2016 Spring RockHunt Recap

Wow!  It’s been almost a month since the April rockhunts, and I’ve been practicing sleeping in late and being incommunicado .  But now, in a small flurry of activity, I’m going to send out an email!

I had a great time leading all the spring rockhunts, and I think everyone that attended had a good time as well.

I found some incredible agate, especially at the Singleton Ranch and the South Larremore Ranch.  I am very pleased with the variety and quality of agate found at the South Larremore Ranch, and just a little bit puzzled geologically about how it all got there.  But the important thing is that it DID get there, and we can find it in reasonable sizes and quantities for cutting and specimens.  And there’s still some of that ranch to be explored.

I saw lots of old friends and made some new ones.  As usual, we had people fly and drive in from around the United States, including people from Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arkansas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Oregon, and of course all over Texas.  Johnny French brought barbecue for the group and we had a fantastic dinner during the April hunts.

In general, the weather cooperated with us, especially in April.  It had rained earlier on the Larremore Ranch, however, which left the usually-not-difficult creek crossing a muddy mess.  So, twice, we got all hands on deck with shovels and picks, and fixed the crossing so that all the vehicles on the hunt could get across if they chose to.  We also ganged up to pile rocks in holes and fix roads on the Singleton Ranch.

We also took several trips to the Stillwell Ranch.  I was really happy with the agate I found, and the petrified wood was excellent.  You can hunt the Stillwell Ranch on your own if the weather is cool and the roads are dry, but going on a trip with me means I can probably help you find a good spot to hunt and identify what you’ve found in the field, so you don’t pay for rocks you really don’t want.  The fee is very reasonable at 50 cents per pound, and of course I don’t charge anything, so the only big expense is your gas.  And the Stillwell Store has ice cream bars and cold drinks for an after-rockhunt treat.

I’ve also relearned some lessons that I used to know.  I need to take a day off once a week, so that I can catch up on sleep and laundry.  I need to be more clear in my instructions, and I need to have samples and maps for every ranch.

I’m closing up for the summer, and probably won’t have any more field trips til the beginning of October.  I’d appreciate input from y’all about the schedule, since I tried to cluster more rockhunts together in the middle of the month rather than running several weekends a month like I had last year.  Please let me know whether that worked better for you or not, and how you think I can improve the schedules in the future.

I hope to have time to work on the museum this summer, and on the set of photos I’m displaying in my slide show there.  If anyone has some photos of the hunt, or of the material you’ve found, whether rough or processed, and wouldn’t mind having me use them in my slide show, please email them to me.  I’ll add your name and a copyright line for you, and they won’t be used for anything except the slide show in my museum.

Lastly, I’ve been trying to contact Paul Bowman, who came out on the April field trips for the first time, and his email address is rejecting new messages.  If anyone knows him, please tell him to email me!  Thanks!

Regards,

Teri

Complete April Rockhunt Schedule

Hi! Below is the complete April rockhunt schedule, including meeting times and costs. All field trips start at the Antelope Lodge, 2310 W. Highway 90, Alpine. Rollin’ Rock Club membership is required to attend the hunts. Cost is $10 single/$16 dual membership for the rest of 2016.

It also has been brought to my attention that I forgot to update my calendar when I made changes to the schedule. So what’s on my website doesn’t match what’s here. This email is the correct schedule. I hope to have the time to fix the website very soon.

