There’s GOLD up in them hills!

Did you know that Spring time is the best time of year to explore the high desert. The greenery gets its refreshing dose of h2o, the birds are abundant as they are migrating thru the oasis nature that Maupin provides, and the sunny days are plentiful! That’s the secret around here… the gold in our hills is radiating sun! Even on a cloudy day, the shine is creating a perfect environment for wildlife to come to life. And if nature doesn’t tickle your fancy, then maybe another form of gold hunting will.

I have two practical options so you don’t have to sell your assets to start a mining operation!


Richardson Rock Ranch offers a self-lead opportunity to hunt for treasures in their vast central Oregon gem-yard! The 7 mile trip into the high desert private roads takes you toward places to search for Thunder-eggs known as Pony Butte, Blue Bed and Red Rock . What the heck is a thunder-egg anyway? “Thundereggs are agate-filled nodules found in various parts of the Western United States. They range in size from 1/4 inch to as large as 5 feet in diameter. Generally, they are about the size of oranges. All are similar on the exterior, but no two are alike in pattern, design or color on the inside. The most colorful and beautiful of Thundereggs comes from a small area in Jefferson County in Central Oregon (Pony Butte).” It’s only 10 bucks for a carload and they weigh you when you leave, so don’t eat too many;)

The local Native American folklore “of this region are said to have believed these strange, agate-filled stones were missiles thrown by angry, fighting “Thunder Spirits” or “Gods” who dwelt on Mount Jefferson and nearby Mount Hood, two of the several snow-capped peaks high in the Cascade Range. The Native Americans thought when thunderstorms occurred these rival, jealous gods hurled large numbers of the round-shaped rocks at each other in furious anger. Thus, according to Native American legend, Thundereggs were scattered over the high plateaus of Central Oregon.”


Have you ever heard of Geocaching? “Geocaching is the real-world treasure hunt that’s happening right now, all around you. There are 2,591,978 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers worldwide.” ( And all you need to start is a GPS unit (iPhones work too), a passport for the tour and a desire to seek!

Here’s what you might not know about this other form of treasure hunting…Maupin has its our Geo Tour and for a very limited time you can still capture some of that gold! I am especially proud of this tour as its one of the projects I completed in 2012 for the Maupin Chamber of Commerce. The project opened my eyes to the immense wealth of history in the area. During the research, I was taken aback by the pioneers determination and fortitude to persevere. Those traveling along the Oregon Trail (Barlow Cutoff) were surviving in the same conditions we now call home, which stands a city living along the Deschutes river, named Maupin.  The desert conditions have never been easy to live in, and the pioneers passing through this area over 150 years ago just makes me shake my head. Phenomenal!  I am encouraged by folks of the past. I hope you’ll make your way to our rich area and enjoy the bounty. But be kind and minimize your impact…because 150 years from now someone might be writing about your journey through here.

Today, I’m giving a shout out to Rodney Woodside, the Richmond Service Station Owner, who loves to meet new folks passing through town. His station has acted as the Maupin Old Days (GC3WNTV) Cache Steward and I want to thank him for his support! ;)  I replaced the missing cache and added a Travel Bug, too!

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Deschutes Motel
616 Mill St.
Maupin, OR 97037
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