Singleton Ranch Additional Information

It has been pointed out to me that there were some major holes in my last email.

The cost of the trip is $50 per person per day, and that includes the first 5 gallon bucket of agate.  Additional buckets of agate are $40 each, measured in ¼ bucket increments.

The Singleton Ranch is located south of Marfa on Highway 169. For two of the four hunting locations,a high-clearance vehicle and confidence in your driving skills are absolutely necessary to get to the collecting sites, and a 4wd vehicle will make your trip much easier.  If you don’t have that type of vehicle, there are places where you can park just off of the main ranch road, and we’ll find someone you can carpool in with.  I can usually fit 1 or 2 people in with me, if I know in advance that I need to get my jeep cleaned up so you’ll have a place to sit.

If you haven’t hunted at the Singleton Ranch before, it’s an amazing experience.  There is so much agate out there that in some places you can’t walk without stepping on agate.  Not all of it is agate you’ll want to cut or collect for specimens, but there’s enough incredible bouquet, plume, water-level, moss, and fortification agate out there that you will no doubt find something spectacular.  The bouquet agate is a plume agate where the colors of the plume are pastels, including yellows, oranges, pinks, peaches, reds, and occasional lavenders.   What I’m calling plume is the same stuff, but in the more conventional plume colors of black, grey and white.   Both Matt Dillon and Steve Ivie have great photos of Singleton Ranch agate.  Matt’s is on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/97769244@N00/sets/72157594503307829/, and Steve’s is at http://www.rockhoundingusa.com/rough/marfa/index.html.  Of course the photos are of the best agates, and they’ve been cut and some have been polished before being photographed.  Still, they do represent what can be found with a little luck and determination.

All of my field trips are Rollin’ Rock Club trips.  Those that aren’t members can join at the time of the trip.  the cost is $16 per couple and $10 single, and the membership is good throughout 2014.

Regards,
Teri

There are still two Singleton Weekends Left Before Summer!

Now that the “Great April Rockhunts” are over, we have only one month before I take a vacation from leading field trips during the summer.  And in May, there are two rockhunt weekends on the Singleton Ranch:  May 8 – 11 and May 22 – 26.

The Singleton Ranch has proven to be an incredible place to hunt agate.  Each trip has unearthed great pieces of the bouquet agate, some as large as a baked potato, with huge plumes running the length of the stone!  There are now four different areas in which to hunt, so we usually do one each day for the four days.  The last field trip this month has five days in it (the last day is Memorial Day) so we’ll have to decide whether to revisit one of the sites we’ve been to on that day, or take a chance with someplace new.

As always, I’d recommend staying at the Antelope Lodge.  You can make reservations at www.antelopelodge.com, or (800) 880-8106.

If you can’t make these hunts, we’ll start again in early October.  Either way, you’re going to have a great time hunting at the Singleton Ranch, and you’ll take home some true gems.

Regards,
Teri

This is the Last Email before the April 2014 field trips: PLEASE READ

Below is the schedule for the next couple of weeks of rockhunts.  NOTE THAT THE STARTING TIME FOR THE EAST NEEDLE PEAK ROCKHUNTS IS 6 A.M.  All the other rockhunts begin at 8 a.m.

A couple of notes:  Rollin’ Rock Club membership required for any of my rockhunts.  Cost is $10 single/$16 dual per year.  You can join at the time of your first field trip.

For the Singleton Ranch, you must pay in CASH.  All other field trips, and Rollin’ Rock Club membership, can be paid by check.

I CANNOT ACCEPT CREDIT CARD PAYMENT FOR ANY ROCKHUNTING ACTIVITY.  I also can’t accept checks that combine payments to different parties and are made out to me.   This isn’t just me being picky:  our Federal government considers both those activities to be money laundering.

Thursday, April 10:  Singleton Ranch.  Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. $50/day.

Friday, April 11:  Singleton Ranch.  Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. $50/day.

Saturday, April 12:   Singleton Ranch.  Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. $50/day.

Sunday, April 13:     Singleton Ranch.  Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. $50/day.

Monday, April 14:  Search for Balmorhea Blue Agate on Reeves County Roads.  Led by Johnny French.  Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. Free!

Tuesday, April 15:  East Needle Peak.  Meet 6 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. $40/day.

