Fall 2019 Rockhunts: Maybe We’ll Have a New Ranch to Hunt On!

Those of you who are friends of mine on Facebook have probably heard the sad news, but for those that haven’t, my husband and best friend passed away on August 1, 2019, in Hollister, CA, where we were spending the summer. While Smith had been ill for many years, his death was unexpected.  Emotionally, I have been supported by our four children and four grandchildren, who came from Texas, Ohio, Virginia and England to be here with me.  I’m learning to understand what the word “widow” means in practical terms, and what the future is likely to look like for me.  I’m just hoping that I don’t have to get a real “job”, since that would mean that I couldn’t lead rockhunts on the days when I work.

I intend to come back to Texas in the middle of October and lead rockhunts through the end of November.  However, the Fall schedule is still up in the air because there’s the possibility of a new ranch being available in South Brewster County, near the Stillwell Ranch.  I won’t be able to tell you how good it is until I get there to look around, and that won’t be until October.

So… I can either wait til then to publish the actual schedule, or I can publish it right now with the caveat that the locations may change if this ranch proves to be as spectacular as I believe it will.  What I can tell you for sure is that I will be available to lead fieldtrips on the following dates:

Friday, 10/25 through Sunday, 10/27

Friday, 11/1 through Sunday, 11/3

Friday, 11/15 through Sunday, 11/17

Friday, 11/29 through Sunday, 12/1

If the new ranch proves to be good, I’ll probably add either Thursdays of Mondays to the schedule and go to each of the ranches on one day of the four-day weekend. Let me know by return email whether you’d like me to post a schedule that may change or wait til October to post the names of the ranches I’ll be hunting at each day.

The prices for each ranch is the same as in previous years:

Ritchie Ranch:  $10 admission fee and $1 per lb of cutting agate or good specimens.

South Larremore Ranch:  $50 per person per day.

East Needle Peak:  $40 per person per day.

And Rollin’ Rock Club membership is required.  I’ll hold the memberships and not submit them until December, so they will apply for 2020 as well.  Cost is $10 for a single membership and $16 for a dual membership for the year.

Hope to see you this Fall!  If not, I’ll be back in March and April for what may be my last set of rockhunts.



Rockhunts Start at New Location

Starting immediately, Teri Smith and Teri Smith Rockhunts will no longer be associated in any way with the Antelope Lodge.  Instead, we will start our rockhunts in the parking lot of Little Caesar’s Pizza, which is as the corner of Holland Avenue and Highway 118 (in town it’s called Cockrell St.) in Alpine.
The reason for this change is that a current member of the Antelope Lodge’s staff accosted me in the parking lot of the grocery store, and in the ensuing confrontation said he didn’t want us to meet there anymore, and called me a name I don’t believe I deserved.
This individual’s behavior was upsetting and frightening, and I don’t want any of you to be subjected to the same thing.  Because of this treatment, I ask you NOT to stay at the Antelope Lodge when you come to Alpine for rockhunts.   After we sold the Lodge in December 2017, I continued to start my rockhunts at the Lodge and recommend the Lodge as a place to stay as a courtesy to the new owner, even though rates had been raised quite a bit.  Apparently the new owner does not need or want the revenue generated by rockhounds.
If the staff of the Lodge doesn’t want rockhunters on their property, as I was told, then we ought to take them at their word and go someplace else.
  P.S. Before you cancel any reservations at the Antelope Lodge, make sure you have reservations at another hotel.  April is very busy in the Big Bend, and I wouldn’t want you to cancel your reservation at the Lodge and not be able to find another suitable room.

Finally!  Teri’s Spring 2019 Agate Sale Begins Now

Well, spring is coming, and it’s time for me to start selling my agate collection.  I have not even gotten halfway through a detailed inventory of the whole collection, but I know enough of what’s there to begin selling what I would consider to be some of the most desirable agates in the collection:  those from the ranches now closed to rockhunting.  This means cutting material and specimens from the Walker and Singleton Ranches.

In the Fall, I sent out an email asking those on my email list how they would like to purchase the agates, and almost half of those who responded said they would like to purchase the agate in 5-gallon buckets, unsearched since the time I filled them.  So that’s what I’m going to start with.

Full 5-gallon buckets of Walker Ranch or Singleton Ranch agate will be $250.00 each.  These buckets will contain a mix of cutting material and specimens, but most of the material will be for cabbing or tumbling.  When I filled the buckets, I packed them, so most of them will weigh about 50 lbs., and have a mix of larger and smaller pieces.  If you only want larger pieces that you can slab, these buckets are not for you, since I filled in the spaces left between bigger pieces with tiny ones.  My philosophy is that if you can make a nice cab or tumbled stone out of it, it’s a keeper.  The Walker buckets can also contain a few Native American artifacts or reduction chips, including scrapers of various sizes and materials.

