Rock Stars: Lynch men show their mineral mettle with booksDan Lynch has been surrounded by unique specimens of rocks and minerals his entire life. That’s what happens when your dad is the owner of Agate City in Two Harbors, a seller of the rocks that bring hunters to Lake Superior’s shores each summer.
Dan Lynch has been surrounded by unique specimens of rocks and minerals his entire life. That’s what happens when your dad is the owner of Agate City in Two Harbors, a seller of the rocks that bring hunters to Lake Superior’s shores each summer.
Bob Lynch and his sons, Dan and Bob Jr., have collaborated and produced the book “Lake Superior Rocks & Minerals.” It serves as a photographic field guide describing the different types of rocks found around the lake.
After good reviews of their work, the family is off and running with Bob Sr. and Dan putting out “Arizona Rocks & Minerals” and Dan’s own book, “Rock Collectors Journal,” soon to be released.
Other books the pair is working on focus on rocks and minerals in Colorado and Michigan.
“Growing up in the shop got me interested,” Dan said. “We have sold about 25,000 copies (of the Lake Superior version). It hasn’t been out two years.”
It reached the Barnes & Noble regional best-seller list. Bob Jr. won a “Published Writing Award” from the Lone Star College System for the initial editing of the Superior book.
The Lynch’s writing life started when publisher Adventure Publications was looking for someone to write about the rocks and minerals around the region. Someone passed the Lynch name along.
“That my dad even wanted to write a book caught me by surprise,” said Bob Jr., a journalism instructor for Lone Star College System in Houston. “He’d always been the outdoorsy, hands-on kind of guy, and I was the bookworm type in journalism. But it made a lot of sense because he had all these years of knowledge about rocks and minerals.”
“Dad showed me how to do things all my life, and this was a way I could give back to him as initial editor on the book,” Bob Jr. said.
Dan does the majority of the writing and all of the photography for the field guides.
It’s meant a lot of trips together. “You always go to the state you’re doing,” Dan said.
“Dan and I travel all over,” Bob Sr. said. “We have made several trips to Michigan.”
It takes them five to seven months to finish a book.
“We really wanted to make a book that would cover everything,” Dan said of the first book on Lake Superior.
What is it like working with family on such a comprehensive project? “It’s very easy for the most part,” Dan said. He said sometimes his dad insists he is right and conflicting opinions fly.
In the end, they consider themselves peers in the field. “He can go head to head with any geologist,” Bob Sr. said of Dan. “(Rock hounds) come here and we tell them what it is.”
Where to find agates
Bob Lynch Sr. said some of the best places to find agates along the North Shore this time of year are on Flood Bay (left) and Burlington Bay just north of Two Harbors. The middle of the summer is not a good time because the areas are extensively picked over but storms can bring surprises. “It’s a renewable thing,” Bob Sr. said. He said the agates come out after the erosion of basalt. As for the more expensive agates, he said it takes a lot of experience to spot those.