Wednesday, April 16:  Walker Ranch. Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. Cost depends on # of days.

Thursday, April 17:  Walker Ranch. Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. Cost depends on # of days.

Friday, April 18:  Walker Ranch. Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. Cost depends on # of days.

Saturday, April 19:  Walker Ranch. Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. Cost depends on # of days.

Sunday, April 20:  Walker Ranch. Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. Cost depends on # of days.

Monday, April 21:  Walker Ranch. Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. Cost depends on # of days.

Tuesday, April 22:  Teri’s Day off!

Wednesday, April 23:  East Needle Peak.  Meet 6 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. $40/day.

Thursday, April 24:  Singleton Ranch.  Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. $50/day.

Friday, April 25:  Singleton Ranch.  Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. $50/day.

Saturday, April 26:   Singleton Ranch.  Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. $50/day.

Sunday, April 27:     Singleton Ranch.  Meet 8 a.m. at Antelope Lodge. $50/day.

More details about the hunts will be included in part two of this email!

Regards,

Teri

Singleton Ranch: Cost of $50 per person per day for entrance fee and 1- 5 gallon bucket full of agate.  Additional buckets of agate are $40 each, measured in ¼ bucket increments.  Agate types include bouquet, which is plume in pastel colors; black plume; fortification; moss; and waterline banded.  Specimens of agate, quartz crystals, calcite, and other minerals can also be found.
East Needle Peak: Cost $40 of per person per day for entrance fee and the rocks you pick up.  Agate and jasper types include lots of moss agates, pompom, fortification,
banded and plume. You can also find agatized wood, quartz crystals, calcite,
aragonite, selenite, and many types of fossils, including shark’s teeth and
ammonites.
Walker Ranch: Cost is $75 per person per day during the first three days of your hunt, with the third day free.  Since this is a 6-day hunt, days 4 -6 are $35 each, unless you
pay the full fee before March 20, 2014, in which case Monday 4/21 will be FREE.
On the first day of your hunt, meet me at the Antelope Lodge lobby at 8:00
a.m.  After that, you will be free to come and go as you wish on the days you have paid for.

Also, the Stillwell Ranch is open to individuals on a daily basis for rockhunting. It’s located south of Marathon.  Take Highway 385 south from Marathon and turn left at Ranch Road 2627.  The Stillwell RV park and store will be on the right a few miles down.  They do not charge an “admission fee”, and the rock is 50 cents per pound.  The problem is that there’s no guide, and no one to help you highgrade the rocks you find.  If you know what agate looks like here in the Big Bend, you can do very well there.   If you don’t know what the local agate looks like, please check out my museum of rocks & gems of the Big Bend. It’s located in the lobby of the Antelope Lodge at 2310 W. Highway 90, Alpine.  It’s open whenever the Lodge is open:  usually 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Alpine Agate Festival is Friday, April 18th through Sunday April 20th.  We schedule the Walker Ranch hunt on the weekend of the Agate Festival so that you have more rock-related things to do while in the Big Bend.  I am not associated with the club that puts on the Agate Festival.   That club thinks I am unfairly taking advantage of the timing of their show to host my field trips.  I believe the field trips bring a lot of people to their show who would not come out here at this time otherwise.  So—if you are one of the people who wouldn’t be out here for the show if it weren’t for my field trips, please tell the show chairman or club president that when you go to the show.  Show times are:

Friday April 18 – 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Saturday April 19 – 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sunday April 20 – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Second to the Last Email about the upcoming Field Trips

This is the list of rockhunters scheduled to attend the Walker Ranch rockhunt, which starts on Wednesday 4/16!

I’ll send out another email in the next day or so with any schedule changes, new information, and all those nagging little details I forget until the last minute.

Regards,

Teri

Allen, Randy: 2 people, ? days, $150 paid, Start date:  ?

