Seven years ago, after the deaths of his parents, Coquitlam’s Tracy Sim jumped into a recreational vehicle and drove across North America.
Not only was the three-and-a-half year adventure an escape and a time to heal, it was also a re-discovery of a passion he’d had since his childhood.
Across Canada and the United States, Sim excavated and gathered rocks on permitted properties to find hidden treasures.
He picked up a Thunder egg — formed with rhyolitic volcanic ash — from the Prairies.
In Thunder Bay, he pulled out chunks of purple amethyst.
He found orange-coloured agate in Teepee Canyon in South Dakota and, in Bend, Ore., he got a large piece of black Obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass.
“It was just a wonderful experience,” he said of his trip.
“You stop to dig and find how the Earth creates these amazing colours and designs and patterns. It’s just magical.”
This weekend, Sim will have a display about his journey and finds at a show called Everything Rocks!, the 42nd annual event by the Port Moody Rock and Gem Club — though it's been on hiatus since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
Sim, who joined the club in 2016, will have rocks — including a blue lace agate — that he’s fashioned into jewelry for sale; lapidary from about a dozen other vendors will also be available at the Kyle Centre in Port Moody on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dealers will also be on site to sell fossils and exhibit crystals, rare rocks and fluorescent minerals while visitors can pan for gemstones, see demonstrations, crack a geode and enter to win prizes.
As well, there will be a silent auction for a Port Moody Blue necklace, crafted by club member and workshop manager Geoff Cameron; the gem is a 4.47 carat London Blue topaz and the starting bid is $200 for the piece that’s valued at $350.
Started as the Port Coquitlam Lapidary Club in 1967 by Bill Meakin, the organization moved to Port Moody in 1978 when the newly constructed Kyle Centre opened with a workshop room.
Today, it boasts members from across the Tri-Cities and takes part in field trips in the Lower Mainland.
Its annual show is a good way to trade rocks and share knowledge, Sim said.
“And it’s a great opportunity to purchase early Christmas presents, too,” he said.
Entry to Everything Rocks! is by donation on Oct. 14 and 15 at the Kyle Centre (125 Kyle St., Port Moody). Visit the club website for membership details.