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

So Just What Exactly is a Rockhunt?

This is the second in a set of press releases I wrote to send to local papers in conjunction with the story on me that was published in the September 2015 Rock & Gem Magazine.

If you go rockhunting with Teri Smith, a rockhunt is a day when you go to a private ranch, accompanied by Teri, to find agate and other collectible rocks to take home with you.

Before you begin your rockhunt, you’ll want to have your vehicle ready for rough roads, dress for a desert adventure, and assemble lunch, drinking water, and simple rockhunting equipment for your group. While you can get to some of the collecting areas in a passenger car, high clearance is needed for most sites, and a 4wd vehicle is ideal.

First thing in the morning, you will meet with Teri and the other rockhunters who are going on the trip with you in the lobby of the Antelope Lodge, 2310 W. Highway 90, Alpine. Teri will have
you fill out some paperwork and collect the landowner’s fee for the rockhunt. She will then tell you the rules for the ranch you’ll be going to, tell you about what types of collectible rocks can be found there, and perhaps take you to her museum to show her examples of what she has found on that ranch on past rockhunts.

You’ll also join the Rollin’ Rock Club, a national group of rockhounds that sponsor Teri’s field trips. The Rollin’ Rock Club is a member of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, and participants in Teri’s rockhunts follow the AFMS rockhunting guidelines.

Teri will explain the route you’ll all take to get to the ranch, and you’ll follow Teri in your own vehicle to get there. Driving times vary from 10 minutes to more than two hours.

Once you arrive at the collecting site, Teri will give you some instructions, advise you of hazards in the area, and show you samples of the agate and other collectible rocks found there. You’ll make arrangements to get back together at some time later in the day, and head off in on your own to hunt for the agate.

If you’re new to agate hunting, you can remain with Teri after the others have dispersed, and she’ll give you hints on what to look for in order to find agate among the other rocks on the ground. In almost all cases, agate will be on the ground or partly covered, and digging is generally not required. Teri will make arrangements to meet with you again in a short time to critique what you’ve found. Then you’ll be off collecting on your own, and meet back with the others at the end of the day.

At the end of the collecting day, you’ll all meet back at the vehicles and compare finds for a while, then Teri will lead the group back out to the paved road. From there, you can follow her back to Alpine, stop along the way to photograph the sunset, or head to another one of the nearby towns for dinner.

Rockhunts are Fun for Visitors, Profitable for Locals

This is the fourth in a series of press releases I wrote to send to local papers along with the September 2015 Rock & Gem magazine.

Rockhunts are a tourist attraction in the Big Bend that have not been well publicized in the past, says Teri Smith, local rockhunting guide. “In the past there were a couple of ranches that were open all the time for rockhunters, but not much beyond that. Now only the Stillwell Ranch open all the time, but I lead periodic field trips that allow rockhunters access to ranches that they would not be able to go to otherwise.”

Although the rockhunts occur in ranches in both Brewster and Presidio counties, all of them begin at the Antelope Lodge in Alpine. This makes it convenient for rockhounds to stay at motels and RV parks in Alpine.

The economic impact of rock hunting can be extrapolated from the number of rockhounds that go on Teri’s field trips each year. In 2014, 175 people came to Alpine to go rockhunting with Teri on local ranches. In addition to representing all parts of Texas, these rockhunters came from 15 states from coast to coast, and from Canada.

The average rockhunter went on 4 field trips, meaning they stayed at least 4 days in the Big Bend.

While most of these visitors came to the Big Bend specifically to go rockhunting, they also visited other tourist destinations, such as Big Bend National Park and Fort Davis National Monument, stayed in local motels, RV parks, and campgrounds, ate in local restaurants, and shopped at local stores.

Others came to the Big Bend for a vacation and decided to try rockhunting while they are here. One day of rockhunting can lead to a lifelong hobby, and many people who go on one of Teri’s trips make their next trip to the Big Bend just for rockhunting.

Rockhunts are scheduled regularly during the cooler months from October until May. Twice a year, Teri hosts the “Big Bend Agate Roundup”, which is two weeks of daily rockhunts. These concentrated rockhunting events are popular enough that more than 30 people have signed up for a specific field trip.

First Signups for Big Bend Agate Roundup

Hi Y’all! We’re starting to get signups for the October Agate Roundup. There’s still space available for all the rockhunts on the schedule. If you don’t have the schedule handy, got to www.terismithrockhunts.com and scroll down to the email dated August 16.

