Last weekend we went to a rock and gem show put on by the Mt. Hood Rock Club (the history of the show is explained in the article at The wife and the girl are both crazy about rocks, but even I have to admit they had some cool, cool stuff. The rather large exhibition hall was chock full of display cases, food vendors, and tables and tables covered with rocks. You could find anything from huge single crystals of selenite to slabs of fossilized sea life, hundreds and hundreds of polished spheres of everything from quartz to fused fiber optics, and thousands of cut and polished gemstones.

The Oregon state rock is the thunderegg. And you could find them in thin polished sections, beautiful half-sections, and raw whole spheres.

The wife could not resist the lure of the thunderegg. Picking out an unbroken thunderegg is like playing the Lotto. It could just be an ugly rock, or it could have something wonderful inside. She picked out a fairly large one from the Thunderegg booth, and handed it to the seller to set it up for cracking. He placed it in some serious long-handled tool, and tightened an adjusting screw until the thunderegg was snug. My wife then bore down on the handle, slowly increasing the pressure, until a loud crack was heard.

Thundereggs are not very attractive in their unbroken state:

But when you get a nice clean crack, the inside can be quite impressive. The wife picked a good one:

One side had the typical mass of quartz crystals lining the cavity:

While the other had a crystal formation called “Angel’s Wings”:

Not unlike a gambling fiend, I think my wife is hooked. In addition, the kids took part in a rock and gem Easter Egg hunt on the lawn. Picture the spectacle of a mass of small children clearing an entire lawn in a matter of mere moments. I suspect we will go back again next year.