Many of these rocks were collected quite a while ago, while others came from the most recent years when the Singleton and Walker Ranches were open.  Most of the buckets are not marked as to date collected and packed, but some are.  In general, those collected earlier may have bigger pieces in them, since there were more big pieces easily available in the first seasons the ranches were open.  But agates collected later may be of a generally better quality since I learned as I went along and only picked up the best things I found every time I collected.  If you have a desire for material collected early or late, let me know and I’ll try to get you buckets from the time frame you wish.  I can generally tell when things were collected by their location in my yard, even if they don’t have dates on them.

Right now I probably have 30 – 40 buckets from each ranch ready for pickup, out of a total of over 150 buckets from each ranch.  And I still have over 150 buckets where the identifying paint has faded and I’ll have to open them in order to determine what they are. 

I also have buckets available of specimen material from the Walker and Singleton Ranches.  These buckets can contain quartz and calcite crystals, in small and medium pieces, or geodes, saginite and calcite pseudomorphs, tube agates, botryoidal pieces, and pieces of plume or bouquet agate where the background has not yet filled in.  Walker Ranch buckets can also include pieces of a flint-like material that is often pastel and can have very interesting shapes, and perhaps a bit of amethyst. Singleton Ranch buckets may also contain brecciated opal pieces that can be spectacular, and an occasional piece of basalt with tiny bits of moonstone in it.  Specimen buckets are $150.00 each.  

I have one huge specimen lot that came from Telephone Hill on the Singleton Ranch.  It’s a huge botryoidal geode in at least ten major pieces and more than 4 5-gallon buckets of minor ones.  After you put it back together, it will be spectacular!  I’ve figured out how seven of the major pieces go together, basically, and it will have a curved bottom and a diameter of probably 3 to 4 feet.  The colors are blues, grey and white.  The whole thing would make a great display either as separate pieces or put together.  All of it is for sale together for $750.00.

I have also had many requests for geodes, and I have probably 30 5-gallon buckets full of Mexican geodes that I purchased over the years.   They are in sizes ranging from a chicken egg to bigger than an emu egg.   I’m willing to offer these by the pound as well as by the bucket, since not everyone wants a whole bucket of geodes.  But the general consensus was that grandkids loved geodes, so it’s good to always have some around.  I’ll sell any quantity of a pound or more at $3 per lb., no matter what size they are.  Buckets will generally weigh light, because geodes leave a lot of air space, so I’ll just weigh the full buckets and sell the whole bucket at $2.75 per lb. 
I’ve got lots of other categories of agate and other materials in my collection, but I needed to start somewhere.  While the rest of my collection will be available once I have finished my inventory, some other things can perhaps be made available this spring if you let me know in advance so I have time to locate and pack them for sale.   These other things include: agate from all the ranches I currently lead field trips on, and miscellaneous U.S. agate for $200.00 per 5 gallon bucket; agate from Mexico either organized by what it is or where I got it at anywhere from $200 to $600 for a 5-gallon bucket; and large agate and petrified wood pieces (from about 10 lbs to over 400 lbs) at $2 per lb.

And there’s also over a ton of beautiful slag glass in all colors at $6/lb for up to 20 lbs, $5/lb for 21-100 lbs, and $4/lb for 101 lbs and more.   The sooner you let me know what you want, the more likely you are to get it this spring.  Send me an email stating your name, cell number, what you want, and when you are going to come to get it.  I’ll reply letting you know the agate is being saved for you.  You can either pay in advance or when you pick it up.  I’ll accept both cash and checks.
Now, as for delivery:  right now I’m hoping that y’all will come out for rockhunts this spring and pick up your purchases then.   If you can’t do that, please still let me know what you want to purchase, and I’ll put it aside for you.  Perhaps we can make some arrangements for delivery.  My son lives in Kerrville, and he could probably take a bucket or two home with him when he comes to visit, so that might be an option if you live near the Hill Country.  I’m not able to lift a 50-lb bucket, so if y’all need help with moving them, perhaps we can split them into more than one container to lift.
If you have any questions or comments, please email me. 

2019 Spring Rockhunt Schedule

Below is the list of spring 2019 Rockhunts, including those in January which have already been published.