Here’s the list of people I have signed up so far:

Allison, Linda Number of people: ? Walker: 10/23-10/24

Backo, John Number of people: 1 Walker: 10/23-10/26 South Larremore: 10/27

Bean, Debra Number of people: 1 Walker: ? South Larremore: ?

Budde, Dee Number of people: 2 Walker: 10/23-10/26 South Larremore: 10/27 East Needle Peak: 10/28; Singleton: 10/29-10/30

Contreras, Michael Number of people: 1 Walker: 10/21 South Larremore: 10/20

Dean, Adam Number of people: 1 Walker: 10/21-10/23 South Larremore: 10/20

Edwards, Ron & Lori Number of people: 2 Walker: 10/26 South Larremore: 10/27 East Needle Peak: 10/28

Guinn, Larry Number of people: 1 Walker: 10/21-10/23

Johnson, Roger Number of people: 1 Walker: 10/23-10/26 South Larremore: 10/27 East Needle Peak: 10/28 Singleton:1 0/29-11/1

Martin, Jane Number of people: 1 Walker: ?

Morgan, Marion & Whaley, Kathy Number of people: 2 Walker: 10/25 South Larremore: 10/27 Singleton: 10/29

Muncee, Tammy & Burge, Pandora Number of people: 2 Walker: 10/21-10/22

Newberg, Steve Number of people: 1 Walker: 10/21-10/23

Speck, John Number of people: 1 Walker: 10/23-10/25

Tindelll, Ed Number of people: 1 Walker: 10/21-10/26

Waugh, Steve Number of people: 1 Walker: 10/21-10/24

SOME IMPORTANT FINANCIAL DETAILS:

The Walker Ranch portion of the Agate Roundup requires payment of at least half the fee in advance. As an incentive for you to send the complete fee in early, if you send your entire fee postmarked by Wednesday, September 23, and received by Saturday, September 26, you get a free day at the end of your rockhunt. The price is still the same: $75 per person per day, or $150 per person for 3 days. The fourth, fifth and sixth days are $37.50 each. To send your Walker Ranch deposit in, please make a check out to Bryan Crumpton, and send it c/o Teri Smith, 509 N. 8th Street, Alpine, TX 79830.

Here’s what you’ll need to pay before and after the deadline for the extra day:

If Payment In Full Received by 9/26

1 day, 1 person: $75

2 days, 1 person: $75

3 days, 1 person: $150

4 days, 1 person: $150

5 days, 1 person: $187.50

6 days, 1 person: $225

1 day, 2 people: $150

2 days, 2 people: $150

3 days, 2 people: $300

4 days, 2 people: $300

5 days, 2 people: $375

6 days, 12 people: $450

If Payment In Full NOT Received by 9/26

1 day, 1 person: $75

2 days, 1 person: $150

3 days, 1 person: $150

4 days, 1 person: $187.50

5 days, 1 person: $225

6 days, 1 person: $262.50

1 day, 2 people: $150

2 days, 2 people: $300

3 days, 2 people: $300

4 days, 2 people: $375

5 days, 2 people: $450

6 days, 12 people: $525

We’ll need to have a minimum of 20 people who have paid their deposits by September 30 for each weekend in order to have that weekend of the Agate Roundup happen. Right now we have 19 signed up to attend at least one day at the Walker Ranch. We’ve never had a problem getting to the number 20 and beyond, but there is plenty of room for everyone at the Walker Ranch.

The only other limit on the hunts is a maximum number of participants on the South Larremore Ranch. Each hunt will be limited to 20 participants.

You don’t need to send me deposits for the Ritchie Ranch, Singleton Ranch and the East Needle Peak rockhunts. However, you do need to let me know that you are coming on those hunts. If no one signs up for a hunt, I’ll cancel it, so I need to know that you are coming. The Singleton Ranch wants to be paid in CASH ONLY. It would be great if you had close to the exact change of $50 per person per day. The South Larremore Ranch and East Needle Peak can be paid with cash or a check. The Rollin Rock Club can be paid by check at the time of your field trip. I cannot accept credit cards for anything that has to do with rockhunting because our beloved federal government would consider that to be money laundering. There are several ATMs in Alpine that you can get cash from if you need to.

I hope to see a lot of you in October!

Teri