Saturday, 4/9 8 a.m. S. Larremore. Cost $40/person
Sunday, 4/10 8 a.m. S. Larremore. Cost $40/person
Monday, 4/11 7 a.m. E Needle Peak Cost $40/person NOTE 7:00 a.m. MEETING TIME
Tuesday, 4/12 8 a.m. Singleton. Cost $50/person, cash only
Wednesday, 4/13 8 a.m. S. Larremore. Cost $40/person
Thursday, 4/14 7 a.m. Stillwell. Cost: no entrance fee, 50¢/lb of rock taken. NOTE 7:00 a.m. MEETING TIME
Friday, 4/15 8 a.m. S. Larremore. Cost $40/person
Saturday, 4/16 8 a.m. East Needle Peak. Cost $40/person NOTE 7:00 a.m. MEETING TIME
Sunday, 4/17 8 a.m. S Larremore. Cost $40/person
Monday, 4/18 8 a.m. S Larremore. Cost $40/person
Tuesday, 4/19 8 a.m. Singleton. Cost $50/person, cash only
Wednesday, 4/20 8 a.m. Singleton. Cost $50/person, cash only
Thursday, 4/21 8 a.m. Singleton. Cost $50/person, cash only
Friday, 4/22 8 a.m. Singleton. Cost $50/person, cash only
Saturday, 4/23 8 a.m. S. Larremore. Cost $40/person
Sunday, 4/24 7 a.m. East Needle Peak Cost $40/person NOTE 7:00 a.m. MEETING TIME

I went back to the South Larremore Ranch today and did more scouting. There’s lots of neat agate there, scattered over an area that’s at least a square mile in size. Some of the pieces are unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Thanks for all your patience while I got the schedule worked out.

Regards,
Teri

Déjà vu All 0ver Again

I am sorry to announce that, due to circumstances so far out of my control that they might as well be on the moon, the Walker Ranch rockhunt for April, 2016, has been CANCELLED.

I understand that this last-minute cancellation leaves several of you with money already expended for airline tickets which may not be refundable, and reservations for rental cars and lodging, and in Johnny French’s case, a huge order for food for the rockhound barbecue. I apologize for the cancellation and for the late notice, and I appreciate the difficult situation that puts some of you in. The cancellation hits me financially as well, as rockhounds who choose not to make the trip to Alpine will cancel their reservations at the Antelope Lodge.

I will do all I can to make your trip out here wonderful even if we can’t hunt on the Walker Ranch. There are other options to replace the hunts on the Walker Ranch. In February, when the Walker Ranch rockhunt was cancelled, the group from Florida that came out here still had a wonderful time. Besides going to the four ranches I have normally available for rockhunts (the Ritchie, the South Larremore, the Singleton and East Needle Peak) the group wanted to go down to the Stillwell for a hunt there. I had not been there for many years, and was quite pleasantly surprised by the quantity and quality of material found there. A dozen people went to one place for two days and were still finding great stuff on the hillsides near the cars as the sun went down on the second day. The Stillwell Ranch is huge, and there are many other great locations there that probably haven’t been looked at in a while. So the Stillwell is another fun place that we can consider. And I’m working with the contacts I have here to see whether we can get on another ranch that’s usually not open for rockhunting. I will keep you posted.

Here’s what I would like you to do for me: If you were planning to go to the Walker Ranch, please let me know whether you’ll still come out for the trip, and where you’d like to go on the days you were scheduled for the Walker. I’ll try to create a schedule that makes everyone happy.

There is a new location on the South Larremore Ranch that was only starting to be explored in the fall that is really good. It’s probably a half mile from north to south, and three-quarters of a mile from east to west, and has areas that are beds of stones from pea sized to grapefruit sized. Along with regular rocks, these stones include agate, jasper, chalcedony, quartz crystals, flint, chert, occasional fossils, and now and then an artifact. I believe there’s another, similar bed of rocks north of it, but I haven’t had the chance to explore that area yet. I don’t know if I can get there this week, but I’ll let you know.

ALSO, if anyone wants to come a day early, I’ve added a hunt next Saturday, April 9, to the South Larremore Ranch. Please let me know if you’re interested, and we’ll meet at 8 a.m. at the Antelope Lodge.

Lastly, I want you to know that I will work with the owners of the Walker Ranch to ensure that any future hunts are guaranteed to happen as announced. The cancellation of these two hunts has made it clear to me that safeguards need to be put in place to keep such cancellations from occurring in the future.

