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Lake Michigan Rock Picker's Guide

Bruce Mueller

Publication Year: 2010

Bruce Mueller is the rock expert who brought you the very popular Complete Guide to Petoskey Stones. Bookstores all along Lake Michigan loved that book, but they also expressed many requests for a rock identification guide for Lake Michigan. Here it is. Mueller researched the entire shoreline of Lake Michigan to write this guide to Lake Michigan rocks. This is the perfect guidebook for anyone or any family who walks the beach and wonders, "What is this?" Bruce Mueller is owner of the C&M Rock Shop in Honor, Michigan. He holds a master's in geology from the University of Illinois. William H. Wilde is an avid rock collector.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Title Page and Copyright

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pp. 5-6

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pp. 7-8

In the book The Complete Guide to Petoskey Stones, my co-author, William Wilde, explained how he as a boy had become interested in Petoskey stones. My interest in stones began when I found a slab covered with fossils at the age of eight. Neither I nor my father knew what they were, so we consulted a geology professor at a local college. By the time the professor finished...

Lake Michigan's Rocks

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pp. 9

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Rock Collecting Rules

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pp. 10-12

Keep in mind you are sharing and using the same beaches with many other people. The parks and places mentioned in this book should be treated with respect by following their rules and regulations. The rules for collecting vary from state to state and from park to park. There...

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How Lake Michigan Was Formed

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pp. 13-15

Lake Michigan was created by the Wisconsin ice sheet, the last of the great ice sheets to move out of the north during recent time. One lobe of the ice sheet moved into a river valley that occupied a valley where the lake is today. The valley was there...

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Variety—16 Flavors in a Dixie Cup

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pp. 16-17

On a very warm fourth of July, I was on Old Mission Peninsula off Bluff Road (near Traverse City, Michigan). The beach was sandy and very few rocks washed ashore as the beach faced south east. Prevailing winds can be a factor to rock exposure...

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Just Three Sources for Lake Michigan Rocks

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pp. 18

It’s hard to tell in advance whether a beach will be grassy, sandy or covered with stone; but it’s relatively easy to know what the stone will be if it’s a stony beach. There are just three...

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A Trip around Lake Michigan—Understanding the Bedrock

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pp. 19-36

To start a bedrock trip around the lake, a good place to begin is at the south end of the Big Mac Bridge at the top of the Lower Peninsula (point one on the map). If we start there, we will save the best for last. If you stop at Mackinaw City...

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Rocks Found on Lake Michigan Beaches

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pp. 37-59

Basalt is the hard, black or dark green rock found on the beach. It is almost always overlooked and really has no character. It is the magma that has cooled near the surface. These rocks were prized by local Indians for hammer stones when breaking...

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Lay Man's Rock Identification

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pp. 60-61

Lake Michigan is one of the most unique places in the world to collect rocks. Nowhere else in the world do you find glacial deposits from such a vast area and such variety of local bedrock in one lake. And in a pile, they are confusing (see the picture...

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Walking the Lake Shoreline—Your Legal Rights

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pp. 62

In Michigan, the Supreme Court has recently ruled that the beach, so long as you stay between the low water and high water marks, is not private property but rather accessible to anyone who wishes to walk the beach. Once on the beach, you can walk as far as...

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The Story Behind the Leland Blue and Frankfort Green

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pp. 63-66

One of the most frequently asked “what-kind-of-stoneis- this” questions has to do with blue, green, purple and black glass-like stones found along the lake. These stones are sometimes cut, polished and fashioned into pendants and rings, complete with karat gold mountings, and then sold to tourists and others...

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Tips on Successful Outings

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pp. 67-68

Trees that are leaning into the water from undermining wave action–get inside the branches and look. The rocks will pile up here and most people will not go there. Rocks also tend to pile

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Finding More Petoskey Stones

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pp. 68-70

Petoskey stones are easier to identify in the water, but once you train your eye on what to look for when dry, YOU WILL always find them - wet, dry, lake, gravel pit, driveway… places where hundreds of people look or tens of thousands of people...

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A Quick Guide to Polishing Petoskey Stones

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pp. 70-71

To polish Petoskey stones and other fossils composed of calcite, put them in a rolling tumbler for two days with 600 grit. Take them out, rinse them off and polish them with a cloth buff or an electric...

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How to Pan for Gold

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pp. 71-77

Get a gold pan from a rock and mineral store or from the web. Look for one that has riffles - bars or slats - and a catch hole in the bottom, since these help the gold to separate from other particles more easily. Plastic pans are generally preferred...

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What to Do with Your Rock Collection

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pp. 77-78

Once you have collected these beautiful rocks, what are you going to do with them? Many people leave them in a container stored away. I encourage you to do something with them! Many projects can...


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pp. 88-103

E-ISBN-13: 9780472025770
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472031504

Page Count: 96
Publication Year: 2010

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Subject Headings

  • Michigan, Lake -- Guidebooks.
  • Rocks -- Collection and preservation -- Michigan, Lake.
  • Rocks -- Michigan, Lake -- Guidebooks.
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