Another Dogtooth Pocket Weekend

Well folks, as you can see, I am behind again…had a great dogtooth pocket weekend, I found a great pocket each day. Saturday it was just Missy and me and we arrived at the new secret spot about mid morning…we were expecting forty degrees, but the constant wind from the northwest made it feel more like 30 degrees. Once I got started digging in with my mini mattox, though, I warmed up fast and stayed right there all day, and once I started finding pockets and crystals, the weather soon left my mind.  As soon as I pulled in and parked, I looked over at this mound of solid looking rock, and decided to start raking rocks down the side of it and see if I could locate an opening to a pocket, so I started to the right of if and worked my way to the center of that mound….

01 Started Here

…and as luck would have it, I didnt find anything except a poker chip or two here and there, until I reached the center of that mound, then I found a spot on the mound where there were a couple of nice looking poker chips just sitting there under some big rocks….

02 First Pocket Found

….now, its not that hole in the center above as that is one of several that range across the bottom of that mound of rock…the pocket I located is above my mini mattox above it…here it is up closer….

03 Pocket At Top

…see if you can locate the poker chip…I didn`t see it right away, but boy when I did, it was fantastic….I went back to my truck and came back with a bag and some wrapping cloths…I didn`t have many cloths this trip, had loaned out some and haven`t had them returned to me yet. Luckily I did have a couple of rolls of blue shop towels with me, and wound up using both rolls of the towels. Here is that poker chip closer up in case you didn`t spot it above….

04 Poker Chip Hiding

…and the first few that I managed to pull out including the one above….

05 Poker Chiips

…here the next one shows the pocket starting to form up….

06 Pocket Opens Up

…and here are some that I pulled out from under that huge ledge of rock above in the next few minutes….

07 Poker Chips and Druse

…the difference between this one and the last one, there are some druse plates in this one…and here you see the pocket going up under a small bluff of rocks….


08 Pocket Going Under Big Rocks

…and here is a poker chip hiding up under the stone ledge in the pocket….


09 Poker Chip Hiding

…or at least, what I thought was one poker chip in the pocket, turned out to be one of several, as I kept pulling rocks and slabs of ugly rock out of the way and revealed even more….


10 Make That...Poker Chips Hiding

…with even more druse plates, as you can see in the next photo as the goodie pile continues to build….


11 Chips & Druse Plates Multiplying

…the next few that I pulled out of the pocket were ceiling plates, like this guy…he is a little out of focus and I`m not sure what the AF was concentrating on but obviously it wasn`t the nice combo cluster….


12 Focus Problem

After pulling this nice one out, I looked inside and saw yet another one hanging upside down and decided to go after it as well, after stuffing the pocket opening with several cloths, and then attempting to chisel it out from the roof of the pocket, which was no easy feat as it was cramped and close quarters with a small opening to the pocket….


13 Mouth of Pocket

…here is the view inside the pocket that I had…..


14 Looking Inside Pocket

I decided a little widening was in order, so I removed the loose stuff on the left with no problem and then tackled the big chunk of crystals on the right side of the mouth opening, which required a bit more work, chiseling it out from the far side where it was attached to the base of that mound of solid rock, but once out of the way, I had smooth sailing for removing everything else from that pocket….


17 Big One Removed

….including this nice second combo cluster….


16A Nice Combo


…it took me about an hour to clean out that pocket, it widened out at the back wall and I was able to remove some druse with chips there…there were some hollow sounding areas around the back of the pocket so I explored those, but they ended up being holie druse pockets, small and shallow. From here, I moved to the left and started raking and digging once again, and eventually came upon another spot that appeared to be promising…. 

18 Second Pocket Found


…very promising indeed….. 

19 Second Pocket Opens


…it was located at the top of that ridge of solid looking rock…I had started scraping and raking at the bottom and worked my way up, snagging a couple of poker chips with the rake end of the mattox and then just looked for an opening, this one above….I carefully cleared out the loose stuff around it and pulled some loose crystals out, eventually the mouth widened out quite a bit….

20 Second Pocket Forming Up


…and started opening to the right side….

21 2nd Pocket Opens to Right


…I was pulling alot of druse out initially, then some chips and druse, as well as a lot of loose crappy rock, gray dolomite shale type stuff…. 

22 Second Pocket Nice Druse


…and when I got that cleared, I looked to the right and just inside the pocket, was what appeared to be a beautiful yellow-orange dogtooth crystal….

23 Dogtooth Inside Pocket


…so I began pulling all the rocks above and around it out of the way and then, removed the dogtooth and let me tell you, there were many more inside the pocket, took me a good hour just to clear them out of there…here are a few of them…..

25 Mess of Dogtooths


26 Mess of Dogtooths


small ones and big ones alike….