Regards,

Teri

FINALLY! Teri Smith’s Spring 2016 Rockhunting Schedule

Hi! Below is my spring 2016 rockhunt schedule. You’ll find that it looks quite different from last year’s spring schedule. This is because I’m trying to concentrate on the big events: there’s a special Walker Ranch hunt in February, Spring Break in March, and the Big Bend Agate Roundup in April.

But just because I don’t have something scheduled doesn’t mean that it can’t happen. I should still have some time available to schedule special rockhunts for your vacation dates, especially if you let me know early.

The special February Walker Ranch rockhunt is three days long, and I’ve surrounded it with hunts to the other ranches. In March, I’ve organized the two weeks that Texas kids have for spring break to alternate between half-day hunts meant for kids and new rockhounds, and full-day hunts at the Singleton, South Larremore, and East Needle Peak sites. And the Big Bend Agate Roundup in April is more than two weeks long, and organized so the Singleton Ranch hunts and the Walker Ranch hunts are right next to each other, as several people had requested.

The sooner you let me know of your intention to go on a hunt or hunts, the better. Even if your plans are tentative, I would like to know. There is no penalty on any of the ranches for having to change your plans, even on the day of the hunt. But if a hunt doesn’t have anyone signed up for it a week before it is to happen, I’ll cancel it, and probably make other plans for that day (I have several other projects going on this spring…)

Regards,

Teri

Tuesday, 2/16: South Larremore Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $40 per person.
Wednesday 2/17: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Thursday, 2/18: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Friday 2/19: Ritchie Ranch. Start: 11 a.m. Cost: $5 entrance fee and $1 per lb.
Saturday 2/20: Walker Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $75 per person, 3rd day free.
Sunday 2/21: Walker Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $75 per person, 3rd day free.
Monday, 2/22: Walker Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $75 per person, 3rd day free.
Tuesday, 2/23: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Wednesday, 2/24: South Larremore Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $40 per person.
Thursday, 2/25: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Friday 2/26: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Saturday, 2/27: East Needle Peak. Start: 7 a.m. Cost: $40 per person.

Sunday, 3/6: East Needle Peak. Start: 7 a.m. Cost: $40 per person.
Monday 3/7: Ritchie Ranch. Start: 11 a.m. Cost: $5 per person and $1 per lb.
Tuesday 3/8: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Wednesday, 3/9: Ritchie Ranch. Start: 11 a.m. Cost: $5 per person and $1 per lb.
Thursday, 3/10: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Friday 3/11: Ritchie Ranch. Start: 11 a.m. Cost: $5 per person and $1 per lb.
Saturday 3/12: South Larremore Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $40 per person.
Sunday, 3/13: East Needle Peak. Start: 7 a.m. Cost: $40 per person.
Monday, 3/14: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Tuesday, 3/15: Ritchie Ranch. Start: 11 a.m. Cost: $5 per person and $1 per lb.
Wednesday, 3/16: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Thursday, 3/17: Ritchie Ranch. Start: 11 a.m. Cost: $5 per person and $1 per lb.
Friday, 3/18: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Saturday 3/19: South Larremore Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $40 per person.

Saturday, 4/9: South Larremore Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $40 per person.
Sunday 4/10: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Monday 4/11: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Tuesday 4/12: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Wednesday 4/13: Walker Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $75 per person, 3rd day free.
Thursday 4/14: Walker Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $75 per person, 3rd day free.
Friday, 4/15: Walker Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $75 per person, 3rd day free.
Saturday 4/16: Walker Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $75 per person, 3rd day free.
Sunday 4/17: Walker Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $75 per person, 3rd day free.
Monday, 4/18: Walker Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $75 per person, 3rd day free.
Tuesday, 4/19: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Wednesday, 4/20: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, cash only.
Thursday, 4/21: South Larremore Ranch. Start: 8 a.m. Cost: $40 per person.
Friday 4/22: East Needle Peak. Start: 7 a.m. Cost: $40 per person.