Backo, John: 1 person, 3 days, $150 paid, Start date:  4/16

Blansett, Mike: 1 person, 2 days, $75 paid, Start date:  4/18

Cantou, Pierre: 1 person, 3 days, $150 paid, Start date:  4/16

David, Ken: 2 people, 1 day, $75 paid, Start date:  4/17

Durning, Matt: 1 person, 3 days, $150 paid, Start date:  4/18

Ellis, Joe: 1 person, 3 days, $150 paid, Start date:  4/16

French, Johnny: 1 person, 6 days, $220 paid, Start date:  4/16

Foegelle, Thomas & Bobbie : 2 people, 3 days, $300 paid, Start date:  4/17

Harmsen, Danny: 1 person, 3 days, $150 paid, Start date:  4/16

Huizinga, Brad: 2 people, 2 days, Not paid, Start date:  4/17

Jordan, Ray & Martha: 2 people, 3 days, $300 paid, Start date:  4/17

Kendall, Jim: 1 person, 3 days, Not paid , Start date:  4/16

Kosnick, Rob: 1 person, 3 days, $150 paid, Start date:  4/18

Lepine, Geof: 1 person, 4 days, $225 paid, Start date:  4/16

Molina, Gilbert: 1 person, 3 days, $75 paid, Start date:  4/18

Moore, Rodney: 2 people, 3 days, Not paid, Start date:  4/16

Mounce, JoAnn & Kevin: 2 people, 6 days, $440 paid, Start date:  4/16

Owens, H. D.: 2 people, 6 days, $440 paid, Start date:  4/16

Polve, Kinney: 3 people, 6 days, $660 paid, Start date:  4/16

Rivet, Ken & Sandy: 2 people, 5 days, $150 paid, Start date:  4/18

Roberts, Terry: 1 person, 6 days, $220 paid, Start date:  4/16

Rupp, Ted & Janet: 2 people, 3 days, $300 paid, Start date:  4/16

Rutledge, Charles: 2 people, 1 day, $150 paid, Start date:  4/16

Sewell, Jack: 1 person, 3 days, Not paid, Start date:  4/16

Smith, Troy: 2 people, 3 days, $300 paid, Start date:  4/18

Sorenson, Jim & Carmen: 2 people, 6 days, $220 paid, Start date:  4/16

Spencer, Al: 1 person, 3 days, $150 paid, Start date:  4/18

Stroud, La Donna: 1 person, 6 days, $220 paid, Start date:  4/16

Terry, Bobby: 1 person, 3 days, Not paid, Start date:  4/16

Tindell, Ed: 1 person, 6 days, $220 paid, Start date:  4/16

Tirey-Butler, Lisa: 1 person, 4 days, $150 paid, Start date:  4/16

Tucker, Jack: 1 person, 3 days, $150 paid, Start date:  4/18

Waugh, Steve: 1 person, 3 days, $150 paid, Start date:  4/16

Welch, Bob: 1 person, 3 days, $75 paid, Start date:  4/16

Wilkerson, Kenneth: 1 person, 6 days, $220 paid, Start date:  4/16

Ward, Randy: 1 person, 5 days, $220 paid, Start date:  4/16

Walker Ranch Rockhunt: 41 People Signed Up So Far!

Here is the list I currently have of rockhounds attending the 6-day Walker
Ranch rockhunt:  Payments reflect everything I’ve received to date.

Allen, Randy:  2 people, 2 days, $150 paid.
Blansett, Mike:  1 person, 2 days, not paid.
Cantou, Pierre:  1 person, 3 days, $150 paid.
David, Ken:  2 people, 1 day, not paid.
Durning, Matt:  1 person, 3 days, $150 paid.
Ellis, Joe:  1 person, 3 days, $150 paid.
French, Johnny:  1 person, 6 days, $220 paid.
Foegelle, Thomas & Bobbie :  2 people, 3 days, payment en route.
Harmsen, Danny:  1 person, 3 days, $150 paid.
Huizinga, Brad:  2 people, 2 days, not paid.
Jordan, Ray & Martha:  2 people, 3 days, $300 paid.
Kosnick, Rob:  1 person, 3 days, not paid.
Lepine, Geof:  3 people, 4 days, not paid.
Molina, Gilbert:  1 person, 3 days, $75 paid.
Moore, Rodney:  2 people, ? Days, not paid.
Mounce, JoAnn & Kevin:  2 people, 6 days, 440 paid.
Rivet, Ken & Sandy:  2 people, 5 days, $225 paid.
Roberts, Terry:  1 person, 6 days, $220 paid.
Rupp, Ted & Janet:  2 people, 3 days, $300 paid.
Smith, Troy:  2 people, 3 days, $300 paid.
Sorenson, Jim & Carmen:  2 people, 6 days, $220 paid.
Spencer, Al:  1 person, 3 days, $150 paid.
Stroud, La Donna:  1 person, 6 days, $220 paid.
Tindell, Ed:  1 person, 6 days, $220 paid.
Tirey-Butler, Lisa:  1 person, 4 days, $150 paid.
Waugh, Steve:  1 person, 3 days, $150 paid.
Welch, Bob:  1 person, 3 days, $75 paid.
Wilkerson, Kenneth:  1 person, 6 days, $220 paid.

