The cold weather is over for a while, and I was out on the Singleton Ranch this last Sunday, on top of Telephone Hill. The rain, ice and snow that we’ve had in the past six weeks has made agate visible everywhere. The grass has not yet begun to grow, and the pickings are very, very good. The same applies at the Ritchie Ranch, and I’m sure it applies to the Walker Ranch as well.
I’ve got Singleton Ranch rockhunts scheduled for the second and fourth weekends in February and March. If you have a chance to come out in February and March, the weather should range from cool to moderate. In other words, just about perfect for rockhunting. The schedule for the Singleton Ranch hunts will be modified in April, when the Walker Ranch hunts occur.
The second and third weeks of March are Spring Break for most schools in Texas. I’m scheduling special hunts for families with kids at the Ritchie Ranch during these weeks. The hunts will be Monday, March 9, and Wednesday, March 11; and again the following week on Monday, March 16, Wednesday March 18, and Friday, March 20. The hunts will be about half a day long, and start at 10 a.m. at the Antelope Lodge in Alpine. For details, look at my website at www.terismithrockhunts.com.
The special April rockhunts will begin on Tuesday, April 14, which is the week of the Gem and Mineral Show in Alpine. There won’t be any hunts the weekend before that because I’ll be out of town for my husband John’s 59th high school reunion in Goliad.
The hunts at the Walker Ranch will probably begin Wednesday, April 15 and continue through Monday, April 20. After that will be hunts to the Singleton Ranch, the Ritchie Ranch and East Needle Peak.
One of the reasons I haven’t finalized the schedule is that I’m looking at a brand-new ranch this weekend. If there is lots of agate on this new ranch, it will impact the schedule for the days after the Walker Ranch hunt. The ranch is located between Highway 118 and Highway 385, close to Santiago Peak, so it may have agate that’s different from any of the other places where I lead field trips. I’ll let y’all know early next week.
This year, another event is also taking place in Alpine on the same weekend as the Gem Show and Walker Ranch Rockhunts. It’s a show at the Museum of the Big Bend entitled Trappings of Texas. It’s been held for many years, but until this year it was in February, concurrent with the Cowboy Poetry weekend. What this means for rockhunters is that lodging in Alpine is going fast. So as soon as you decide that you wish to come out for the rockhunts, consider booking a room.
More to come next week.