West Texas Weather Predictions

One of the questions many rockhunters have is about the weather here in West Texas. For example, right now (Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015) there’s a forecast of snow and very cold temperatures for Sunday. Here’s my accumulated weather wisdom from living in Alpine for 20 years: Weather forecasts are of very little use in determining what the weather will be for a rockhunt.

First, most of ranches are out between the towns, so you need to get the forecast for two or three places and average them to find out what to expect on the ranches. For the Singleton Ranch, you would average the temperatures between Marfa and Presidio. For the South Larremore Ranch you would average the temperature between Alpine and Terlingua. For the Walker Ranch you would again be between Alpine and Terlingua, but the probable weather would be closer to Alpine’s than Terlingua’s. East Needle Peak is between Terlingua and Big Bend National Park, and the Ritchie Ranch is right in Alpine.

Often, when cold fronts are predicted, they may not reach as far south or north as predicted, so a ranch may have weather that’s 20 or more degrees warmer than predicted. Predicted rain does not happen about half the time (it’s a desert, and the moisture often makes the air humid, but It’s not enough to make it rain), and often when it does rain it’s just sprinkles. And very occasionally it rains when it is not predicted.

All of that means that I can’t count on the weather reports here anymore than you can wherever you live.

So here’s the way I handle the weather: If someone drives all the way to Alpine to go rockhunting, I’ll take them out unless it’s pouring rain, snowing, much colder than freezing, or icy. If there has been rain, the muddy roads can be a problem for access to the better hunting areas on a ranch. Bring all kinds of layers so that you can be comfortable from 20 degrees to 70 degrees, and we can probably make it happen. You may need to wash the mud off of your car and your clothes when you get back, in addition to washing it off the rocks, but you’ll have had a fun day nevertheless!

But if the morning weather looks too bad to go out in, the rockhunt participants can wait an hour or two and see if we can start late, or change ranches if possible to one that’s not affected by the rain/snow/ice/cold. I have had days that started out looking terrible end up just wonderful on the ranch, and vice versa.

So to answer the question: I have no idea what the weather will hold!

Last Minute Gifts: December Rockhunts

Hi! I’ve just set up some rockhunts for this next weekend, at the South Larremore Ranch (Saturday, 12/12, 8 a.m.) and East Needle Peak (Sunday, 12/13, 7 a.m.). Although it’s still mule deer hunting season, these ranches will not have hunters in the area on the days when we’ll be visiting. I know it’s short notice, but I want to offer as may opportunities as possible for rockhunting in 2015.
I also have rockhunts scheduled for the rest of the year:
Wed., 12/16: South Larremore Ranch. Start: 8:00 a.m. Cost $40 per person per day.
Thurs., 12/17: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8:00 a.m. Cost: $50 per person per day.
Fri., 12/18: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8:00 a.m. Cost: $50 per person per day.
Sat., 12/19: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8:00 a.m. Cost: $50 per person per day.
Sun., 12/20: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8:00 a.m. Cost: $50 per person per day.
Mon., 12/21: South Larremore Ranch. Start: 8:00 a.m. Cost $40 per person per day.
Tues., 12/22: Teri’s day off
Wed., 12/23: South Larremore Ranch. Start: 8:00 a.m. Cost $40 per person per day.
Thurs., 12/24: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8:00 a.m. Cost: $50 per person per day.
Fri., 12/25: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8:00 a.m. Cost: $50 per person per day.
Sat., 12/26: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8:00 a.m. Cost: $50 per person per day.
Sun., 12/27: Singleton Ranch. Start: 8:00 a.m. Cost: $50 per person per day.
Mon., 12/28: South Larremore Ranch. Start: 8:00 a.m. Cost $40 per person per day.
Tues., 12/29: East Needle Peak. Start: 7:00 a.m. Cost $40 per person per day.

All rockhunts start at the Antelope Lodge 2310 W. Highway 90, Alpine. To reserve a spot, you can email me at agatehunter@sbcglobal.net, or call me at (432) 386-3431.