It’s certainly not too late to decide to come to Alpine for the wonderful rockhunts scheduled during April.  The schedule is available on my website, www.terismithrockhunts.com, or I can send it to you by email if you request it.  Then just email me at agatehunter@sbcglobal.net to tell me you want to come.

For those that have not paid: Please don’t make your check out to me.  If you do, I’ll have to return it and ask for one made out to Bryan Crumpton.  Since I don’t make any money from the rockhunts, my accountant has advised me not to deposit any checks from rockhunters into my own accounts, as that will cause the IRS to believe that I make money from the hunts.

On the first day that you’re hunting, meet me at 8 a.m. at the Antelope Lodge to sign release forms, and make any additional payments necessary.   Then we’ll go to the ranch as a group.  I’ll give you the combination and show you how to work the lock, then take you to the camping area where you can listen to me tell you how to find the agate and where most of it is.  Then you can come and go on your own.

Remember also that there are great hunts both before and after the Walker Ranch hunt:  The Singleton Ranch, East Needle Peak and the roads of Reeves County.  Look on my website for further information about those hunts!

See you in a month!

Teri

SHAMELESS PLUG for the Antelope Lodge

Please consider making the Antelope Lodge your headquarters during your stay in
Alpine.  My husband and I have owned the Lodge since 1995.  The Lodge is a
restored 1940s motor court, with cottages spaced out over two acres.  The rooms
are not huge, but each one has a kitchenette so you can cook or microwave your
breakfast and snacks, and avoid the rush at the restaurants.  There’s a stone
porch out front of each room, with chairs for you to relax on, and a central
courtyard with grass, picnic tables, barbecues, and a hose to wash off your
rocks with!  If you’re coming out to West Texas to enjoy rockhunting in the
great outdoors, the Lodge is the perfect place to stay!

All the field trips start from the Lodge, and the great Rockhound Barbecue on Sunday, April 20th will be in the courtyard at the Lodge.  As most of you know, I don’t get
paid for leading field trips, and the more rockhounds that stay at the Lodge,
the easier it will be for me to convince my family that I should keep doing the
two-week-long rockhunting extravaganzas I’ve started with this April’s hunts.
You can make reservations at www.antelopelodge.com, or by calling
(800) 880-8106 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Thanks!
Teri

Walker Ranch Rockhunt is a GO!

t’s certainly not too late to decide to come to Alpine for the wonderful rockhunts scheduled during April.  The schedule is available on my website, www.terismithrockhunts.com, or I can send it to you by email if you request it.  Then just email me at agatehunter@sbcglobal.net to tell me you want to come.

Here is the list I currently have of rockhounds attending the 6-day Walker Ranch rockhunt:

Blansett, Mike:  1 person, 2 days, not paid.

Cantou, Pierre:  1 person, 3 days, paid in full.

David, Ken:  1 person, 1 day, not paid.

Foegelle, Thomas & Bobbie:  2 people, 3 days, not paid.

French, Johnny:  1 person, 6 days, paid in full.

Harmsen, Danny:  1 person, 3 days, paid in full.

Huizinga, Brad: 2 people for 2 days, not paid.

Lepine, Geof:  3 people, 4 days, not paid.

Molina, Gilbert:  1 person, 3 days, $75 deposit paid.

Rivet, Ken & Sandy:  2 people, 2 days, not paid.

Roberts, Terry:  1 person, ? days, not paid.

Rupp, Ted:  2 people, 3 days, paid in full.

Smith, Troy & Lenora:  2 people, 3 days, paid in full.

