Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rice Museum

I've been trying to write this post for a solid year now. Why did it take me so long? Beats me. But it's ready now.

We've been to lots of museums in our days. LOTS of museums, good and bad. If I had to name the best 'sleeper museum' (a good one that no one knows about), it would be the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals. That's right, a museum full o' rocks...not rice.

The Rice Museum is actually the old residence of the Rice family. I think those guys had more money than they knew how to use. Their home is VERY extravagant and almost the whole museum is their own personal collection. Above is the front yard of the home. Wowza.

Does anyone else see a quail, or is it just me?

A lone pine on a cliff overlooking a snowy, mountainous landscape? There are a number of these 'variety picture jasper' pieces to play Rorschach with. Last time I went back, I saw one that looked exactly like a desert road winding on forever.

This is Tucker, a fossilized Psittacosaurus baby. This is too awesome to be real.

This lovely piece is the Alma Rose - the centerpiece of the whole museum. Those red rocks are some of the largest pieces of rhodochrosite ever found. This one exhibit is worth a cool million bucks.

 The fact that he's still relatively excited after 90 minutes of rocks is a good thing.

A huge thunder egg (common in Oregon, but not this size) with a pool of opal in the center.

The Eye of Sauron, donated by Mr. F. Baggins.

Last up, there's a dark room in the museum called "The Rainbow Room". It's full of fluorescent rocks and black lights. I love that the rocks still glow even after the lights turn off. 


  1. I think what keeps the kids wanting to come back is the cool gift shop with all those rocks to buy. And of course the rock pile.

  2. That rainbow room is pretty much the coolest thing ever. It's like all the rocks decided to go to a rave or something.