Please let me know as soon as you decide that you are coming on a particular rockhunt or set of rockhunts. Even if you are tentatively planning on coming, let me know. If I don’t have anyone signed up for a rockhunt a week before the hunt is to occur, I will cancel the hunt. I may then make other plans for that day and not be available if someone wants me to “un-cancel” the hunt at the last minute.

Also, remember that Rollin’ Rock Club membership is required for all of my rockhunts, and it costs $10 single/$16 dual. If you haven’t joined yet this year, your dues will pay for the rest of 2015 and for the 2016 calendar year.
Regards,

Teri

Last Email before the Big Bend Agate Roundup

Hi! The Big Bend Agate Roundup is almost here! Below is the most current sign-up sheet for the Walker Ranch and the other ranches included in the October Big Bend Agate Roundup. Please let me know if the information about you is not correct.

Last week there was LOTS of rain in the Big Bend. I know for sure that the Ritchie, Walker, Larremore and Singleton Ranches all got very wet. I’m not sure about Needle Peak, but we’ll see about that when we get there. I know they’ve had rain since our last hunt there, so there should be plenty of great agate on the surface for us to find.

AND there’s still time to sign up for the rockhunts… right up to and including the day of the hunt in most cases! There’s also still room at the Lodge for those of you who would like to stay with us in Alpine. And free dry camping at the Walker Ranch if you’re out there to rockhunt!

Remember that the Singleton Ranch needs to be paid in cash, but the Walker Ranch, Ritchie Ranch, South Larremore Ranch and East Needle Peak will accept cash or check. And the Rollin’ Rock club will accept cash or check if you’re not a member, as well.

We’ll be hosting a potluck/sandwich supper on Sunday night, October 25th at somewhere around 6:30 p.m. at the Antelope Lodge in Alpine. Bring your best rocks to show off!

If the information below doesn’t show up well on your email browser, I’ll put it on my website in a day or two so you can get a better view!

Regards,

Teri

2015 OCTOBER Big Bend Agate Roundup

Allison, Linda Walker Ranch: # of People: 3 # of Days: 1 Total Fee: $225 Start Date: 10/25 Fee Rec’d: $0

Backo, John Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date 10/24 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27

Baldwin, Bob Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/23 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27

Bean, Debra Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/23 Fee Rec’d: $150

Budde, Dee Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/23 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27 E.N.P.: 10/28 Singleton: 10/29-10/30

Busch, Richard Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: ? Fee Rec’d: $150

Cannon, Mike & Laura E.N.P.: 10/28

Carswell, Tom & Judy Walker Ranch: # of People: 2 # of Days: 1 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/26 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27 E.N.P.: 10/28 Singleton: 10/29

Caudle, Alan S. Larremore: 10/20

Caudle, David S. Larremore: 10/20

Caudle, Robin S. Larremore: 10/20

Contreras, Michael Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 1 Total Fee: Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $0 S. Larremore: 10/20

Crow, Debbie Walker Ranch: # of People: 3 # of Days: 1 Total Fee: $225 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $0

Dean, Adam Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $0 S. Larremore: 10/20

Edwards, Ron & Lori Walker Ranch: # of People: 3 # of Days: 1 Total Fee: $225 Start Date: 10/26 Fee Rec’d: $225 E.N.P.: 10/28

Falk, Greg Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $150

Fritz, Glen & Patillo, Sue Walker Ranch: # of People: 2 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: $300 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $300

Gazdar, Di Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/23 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27 E.N.P.: 10/28 Singleton: 10/29

Guinn, Larry Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $150

Haffey, Suzanne & David S. Larremore: 11/2 Singleton: 11/1

Hardy, Sandra Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: $75 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $75 Ritchie: 10/19 S. Larremore: 10/20

Johnson, Roger Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/23 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27 E.N.P.: 10/28 Singleton: 10/29-11/1