Tindell, Ed:  1 person, 6 days, paid in full.

Tirey-Butler, Lisa:  1 person, 4 days, paid in full.

Waugh, Steve:  1 person, 3 days, paid in full.

Welch, Bob:  1 person, 3 days, not paid.

Wilkerson, Kenneth:  1 person, 6 days, not paid.

For those who have not sent in their deposit, remember that if you send the whole amount, rather than just the half required for a deposit, by next Thursday, March 20, you will get to hunt on Monday, April 21 for free!!

Send the deposit/whole amount in a check made out to Bryan Crumpton, to Teri Smith at 509 N. 8th Street, Alpine, TX  79830.

And for those coming to town early, the rockhunt for Monday, April 14 has been set:  Johnny French will take a bunch of us to hunt for Balmorhea Blue agate on the edges of the county roads near Toyah in Reeves County.  As we will be hunting on the roads, the hunt is free.  We’ll meet at the Antelope Lodge in Alpine at 8 a.m.

I look forward to seeing y’all here for a great set of rockhunts!

Regards,

Teri

 

More Walker Ranch rockhunt information

For our April, 2014, rockhunts, it looks like it will be a wonderful-and tiring
- couple of weeks.   HOWEVER, THERE ARE ONLY ABOUT A DOZEN PEOPLE SIGNED UP FOR
THE WALKER RANCH HUNT, and we need 20 to make the hunt go.  SO, please let me
know if you are coming so that we can meet our quota!  Some of those who have
signed up still need to send in their deposit.  Make a check for half the fee
out to Bryan Crumpton, and send it to Teri Smith, 509 N. 8th Street, Alpine, TX
79830.  OR, if you wish to hunt on Monday, April 21, for free, send the whole
amount for your fee to me by March 20.  In my next email,  I’ll include the list
of signups.

I’ve put up the schedule on my website, but just to make it
easy, here it is:

Thursday, April 10, through
Sunday, April 13
Singleton Ranch Cost $50 per person for entrance fee and 1- 5 gallon bucket full
of agate.  Additional buckets of agate are $40 each.  Agate types include
bouquet, which is plume in pastel colors; black plume; fortification; moss; and
waterline banded.  Specimens of agate, quartz crystals, calcite, and other
minerals can also be found.
Monday, April 14 To Be Determined There may be
a neat field trip happening this day.  Will let you know ASAP.
Tuesday, April
15 East Needle Peak Cost $40 per person for entrance fee and the rocks you pick
up.  Agate and jasper types include lots of moss agates, pompom, fortification,
banded and plume. You can also find agatized wood, quartz crystals, calcite,
aragonite, selenite, and many types of fossils, including shark’s teeth and
ammonites.
Wednesday, April 16, through  Monday April 21 Walker Ranch Cost
is $75 per person per day during the first three days of your hunt, with the
third day free.  Since this is a 6-day hunt, days 4 -6 are $35 each, unless you
pay the full fee before March 20, 2014, in which case Monday 4/21 will be FREE.
On the first day of your hunt, meet me at the Antelope Lodge lobby at 8:00
a.m.
Tuesday, April 22 Teri’s Day Off!! There are several local rockshops to
visit, or you can rockhunt go to the Stillwell Ranch.  If you’re really bored,
you can help me with my chores!
Wednesday, April 23 East Needle Peak Cost $40
per person for entrance fee and the rocks you pick up.  Agate and jasper types
include lots of moss agates, pompom, fortification, banded and plume. You can
also find agatized wood, quartz crystals, calcite, aragonite, selenite, and many
types of fossils, including shark’s teeth and ammonites.
Thursday, April
24, through Monday, April 27 Singleton Ranch Cost $50 per person for entrance
fee and 1- 5 gallon bucket full of agate.  Additional buckets of agate are $40
each.  Agate types include bouquet, which is plume in pastel colors; black
plume; fortification; moss; and waterline banded.  Specimens of agate, quartz
crystals, calcite, and other minerals can also be found.

Remember that
membership in the Rolllin’ Rock Club is required for all my field trips.  The
cost is $10 for a single membership, and $16 for a dual membership for the year
2014.

In other news, the west side of the Woodward Ranch has been sold.
The east side of the ranch is still for sale, as is the Needle Peak location
belonging to the Woodward family.

