley Warm Spring. Alison will prepare delicious camp dinners each night.
Location: 41.852925, -119.001869
Schedule: The group will meet in Adel, Oregon, on the morning of Friday, October 13th, 2023, and caravan to the Virgin Valley where we will camp for 2 nights. Participants can expect to head home midday Sunday, October 15th.
Important notes: Alison is a licensed and bonded outfitter guide. This trip is permitted by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service - Hart/Sheldon Refuge Managers. Collecting will occur in permitted areas free of active mining claims, and on Alison's two current mining claims. Rock collection limits set by USFWS and federal laws regarding artifacts are strictly adhered to. This trip takes place on the ancestral lands of the Northern Paiute peoples.
Trip participants should be adults 18 and older who enjoy dirt road driving, spending a day on their feet out in the elements and are down to camp in all kinds of weather. All genders and vehicle types welcome. Access to toilets and showers is limited.
Virgin Valley weather: Trip runs rain or shine! Average October high is 67°F and a low of 34°F. The chance that it could rain on this trip is 25%. Extreme weather is always possible.
Cancellation policy: A full refund will be given if a participant cancels 3 weeks or more before the start date of the trip. Cancellation made within the 3 week window closer to the trip will be given full credit towards a future trip, but no refunds will be made. Please consider this before signing up. No exceptions.
In the event of cloud cover, the group may travel to find clear skies if they are within a reasonable distance. In the event of heavy wildfire smoke, Alison reserves the right to reschedule the trip.
Furthermore, Alison reserves the right to postpone and cancel trips in the event of wildfires, wildfire smoke, severe storms, flooding, earthquakes and other natural occurrences that jeopardize group safety. In this scenario, all trip members will be given full credit towards a future trip.