Day 3 includes yet another house in the Portland area. The house is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, but that’s not why most people visit the house. The house is now a museum, the rooms turned into galleries.
If you enjoy natural science then you will adore this museum. If that’s not your thing, then you’ll be really bored here. It really is a museum of pretty much only rocks & minerals.
Technically, it’s called the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals. But, who’s going to say all that? We just call it the Rice Rock Museum or even the Rock Museum.
The Rainbow Gallery is one of our favorites.
Top: In normal light the minerals aren’t all that wowing…
Bottom: … But, wait a few seconds and the lights go out. Then, they cycle through both shortwave & longwave florescent lights. The minerals react differently to the varying wavelengths. They seem to glow.
Recently a letterbox was hidden at the museum. Of course, we had to find it.
Northwest Mineral Gallery
I loved these 3 paintings showing the process of a petrified forest.
Top: “Before Petrification: A forest, including fallen logs is depicted. Volcanoes are erupting in the distance. A lake separates the forest from the volcanoes, and the lakes water cools the lava.”
Middle: “During Petrification: Logs are buried under lava (basalt) and a top layer of soil has developed, implying a long passage of time since burial. The overlying basalt and soil create anaerobic environment preventing the wood from decomposing. Silica rich water seeps down through the soil and basalt to the wood and precipitates microcrystalline quartz (agate/chert/jasper) and/or opal. Other minerals/elements in the water (eg iron) cause the coloration.”
Bottom: “After Petrification: A new landscape exists and erosion has now exposed the now petrified wood to the surface.”
My kids love this Rock Museum. We’ve visited it a few times and I’m sure we’ll visit it again.
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