But the other great ranch that’s been
open to individuals for rockhunting for many years is still open:  the Stillwell
Ranch.    It’s located south of Marathon.  Take Highway 385 south from Marathon
and turn left at Ranch Road 2627.  The Stillwell RV park and store will be on
the right a few miles down.  They do not charge an “admission fee”, and the rock
is 50 cents per pound.  The problem is that there’s no guide, and no one to help
you highgrade the rocks you find.  If you know what agate looks like here in the
Big Bend, you can do very well there.   If you don’t know what the local agate
looks like, please check out my museum of rocks & gems of the Big Bend. It’s
located in the lobby of the Antelope Lodge at 2310 W. Highway 90, Alpine.  It’s
open whenever the Lodge office is open. — usually 9  a.m. to 9
p.m.

Regards,
Teri

Singleton Ranch trip report and Walker Ranch rockhunts planned for April!

Singleton Ranch Trip Report.  The January hunts were fantastic!  Before the hunts started, I had the opportunity to do some scouting, and came up with a location that hadn’t been hunted at all.  It’s in the easternmost part of the ranch, and anyone who’s been there with me has driven by it.  It’s a large, flat area that has large pieces of agate scattered across it.  I found two nice-sized chunks of bouquet agate in an hour, along with water level agate, and large botryoidal and crystal specimens.
The locations that we’ve hunted before are also yielding some incredible pieces.  Several large (fist-sized) pieces of bright pink, red, and yellow bouquet agate were found on the big mesa on the northern part of the ranch, along with many, many smaller ones.  Great agate was also found on the bluff on the western side of the ranch, along with the green botryoidal agate and green plumes.
Three of the people who came for the first weekend had so much fun that they came back for the second weekend.  Glen Fritz and Sue Patillo drove back to San Antonio on Monday and came back to Alpine on Thursday.  I did some scouting on the second weekend, too, and found another small patch of bouquet agate in an area that is relatively unexplored.
The next hunt is next weekend: Thursday, February 6th through Sunday, February 9th.  The second rockhunt in February is on a weekend when there’s an event in the Big Bend:  The Cowboy Poetry Gathering.  This means that there are probably no hotel rooms left in Alpine, and very likely none in Marfa, either.    So if you were planning to come to Alpine that weekend, check on accommodations now to see if you can get a place to stay.  If you want to come the third weekend in the month rather than the fourth, perhaps that can be arranged.
Walker Ranch Trip in April.  The 2014 Alpine Gem Show will be April 18th, 19th, and 20th.  The Walker Ranch rockhunt this year will be a six-day hunt, starting on Wednesday, April 16th, and running through the next Monday, April 21.  Sign-ups are starting now, so if you are planning on coming, please email me.  Those who pay their fees prior to March 20 can hunt on Monday, April 21 at no additional charge!
We’ll need to have a minimum of 20 people who have paid their deposits by April 1 for the rockhunt to happen. The price is still the same: $75 per person per day, or $150 per person for 3 days. The fourth and fifth days are $35 each.  Those of you who have been here know that this ranch is certainly worth the price of admission.    If you haven’t been to the Walker Ranch, check out my website, www.terismithrockhunts.com, for information and photos.
Please email me back if you’re interested in hunting at the Walker, at agatehunter@sbcglobal.net (or reply to this email), and let me know how many people will be in your group. We’d love to have clubs come out at that time! You will be able to dry camp on the ranch if you wish, at no cost.  Your reservation won’t be confirmed until you send a deposit of half the cost of the rockhunt. I’ll send you the details about the deposit once you tell me you are coming.
There will be Singleton Ranch rockhunts during the weekends before and after the Walker Ranch hunt, and if I have any energy left, there’ll also be field trips to the Ritchie Ranch and East Needle Peak.  I’ll publish that schedule soon, so if you have any preferences about where you go on what days, please let me know.
This is going to be a very busy, fun spring, and I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of you out here, finding some of the most beautiful agate in the world!
Regards, Teri

FANTASTIC NEWS! The Singleton Ranch will be open this winter and spring!