King, Barry Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: $75 Start Date: 10/25 Fee Rec’d: $75 S. Larremore: 10/27 E.N.P.: 10/28 Singleton: 10/29-30

Kosnick, Robert Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date:? Fee Rec’d: $150

Long, Jay Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $150

Lopez, Fidencio Singleton: 10/31

Martin, Jane Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/23 Fee Rec’d: $150

Messer, Mike Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: $75 Start Date: 10/24 Fee Rec’d: $75

Montgomery, Mark Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $150

Morgan, Marion & Whaley, Kathy Walker Ranch: # of People: 2 # of Days: 1 Total Fee: Start Date: 10/26 Fee Rec’d: $0 S. Larremore: 10/27 Singleton: 10/29

Mounce, Jo & Kevin Walker Ranch: # of People: 2 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/25 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27 Singleton: 10/29, 10/30

Muncee, Tammy & Burge, Pandora Walker Ranch: # of People: 2 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $0

Newberg, Steve Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $150

Newsom, Jim Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: Start Date: 10/22 Fee Rec’d: $150

Noonan, Joe Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: Start Date: 10/24 Fee Rec’d: $0

Norris, Susan S. Larremore: 11/2 Singleton: 11/1

Smith, Linda & sister Ritchie Ranch 10/19

Speck, John Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/23 Fee Rec’d: $150

Spencer, Al Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date:? Fee Rec’d: $150

Steinle, Martha S. Larremore: 11/2 Singleton: 11/1

Tindell, Ed Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 6 Total Fee: $225 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $225

Tirey-Butler, Lisa Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 5 Total Fee: $187.50 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $187.50

Ward, Randy Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 6 Total Fee: $225 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $225

Waugh, Steve Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $150

Welch, Bob Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/24 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27

Wilson, Bob & Yvonne Walker Ranch: # of People: 2 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $300 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $300

Some Observations About the Rocks Found at the South Larremore Ranch

I just sent the following to a rockhound who will be out here next week. It’s about the different rock deposits at the South Larremore ranch, and I thought it might be of interest:

On the Larremore it looks to me as if there are alluvial deposits that came from the area south of the ranch as well as from the north. These deposits from the south are typified by a surface layer of dark brown and white rock: the white being small, angular pieces of calciferous mud or not-quite-limestone, and the brown being a variety of sedimentary rocks (and flint and agate) with a desert varnish. Many of these deposits stick up above the surrounding soil by anywhere from a few inches to several feet, and at the edges show evidence of going down several feet into the soil. Found in these piles are petrified wood (identified by the presence of bark), flint and/or chert, and a variety of nodules similar to those that appear near Needle Peak. In general, these nodules are oval, flat on the top and bottom, with an outside shell of flint/chert/agate and an inside of calciferous mud often hiding fossils. These guys are weird but distinctive. Trey Woodward called them “gargoyles”, but I call them Terlingua Nodules, because they’re found all over the Terlingua area. This is the farthest north that I’ve seen them in any quantity. Interestingly enough, there’s often agate pieces in these deposits, as well: lots of white/blue/grey chalcedony ones, and some pink and red, including red plume, and lots of the yellow/brown moss that’s all over the Big Bend. I have found saginitic agate there, but not pompom as of yet. All of the saginitic agate has been in the red colors, or in the chalcedony nodules.

This is distinctly different from the creek bed material that came from up North via Calamity Creek and Butcherknife Draw. The rock piles from Calamity are at the bottom of the creek bed, generally, and are probably 6 –15 feet below the level of the soil and the deposits mentioned in the previous paragraph. In many places, you can see layers of creek rock in the sides of the draws, down near the bottom of them. These layers are between 1 and 2 feet thick, and the rest of the wall of the draw is soil. These rocks are almost all water-worn, and a mixture of sedimentary and igneous rocks. But in these deposits, there isn’t the calciferous mud or the desert varnished rocks that are in the surface layers, and the rock is just generally different looking, more water-worn and some covered with calciferous mud, but usually not stained. The agate here is often oxidized completely white, but usually you can see a hint of what the color will be inside the stone. There are also very few fossiliferous pieces, and the ones I’ve seen are oyster shell impressions in mudstone. To me, the uneducated observer, these rocks appear to have been deposited long before the other piles appeared, both because of their depth in the soil and because they don’t show the amount of desert varnish that often coats rocks that have been on the surface for a long time.

