After we left family in Phoenix for Thanksmus (American Thanksgiving and early family Christmas) we found a cool mountain that was about an hour or so out of Phoenix that was on BLM land. For those of you who don't know BLM stands for Bureau of Land Management and they have over 12 million acres of public land in Arizona along. This is land that you are allowed to camp, hike and stay on for 14 days for FREE, then move at least 25 miles away and can go to another part of the BLM land and in most place in Arizona you don't need to register when you arrive, just in Quartzsite.
Where we decided to stay was around a huge mountain that we hiked around for the entire time we stayed there, the tallest peak being just over 3000 feet. Apparently these mountains were volcanic at one point and now if filled with some amazing stones and rocks and big horned sheep. The west side of the mountains have light colored lava. The east side has much darker lava stone and a huge assortment of quartz, chalcedony and fire agate, what the area is famous for.
As soon as we found a spot, parked and got set up, we were already finding fire agate, chalcedony and quartz. It was amazing, just from our campsite alone you could fill buckets and buckets of these awesome little stones. But, the hikes up the mountains were much more impressive to see. There were tons of agate veins growing in the mountains side and absolutely covered in small pieces of agate and quartz. The BLM law says that you can take these stones out for personal use only, not for resale. On our hikes we did meet a lot of people with buckets rockhounding for fire agate pieces.
When we changed sites, we decide to get a little creative and make a labyrinth with the larger stones near our site.
This cool guy is completely full of quartz and love!
Aside from the stones and the large mountain there was not much else in the area. Over the full moon we did hear the coyotes and one night had three of them visit our bonfire. They were curious, friendly and not very timid. There are some smaller bush like trees growing around the washes. These are called ironwood and apparently the 6 foot trees about about 1000 years old.
The only other thing that grows out there are the cactus. The Saguaro cactus is the most famous in Arizona and can grow up to 40 feet tall. We were told the ones that have grown arms are over 100 years old. Legend has it has it that they are reincarnated Naive American elders, are sacred and cannot be touched or moved.
We love working with agate in our malas because of the healing properties of the stone. Its's known as the stone of courage!
This is one of my favorites, 6mm orange agate, divided with 925 silver beads for a total connection fo the mind, body and soul.