After that high of discovering the vein of the then-unknown green phosphorescing mineral (it was willemite. A new mineral for the location!) I decided to host another trip. Unfortunately Jan & Jeff wouldn't be able to come this time around. This automatically made it much more difficult. How confident was I in driving to a remote place I'd only been to once? I had only been there once but I had the GPS coordinates. I decided to continue with the trip anyways. It really came down to the wire this time around. Combine this with the fact that it was raining heavily (flash flood warnings) up until the days before we were going to go collecting. The crew was mostly different this time. Many fresh new faces. I had reached out to people on Facebook and friends of friends. That friend of a friend was Kevin Brady. I had seen him through one of his eBay auctions when I was curious and tried to find out how much the material I was collecting was worth (spoilers: not much!). I saw that the listing mentioned that he was an active FMS member and still takes part. That's when I decided to reach out to him and, to my surprise, he joined this excursion. He was the one that led us to the Princess Pat mine dumps when we all met up. He had been to the mine dozens of times and all of this was a cakewalk for him.
We arrived at around 3:30PM. I decided to organize the trip an hour before sunset because California was experiencing a record two weeks of rain (a drop of water compared to other places I'm sure) and I wanted to make sure everyone had plenty of daylight to see road conditions. We shared stories of past trips, finds, crazy deals we got, upcoming shows - just about every aspect of the hobby as we waited for it to become dark enough. Cliff Jackson even had a portable viewing cabinet with him so that we could easily see fluorescence in the daylight with his Way Too Cool lamp! I definitely need one of those for when I do smaller presentations!
Energy was high once it became dark enough for us to go collecting. I even showed them some of the unknown phosphorescing mineral and everyone including Kevin was amazed. He had never seen anything like it before in his many trips to the Princess Pat Mine. He almost didn't believe me when we were looking at the specimens under Cliff's cabinet. Thought it was hyalite. That was my goal for the night: finding more of that unknown mineral! Possibly sharing some if I found enough to hand out like last time. Unfortunately this is where a comedy of errors begin. I learned one of the biggest lessons as the trip organizer. Don't plan your trip on a full moon! OOPS! Now the moonlight would be competing with our fluorescence. I would comfortably say it beat most of us. All of us were much closer to the ground than we probably should have been considering how we were in rattlesnake and scorpion territory. This coming from the person that brought a 26W homemade lamp. I wasn't quite on the ground but I was in backbreaking low territory. Tammie had a 36W UVTools lamp and even she was constantly on her knees. Kudos to Mr. Don Newsome of UVSystems though on such a focused reflector design. His Superbright II allowed Kevin to comfortably see the fluorescence at normal heights throughout the night. I secretly look forward to the day when shortwave UV LEDs are viable as I hate working with bulbs.
Next goof: my inverter failed. It got cold enough to the point where I wasn't supplying enough voltage to start both of my bulbs. Probably doesn't help that I got a cheap modified sine wave inverter as well. Combine these factors together and I was left empty handed. I left with none of that new phosphorescent material and nothing else interesting because I spent most of my time looking for it. The rest of the group had a great time and left with some very nice specimens so my goal as the organizer was complete. Just not the collector in me...