The creek bed is, of course, a location where these two deposits occasionally overlap. But by and large, each deposit is unique.

Big Bend Agate Roundup

Hi! Below is the most current sign-up sheet for the Walker Ranch and the other ranches included in the October Big Bend Agate Roundup. Please let me know if the information about you is not correct.
AND there’s still time to sign up for the rockhunts… right up to and including the day of the hunt in most cases! There’s also still room at the Lodge for those of you who would like to stay with us in Alpine. And free dry camping at the Walker Ranch if you’re out there to rockhunt!
Remember that the Singleton Ranch needs to be paid in cash, but the Walker Ranch, Ritchie Ranch, South Larremore Ranch and East Needle Peak will accept cash or check. And the Rollin’ Rock club will accept cash or check if you’re not a member, as well.
We’ll be hosting a potluck/sandwich supper on Sunday night, October 25th at somewhere around 6:30 p.m. at the Antelope Lodge in Alpine. Bring your best rocks to show off!
If the information below doesn’t show up well on your email browser, I’ll put it on my website in a day or two so you can get a better view!
Regards,
Teri
2015 OCTOBER Big Bend Agate Roundup
Allison, Linda Walker Ranch: # of People: ? # of Days: 2 Total Fee: ? Start Date: 10/23 Fee Rec’d: $0
Backo, John Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: ? Total Fee: Start Date: Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27
Baldwin, Bob Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/23 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27
Bean, Debra Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: Start Date: ? Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: ?
Budde, Dee Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/23 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27 E.N.P.: 10/28 Singleton: 10/29-10/30
Busch, Richard Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: Total Fee: $150 Start Date: Fee Rec’d: $150
Cannon, Mike & Laura E.N.P.: 10/28
Carswell, Tom & Judy Walker Ranch: # of People: 2 # of Days: 1 Total Fee: 150 Start Date: 10/26 Fee Rec’d: $150
Caudle, Alan S. Larremore: 10/20
Caudle, David S. Larremore: 10/20
Caudle, Robin S. Larremore: 10/20
Contreras, Michael Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 1 Total Fee: Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $0 S. Larremore: 10/20
Dean, Adam Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $0 S. Larremore: 10/20
Edwards, Ron & Lori Walker Ranch: # of People: 3 # of Days: 1 Total Fee: $225 Start Date: 10/26 Fee Rec’d: $225 E.N.P.: 10/28
Falk, Greg Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $150
Fritz, Glen & Patillo, Sue Walker Ranch: # of People: 2 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: $300 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $0
Gazdar, Di Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/23 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27 E.N.P.: 10/28 Singleton: 10/29
Guinn, Larry Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $150
Haffey, Suzanne & David S. Larremore: 11/2 Singleton: 11/1
Hardy, Sandra Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: $75 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $75 Ritchie: 10/19 S. Larremore: 10/20
Johnson, Roger Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/23 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27 E.N.P.: 10/28 Singleton: 10/29-11/1
King, Barry Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: $75 Start Date: 10/25 Fee Rec’d: $75 S. Larremore: 10/27 E.N.P.: 10/28 Singleton: 10/29-30
Kosnick, Robert Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: Total Fee: $150 Start Date: Fee Rec’d: $150
Long, Jay Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $150
Martin, Jane Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: ? Fee Rec’d: $150
Messer, Mike Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: $75 Start Date: 10/24 Fee Rec’d: $75
Montgomery, Mark Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $150
Morgan, Marion & Whaley, Kathy Walker Ranch: # of People: 2 # of Days: 1 Total Fee: Start Date: 10/25 Fee Rec’d: $0 S. Larremore: 10/27 Singleton: 10/29
Mounce, Jo & Kevin Walker Ranch: # of People: 2 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/25 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27 Singleton: 10/29, 10/30
Muncee, Tammy & Burge, Pandora Walker Ranch: # of People: 2 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $0
Newberg, Steve Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $150
Newsom, Jim Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: Start Date: 10/22 Fee Rec’d: $0
Noonan, Joe Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 2 Total Fee: Start Date: 10/24 Fee Rec’d: $0
Norris, Susan S. Larremore: 11/2 Singleton: 11/1
Speck, John Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/23 Fee Rec’d: $150
Steinle, Martha S. Larremore: 11/2 Singleton: 11/1
Tindelll, Ed Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 6 Total Fee: $225 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $225
Tirey-Butler, Lisa Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 5 Total Fee: $187.50 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $187.50
Ward, Randy Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 6 Total Fee: $225 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $225
Waugh, Steve Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $0
Welch, Bob Walker Ranch: # of People: 1 # of Days: 3 Total Fee: $150 Start Date: 10/24 Fee Rec’d: $150 S. Larremore: 10/27
Wilson, Bob & Yvonne Walker Ranch: # of People: 2 # of Days: 4 Total Fee: $300 Start Date: 10/21 Fee Rec’d: $300