Announcing a series of Winter and Spring 2014 field trips to the SINGLETON RANCH in Presidio County.  This is the “ranch south of Marfa” that I have been leading field trips on occasionally during the past few years.  Now, for the first time, I’m able to use the name of the ranch, and to schedule field trips for the entire spring season.

 The field trips will be four-day weekends on the second and fourth weekend of each month from now through May, with the exception of this month, when the field trips will be on the 3rd and 4th weekends.   The last field trip in May will be over Memorial Day weekend, and will be 5 days rather than 4.

Here’s the schedule:

Thursday, January 16, through Sunday, January 19

Thursday, January 23 through Sunday, January 26

Thursday, February 6 through Sunday, February 9

Thursday, February 20 through Sunday, February 23

Thursday, March 6 through Sunday, March 9

Thursday, March 20 through Sunday, March 23

Thursday, April 10 through Sunday, April 13

Thursday, April 24 through Sunday, April 27

Thursday, May 8 through Sunday, May 11

Thursday, May 22 through Monday, May 26

The cost will be $50 per person per day.  That covers the first 5-gallon bucket of material.  Each additional bucket of agate is $40.  Payment must be in CASH ONLY. If you haven’t been out there before, I’ll show you what to look for at the beginning of the day, and if you’re not sure what you should keep at the end of the day, I’ll help you sort out your finds as much as time allows.  Unlike the Walker Ranch, there’s no minimum number of people required for these trips to occur, and I don’t need a deposit in advance.

Rollin’ Rock Club membership is required for these trips!  For those of you who are already members, you can renew your membership for 2014 at the field trip.  If you haven’t joined yet, you can join the RRC at the start of the field trip. The cost is $10 per year for a single membership, and $16 per year for a dual membership.

 The Singleton Ranch is located south of Marfa on Highway 169.  A high-clearance vehicle and confidence in your driving skills are absolutely necessary to get to the collecting sites, and a 4wd vehicle will make your trip much easier.  If you don’t have that type of vehicle, there are places where you can park just off of the main ranch road, and we’ll find someone you can carpool in with.  I can usually fit 1 or 2 people in with me, if I know in advance that I need to get my jeep cleaned up so you’ll have a place to sit. 

 If you haven’t hunted at the Singleton Ranch before, it’s an amazing experience.  There is so much agate out there that in some places you can’t walk without stepping on agate.  Not all of it is agate you’ll want to cut or collect for specimens, but there’s enough incredible bouquet, plume, water-level, moss, and fortification agate out there that you will no doubt find something spectacular.  The bouquet agate is a plume agate where the colors of the plume are pastels, including yellows, oranges, pinks, peaches, reds, and occasional lavenders.   What I’m calling plume is the same stuff, but in the more conventional plume colors of black, grey and white.   Both Matt Dillon and Steve Ivie have great photos of Singleton Ranch agate.  Matt’s is on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/97769244@N00/sets/72157594503307829/, and Steve’s is at http://www.rockhoundingusa.com/rough/marfa/index.html.  Of course the photos are of the best agates, and they’ve been cut and some have been polished before being photographed.  Still, they do represent what can be found with a little luck and determination.

Right now there are two major collecting areas, so at least two days of hunting will be required to collect the different types of agate available.  I’ll also be checking out other areas on the ranch for new hunting locations that I haven’t located yet.  The material out there is fantastic, but there may still be other things out there that haven’t been seen for years!

This ranch has been open for hunting on and off for the past several years.  It is my hope and belief that I will be able to continue leading field trips on this ranch every spring from now on.   However, if you haven’t been to this ranch, don’t wait for next year.  Take advantage of the opportunity this spring and see what you’ve been missing!

Also, for those of you planning to come out for the Walker field trip in April, the Singleton trips will be occurring on both the weekend before and the weekend after the Walker trip.  I’m sure I can do a few field trips in between, too, to East Needle Peak and the Ritchie Ranch, but I won’t be able to do those trips every day.  Now and then I’ll need a day off to catch up on my beauty sleep!

The field trips will begin at 8 a.m. each day in front of the office of the Antelope Lodge in Alpine.  Please email me at agatehunter@sabcglobal.net and let me know when you’d like to come.  For reservations at the Antelope Lodge, use our website at www.antelopelodge.com, or call 1 (800) 880-8106.

Looking forward to a great spring,

Teri