Lin Ottinger’s life has been marked from one rock story after another.
Lin first learned of the value of his arrowhead and rock collections as a boy living in Tennessee. Back then he was hulling corn for $10 per week. And as he puts it, “My mom told me I had to get rid of my arrowheads.” By selling his collection to a local barber he learned he could earn more money selling arrowheads than hulling corn.
Lin said selling his arrowhead collection for several hundred dollars enabled him to move to Oregon, where he was a part of a traveling carnival. We didn’t digress too deep into this story, there were just too many rock stories to tell.
Lin came to Moab after he learned at a rock convention that a place called Cane Creek, in a place called Moab has a lot of great Uranium specimens.
He was working on collecting uranium at the time, so he decided to make the trip in 1960. From a fortuitous event of a backhoe driver losing his keys, and Lin having the know-how to hot wire the bacco and get it back on the trailer, he was offered a job. “This was the prettiest place I’d ever seen, and the strangest, So when they offered me a job driving a truck, and my wife a job cooking, we decided to move from Oregon to Moab.
For over an hour Lin took me from one collection to another. He collects tractors, mining equipment, monkey wrenches, bottles, not to mention fossils, minerals, geodes and dinosaur bones. Here is a guy who really likes rocks! How often does Lin go out at 85 to find new specimens? “Every chance I can get, these guys just got me working too hard right now.”
Besides Moab Rock Shop, Lin owns a claim on a copper mine. He also has deals with many private ranches to go collect from their acreage. More facts pour in: Lynn gave slideshows along with his touring company for 30 years taking visitors down into the White Rim area to point out all of the rock formations and dinosaur fossils.
To see our full story about Lin Ottinger, dinosaur hunter, visit Moab Stories.