27 Mess of Dogtooths


…I stopped and took about twenty minutes to wrap them up real good using my blue shop towels….you may not be able to tell here, but those rock walls are about two and a half feet deep along the right side of the pocket…

28 Pocket Now Goes Left


…and as you can see, there is now an opening going to the left, which I explored for a few minutes and pulled out a few more dogtooths from…..

29 More Dogtooths



30 More Dogtooths


It then dropped down toward a deeper pocket and that`s where I stopped digging for the day, exhausted after moving all that rock and pulling all those beautiful dogtooth crystals from.  I decided to return the next day and see what else I could find, and contacted Ray to see if he would like to come down and work the dogtooth pocket where I stopped.


 We started down Sunday morning about 9:30 am…I had told Ray the night before, that I was not leaving until at least 9 am, wanted to sleep in a bit and rest up some from Saturday`s digging…my hands were still sore even after taking two aleve and getting a good soak in the hot tub. I told him on the way down, that he could start on the pockets I had worked the day before, where I found the dogtooths, and see if he could find more, was fairly sure there were more pockets there from what I could see when I left, the downward angle on the left side and the opening under the rock on the right side. I would leave it up to him if he wanted to work it or not.  

We arrived to find the temps starting to climb already, supposed to hit at least 53, and as it was, it reached the better part of 60, and felt great. After looking the pockets over, Ray decided to give it a shot and see what he could find, he had brought along an extra hammer and pry bar, called a Gorilla Bar, and he was able to move some of that heavy rock pretty easily with it.

01 Ray With Me Today


…in the meantime, I decided to scratch around and see if I could find some more pockets to the left, so I started down that ridge once again, trying to loosen up my fingers and hands, still somewhat stiff and sore from the day before. Pretty soon, I heard Ray yell out that he had found a pretty dogtooth pocket…so I grabbed my camera to photograph what he had found….for starters, this nice jewel…..

03 Ray Finds One Fast


…and the pocket it was located in was on the right side under the heavy rock walls….

04 Ray Finds a Pocket Fast


…I went back to scraping and digging, and about twenty feet to the left of him, I opened up a pocket in the loose gravels and dirt wall….

05 I Found Another Pocket


…it appeared to be one that had fallen down fairly intact from the blast wall behind and above, with alot of loose crappy rock in the front of it, some of which came away when I grabbed it with the rake end of the mattox as I was scraping and raking downward….

06 I Found Another Pocket


….but leaving some to pull away and reveal what was still inside the pocket…..

07 Pocket Cleaned Out a Bit


…it appeared to me that the main ceiling plate had fallen down face first into the muck at the bottom of the pocket, prob dislodged by the initial blast, so I first cleaned all the little stuff off the top of it and then tried to move it. There was also a nice cluster of poker chips still attached to the ceiling, right above it….

08 Chips On Ceiling

At first it wouldn`t budge, figured it might be frozen somewhat, so I walked back to the truck and got some water and then grabbed another bag, and when I got back, it seemed to have loosened up, was prob just frozen to the bottom of the pocket. When it finally did come out tho, it came out in pieces, five pieces to be exact.  Here is a photo of some of the twins and singles that I removed from the pocket initially, as well as some druse plates….

09 Twins and Chips From Pocket


…I had this pocket cleaned out within about 30 minutes and as I was wrapping up the goodies, I noticed Missy walking around on a big ice flow about thirty yards away….

12 Missy Walks on Ice


14 Missy Walks on Ice


By this time, Ray had walked up to the top of the hill looking for druse, chipping some plates and pieces of nice pretty white druse out of some boulders up there. I continued to the left for about another thirty feet, then walked back to some water holes, that we had dug out weeks before and looking down in one spot, discovered a dogtooth nestled in the gravels. I reached down and dug around a bit and started finding dogtooths all over the place, moved some rocks and found an entire pocket of dogtooths embedded in the gravel and under some rocks…

17 Found Third Dogtooth Pocket


…and what appeared to be a hole in the ground, under a slab of rock, that might indicate a pocket below…by this time, late in the day, Ray was finishing up filling some flats with some druse plates he had chipped out of some more boulders, and decided to come down and see what I had found….

18 Found Third Dogtooth Pocket


After filling another bag with my finds, I told him to take over if he wanted and see what he could find…as he was muscling out some of the rocks to see if there was another pocket below, he looked up and pointed out the sun setting on the trees on the far hill from us and my truck in the afterglow….

19 My Truck As Sun Sets


20 My Truck As Sun Sets


21 Setting Sun Into Treeline


22 Setting Sun Into Treeline


Ray was able to find one dogtooth that was nice and pretty, even after moving a few large rocks around…so we packed it in and headed home shortly after that….we did manage to find a beautiful sunset on the way home…cotton candy clouds amidst a sea of fire….

23 Sunset


James 🙂