Local Rockhound Featured in National Magazine

This is the first of five press releases I wrote to send to local newspapers about the article that was printed in Rock & Gem’s September 2015 issue about me and my rockhunts.  It’s amazing to me that most locals haven’t even heard of rockhunting at all, let alone know what we rockhunters do.  So I decided to try to get the word out…

Local rockhound Teri Smith leads agate hunting field trips on ranches in Brewster and Presidio counties. This activity has brought her some measure of renown in rockhunting circles, and led to a feature article on her and her rockhunts in the September 2015 issue of the national magazine Rock & Gem.

Teri, who with her husband John owns the Antelope Lodge in Alpine, has been leading field trips for over 15 years. Her trips are for children as young as 3 or 4 years old up through mature adults who rockhunt from lawn chairs while seated in the shade.

Texas is a wonderful state for rockhunts, says Teri, because it’s all private land. “In the states west of us, where much of the land is Federal property, there are few collectible rocks left on the surface in many areas. In Texas, however, you can only go rockhunting with the permission of the landowner, and there’s often agate all over the ground at rockhunting sites.”

Texas’ Big Bend is known around the world as an agate collecting location. Some local agate can produce cabochons (domed, polished stones used in jewelry) that are incredibly beautiful. Other pieces make great display specimens just as they are.

Teri’s field trips bring in people from all over Texas and the rest of the United States. People regularly drive or fly in from both coasts to go on her trips. Rockhunts cost between about $20 and $75 per person per day, depending upon the site selected. The fee includes both the entrance to the area and the agate hunters choose to take home. All the fees go directly to the landowner. Teri’s compensation for leading the field trips is to be out on the ranch and collect agate without a charge.

Rockhunting season begins in October and continues through the cooler months until May. Teri runs special rockhunts for kids during school holidays. Twice a year, in October and April, she hosts large groups of rockhunters for what she calls “Big Bend Agate Roundups”. These roundups feature trips to five different ranches, including one that is only open during those times.

If you haven’t been on a rockhunt before, Teri will help you understand what the collectible rocks look like and where to find them. She’ll direct you to areas where the agate is known to be, and help you sort through what you’ve found so you can learn which agate pieces will work for your desired purpose, whether it’s to make jewelry, or to collect specimens or “garden rocks”.

If you’re interested in attending a rockhunt, in hosting rockhunts on your ranch, or just want to see what agate from the Big Bend looks like, you can look at Teri’s website at www.terismithrockhunts.com for more information, or visit her museum in the lobby of the Antelope Lodge, 2310 W. Highway 90, Alpine.