Salt from Namibia, Afghanistan, and Ochoco

Elena has been trying to send me a birthday presents for weeks. Today it arrived. It was a heavy package, the shape of a large lump of charcoal. I unwrapped it. Thick grease covered the inner wrapping. It smelled like a half baked swamp.

But inside was a pristine lump of fresh crystalized salt!

In a strange coincidence of events, my father sent me from Afghanistan military grade gatorade...

... and I have just returned last week from a mineral scouting expedition.

Left to right; chalcedony colored from red cinnabar; the more common crystaline chalcedony; a fossilized leaf from the town of Fossil.