Gem O Rama

Exactly six months ago Laure, Makoto and I drove to a tiny (emphasis on tiny) town in the Searles Valley for a magical one time a year event called Gem O Rama where you dig and collect gems and go to a big gem show. I took a roll of film on my Ikoflex but had two damn shots left, and the camera sat in my closet for weeks until recently. I didn’t take photos of the actual event as I didn’t want to ruin my camera, but here are some photos of the drive. We gave ourselves lots of time so we could make fun stops along the way. The evening we went to a Benny Hanna-type restaurant in the town where we quickly discovered half of the town’s high school kids were at before going to prom. It was an experience to remember. On the way back we stopped at a not so fabulous apple and pear orchard where we bought rock hard pears and apples the size of walnuts riddled with holes. But it didn’t matter because it was so fun. We drove back on the winding, beautiful Angeles Crest Highway and I thanked my lucky stars to live in the greatest state in America. We already have so very many takers for this year’s trip and I can’t wait to make this a yearly thing.

Photos by Kate Miss, taken with Ikon Ikoflex with Kodak Portra 160 film.


  1. says

    oh that looks so incredible! i really need to get that driver’s license thing i’ve been saying i’ll get…roadtrips (and especially gem-related roadtrips!) are enough to motivate me past my fear of cars i think! provided i don’t wig out and pull a thelma + louise, that is. heh. :)

    ps. that 4th shot is GOLD. please tell me there is a sell-able print in its future?

  2. says

    Lovely, Kate! I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since my last trip to Gem-o-rama, doesn’t feel like it’s been that long at all. Such a haunting landscape, wasn’t it?

  3. says

    I’ve been reading your blog since 2008 or so, and I can’t believe how much you’ve changed since you moved to CA! It’s so fascinating. You seem so so so happy and socially fulfilled. :)

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