Tuesday afternoons, my boys both have music lessons, which leaves my daughter and I home alone for the afternoon. We took advantage of it to go down and try to pick up some rocks to work on the chess set that I’ve been wanting to carve all winter. So we drove down to Nephi and heading up the Nebo loop. The gate was still closed for winter, but it closes about a quarter mile shy of where I wanted to park anyway, so no biggie. We walked the rest of the way up the road, and headed up to where a rock quarry used to be, ages ago. It is a short walk, and an easy one if you are young and in shape. Not as easy if you are old and/or broken, but still not too bad.
We first started try to work some rock out of a wall that has clearly seen its share of rockhounders over the years. It had 2 types of rock — way too hard to break, and way too soft as it crumbled into tiny pieces. So we quickly gave up on that spot. But the trail had flattened out and went around what clearly used to be the quarry, so we walked its edge and found some nice collections of rocks big enough for our purposes, loaded up the backpack with 50 pounds of them (the daily limit for non-commercial collecting by 2 people on federal land), and started walking back downhill.
I’ll just say that walking a mile or so downhill with 50 pounds of rocks on your back is easier than trying to do it uphill. But I was still glad when we got to the car, and now that it is 2 days later, I still can feel the effort in my legs. Hopefully by later this spring, it won’t seem like such a big deal to do a hike like that.
Yesterday, I started cutting the rocks down to size. I cut the rough pieces for the first half of the white pieces of the set. And that was enough for one day of work. My hope is to have the rough pieces cut out over the weekend, so next week, assuming my wrist injury doesn’t get sent off for surgery, I can start refining them down into actual chess pieces.