About Us

The San Joaquin Valley Lapidary Society is located in Bakersfield, California. We are a group of rock hounds dedicated to the sharing of knowledge about the lapidary arts. We meet weekly for workshops in lapidary, silversmith, and wire wrapping/beading. We were founded in 2005, and are incorporated as a 501 (c) 3. Part of our focus is education, and offer a program for area elementary school 4th and 6th graders that supplements their geology studies.

San Joaquin Valley Lapidary Society

San Joaquin Valley Lapidary Society

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Montana de Oro

 Our first ever picnic and beach trip was a wonderful break for all of us who have endured Central Valley 100 degree heat in early June. The soft, cool air was rejuvenating. Going back home at the end of the day brought a certain sadness, and returning to the heat took a resolve of spirit.

The day began at 5 am for me, and by 6:30 and our leader was here to pick me up. The drive west took us through Lost Hills (a dry bone piece of landscape peppered with oil rigs, poles, and wires. I have to remind myself when I look on this scene that this is what it takes to keep my car running, and make trips like this possible. Also a lot of other essentials to modern life are tied to the workings of this machinery and the people who keep it running.  The residents of this forlorn patch have a small park, a bit of shade from trees planted, and color from flowering plants. There are two stores being built, so shopping can be done at home and not 20 or so miles away in neighboring Wasco. They must be a hearty bunch.

Highway 46 has finally been widened  to two lanes of traffic each way. Only 18 miles are left as single lane roadway. The 'thrill' of braving the two lane roadway filled with big trucks and crazed drivers is pretty much gone. The crazed drivers do travel here still and you need to practice your defensive driving skills. We passed a driver in a truck towing a trailer, and the trailer was wandering out of it's lane. As we passed it we saw the driver writing notes on a clip board that was racked on the steering wheel, while having a phone to their ear. Multi-tasking!

The beach was perfect. The predicted wind was not there, a few drops of rain fell on us, we explored tide pools, ate a wonderful picnic meal, and played several games. We made a little mistake when we left out several dishes on the tables when we went back to the beach for more. About 20 sea gulls were had a feast, taking over the tables, pecking through plastic covers, knocking bowls to the ground. Their food choices included hot peppers and a fruit salad.

I watched out the window as we wound our way into the hills, and saw Morro rock and the Pacific waters disappear from view. Found myself preparing myself mentally for the starkness of  Lost Hills, and a return to the central valley summer heat. It was a wonderful pause. I thank our leader for his organizing, patience, and strength. I thank all who came and shared the day and contributed to the banquet.  Sally Larsen, president SJVLS 2016



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