The Sunstone Area is a well-known area of public land about 20 miles north of the town of Plush where one can find sunstones, the official state gem of Oregon. The gemstone is a type of plagioclase feldspar found in various parts of the world, being clear to yellow in color w/ occasional orange/red tints from copper sheening. Crystals can be up to three inches in length, forming within large basalt vesicles. A large parking area w/ picnic tables, tent pads, & an outhouse make it easy for one to camp overnight, which is what I did, enjoying the quiet evening w/ the occasional coyote howl & spending part of the night w/ a flashlight searching for specimens around the sagebrush. It doesn't take much for one to find them, however getting larger specimens will likely require a visit to the nearby commercial mines w/ permission.
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.