If you asked Mike: "Why did you open a rock shop?" he'd say something like this: Well, going out fishing wasn't cutting it, so my crazy wife says to me "Let's go find rocks! Let's go Rockhounding! I know a great place in the desert!"
"Yes, Rocks! l know loads about them!"
Laura was born in Vancouver, Washington, the same year and only 50 miles from the famous Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption. With her arrival heralded by the Gods themselves, Laura was fated to be an enthusiast about the physical world around us and the treasures found in our own backyards.
In early life, Laura's mother was a college student, and her maternal grandparents both worked in science-related fields. her grandfather was an engineer, and her grandmother was a registered nurse. In this environment, Laura was always encouraged to pursue her curiosity about science.
Young Laura wore out the video tapes on which her grandparents recorded science shows from PBS. Her favorite was an episode of NOVA, recorded around 1984, about the Mt. St. Helens eruption.
Before she was ever taught in school about volcanoes, she learned more than most of her teachers knew about plate tectonics and the volcanology of the Pacific Northwest. Laura would spend hours going over her grandfather's crushed quartz sidewalks picking out all of the transparent stones as her treasures.
Twelve-year-old Laura dug into her obsession and spent a week at Hancock Field Station in Clarno, Oregon, attending an OMSI camp focused on the fossils of the John Day Fossil Beds. From hikes to the Slanting Leaf Beds in search of fossils from the Clarno formation, to field trips to the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center, Laura soaked up every minute of the experience.
The same year, Laura attended Portland State University's Saturday Academy Program, aimed at delivering a college-level understanding of physical geology to middle and high school students. In addition, Laura placed third in Rock and Mineral Identification in the Science Olympics, a school district-wide event in which students compete for medals and scholarships.
In her teens, Laura volunteered for the Boy Scouts of America and taught her little brother's scout troop their rock and mineral identification badge. Much to her surprise, the parents were more curious than the boys about the geologic origin of the world around them- the boys were more interested in banging the rocks on the table.
At 18, Laura took her first road trip with a friend to revisit spots she had been to in her youth. She visited all of the units of the John Day Fossil Beds, dug leaf fossils from the Bridge Creek Formation behind Fossil High School, and found thundereggs at Richardson's Rock Ranch. In her 20s, Laura continued to collect and study, traveling to the Oregon Coast frequently to gather agates or fossils on the beaches. She devoured books as she could, always searching for new literature to read. In 2008, Laura reunited with and married Mike, whose grandfather had turned him onto rocks as a young man in Northern Idaho. Mike shares Laura's itch for the great outdoors and to escape from the drudgery of their corporate jobs, they would go fishing and eventually, rockhounding - which resulted in opening 'Rock Your World' to share their love of rocks, gems, and all kinds of treasures of the Pacific Northwest with the world.