Big Bend Roadcut – April 2023

Big Bend Roadcut

We set out to relocate the Big Bend Roadcut, which is rich in zeolites, as are many roadcuts in the area. The available coordinates for the cut were incorrect (but have been corrected since), but luckily we had a photo with identifying details that helped us locate the exact location. The exact location of the roadcut is 44.78267,-119.61000.

Mindat lists the site as containing analcime and gyrolite. The basalt here is very solid and hard, so all of the specimens that we could find were on the surface of the rock and low quality due to weathering. Most of what we saw were mesolite and chabazite.

We didn’t do any collecting here because this is not a safe place for multiple reasons. First, the road has very little shoulder here, mostly just a small ditch filled with broken pieces of basalt. Secondly, although the basalt containing the zeolites is very solid, the basalt above it is from a different basalt flow and is very fractured with the pieces being sharp and heavy. Some pieces were teetering on the edge of a higher ledge, looking like a few hits with hammer to the rock below could send them falling towards your head. We decided that this wasn’t how we wanted to end our trip, so we left and site untouched, but documented.