Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The Great Goddards Ledge Rose Quartz Conspiracy Hoax
Philip Morrill et al. (1958) described Goddards Ledge near Rumford Center, Maine as a rose quartz locality, found while the pegmatite was worked for ceramic feldspar in the WWII era.
So in 1993 I tried to find it. It's a nasty traverse, pretty steep, up the side of a mountain, unmarked, no trails and 'intermittently' posted. But what the hell. Plus it's raining (keeps the black flies and mosquitoes down). Up and away we go.
Bonanza !!! I found an old feldspar working littered with giant shards of glass quartz way up the mountain, under lots of mud and leaves. This must be it. Light going fast in the rain. It's all rose quartz. Unbelievable! Nobody has been here for decades. It's all mine !!!
Get home at 10 p.m. totally soaked in mud, get up, go to work, next day take out all the 'finds' and cover the kitchen floor of the apartment with them. Yes !!! Sun comes out next day. All the 'rose quartz' is amazingly clear and devoid of any pink coloration.
My landlord, Yvon Doyon, comes by for the rent. The whole house and deck are covered with pieces of non-rosy quartz. We have to step around them as I write him the rent check. He gives me a quizzical look. It's a tenement. Lots of 'not-normal' people live here, and I get the feeling Yvon has officially put me in that category.
I've been hoodwinked. Shamboozled. Schlamottled. Diabolicized. It's all NON rose quartz !!! How could this be?
I think it was becuz I was a wee bit too 'eager,' or as Jim Mann would say, 'rock warped.'
Actually, a dozen or so of the pieces are true rose quartz. The rest are so faintly tinted it would have taken rose quartz tinted glasses to see it. And apparently I was wearing coke bottles of that stuff when I was at Goddards Ledge. Oops.
But it gets worse. Much worse. The next spring I brought my girlfriend to Goddards Ledge as the 'first stop' on a Memorial Day camping vacation; and we both climbed the 800 foot nasty incline up to the 'quarry.' But we didn't find it. I followed the wrong ravine. Since there are no trails, it's a bit complicated. And every mosquito and black fly in Oxford County had our number. So we ran back down the mountain to the car, totally sweaty, hungry, disgusted and bug-bitten.
Except I could not find the car keys. They were somewhere 'up there' on the mountain. I had put them in my backpack (for 'safe keeping') and forgot to zip the pocket shut. So they could be anywhere between us and the non-Goddards Ledge quarry. Under the leaves. In between two rocks. Anywhere. And it was getting dark. Smooth move, Doug.
So back up the mountain and about halfway up I saw a glint. The keys !!! Really? The keys !!!
They had fallen out of my pack when I was skidding up or down a glacial erratic. God must have had mercy on me that day.
So some of the rose quartz at Goddard's Ledge in Rumford is genuine, if you don't get too over enthusiastic. And when fashioned en cabochon it does display 6, 8 and 12-star asterism, as Phil Morrill said in 1958.
But keep an extra set of keys under the car wheel. Just in case.