Date Time Trip Location Price
Thursday, 1/24/19 8:00 a.m. Stillwell Ranch 50 cents per lb. of rock you take
Friday, 1/25/19 9:00 a.m. Ritchie Ranch $10 entrance fee plus $1/lb
Saturday, 1/26/19 8:00 a.m. East Needle Peak $40 per person
Sunday, 1/27/19 8:00 a.m. South Larremore Ranch $50 per person
Thursday, 2/7/19 8:00 a.m. South Larremore Ranch $50 per person
Friday, 2/8/19 8:00 a.m. Stillwell Ranch 50 cents per lb. of rock you take
Saturday, 2/9/19 9:00 a.m. Ritchie Ranch $10 entrance fee plus $1/lb
Sunday, 2/10/19 8:00 a.m. East Needle Peak $40 per person
Monday, 2/11/19 8:00 a.m. Stillwell Ranch 50 cents per lb. of rock you take
Thursday, 2/21/19 9:00 a.m. Ritchie Ranch $10 entrance fee plus $1/lb
Friday, 2/22/19 8:00 a.m. South Larremore Ranch $50 per person
Saturday, 2/23/19 8:00 a.m. Stillwell Ranch 50 cents per lb. of rock you take
Sunday, 2/24/19 8:00 a.m. East Needle Peak $40 per person
Wednesday, 2/27/19 8:00 a.m. South Larremore Ranch $50 per person
Thursday, 2/28/19 8:00 a.m. Stillwell Ranch 50 cents per lb. of rock you take
Saturday, 3/9/19 8:00 a.m. South Larremore Ranch $50 per person
Sunday, 3/10/19 8:00 a.m. Stillwell Ranch 50 cents per lb. of rock you take
Thursday, 3/14/19 9:00 a.m. Ritchie Ranch $10 entrance fee plus $1/lb
Friday, 3/15/19 8:00 a.m. East Needle Peak $40 per person
Saturday, 3/16/19 8:00 a.m. South Larremore Ranch $50 per person
Sunday, 3/17/19 8:00 a.m. Stillwell Ranch 50 cents per lb. of rock you take
Thursday, 3/21/19 8:00 a.m. Stillwell Ranch 50 cents per lb. of rock you take
Friday, 3/22/19 9:00 a.m. Ritchie Ranch $10 entrance fee plus $1/lb
Saturday, 3/23/19 8:00 a.m. East Needle Peak $40 per person
Sunday, 3/24/19 8:00 a.m. South Larremore Ranch $50 per person
Thursday, 4/11/19 8:00 a.m. South Larremore Ranch $50 per person
Friday, 4/12/19 8:00 a.m. Stillwell Ranch 50 cents per lb. of rock you take
Saturday, 4/13/19 9:00 a.m. Ritchie Ranch $10 entrance fee plus $1/lb
Sunday, 4/14/19 8:00 a.m. East Needle Peak $40 per person
Thursday, 4/18/19 8:00 a.m. East Needle Peak $40 per person
Friday, 4/19/19 9:00 a.m. Ritchie Ranch $10 entrance fee plus $1/lb
Saturday, 4/20/19 8:00 a.m. South Larremore Ranch $50 per person
Sunday, 4/21/19 8:00 a.m. Stillwell Ranch 50 cents per lb. of rock you take
Monday, 4/22/19 8:00 a.m. Stillwell Ranch 50 cents per lb. of rock you take


As usual, all trips start in front of the Antelope Lodge, 2310 W. Highway 90, Alpine.  To reserve your place on a trip, email me at agatehunter@sbcglobal.net.  Payment for the trip is not due until the morning of the trip.  All the ranches accept cash or check, and the Stillwell also accepts credit cards.  At least one person in your group needs to be a member of the Rollin’ Rock Club to go on the trips.  Cost is $10 per year for a single membership and $16 for a dual membership, purchasable at the time of the trip.

I’ll be out of town until the 18th, so, while I’ll be accepting reservations via email immediately, I may not send you a detailed response until at least the 19th.  Answers to most questions concerning rockhunts are available on my website (really, they are there!).

If no one is signed up for a trip 48 hours before it starts it will be cancelled.  Once cancelled, it can’t be “un-cancelled”.  So be sure to sign up!

Since the Antelope Lodge has changed ownership, the prices have gone up somewhat, and the amenities are different.  But the reservation website name is the same, www.antelopelodge.com.

I hope to see y’all this spring!







Rockhunt Added for 11/12/18 and other items

  1. I’ve scheduled on extra rockhunt for Monday November 12, at 8 a.m., to the South Larremore Ranch. Please let me know if you’d like to attend.
  1. The following rockhunts DO NOT have people signed up for them:

Thursday, 12/13:  South Larremore Ranch  8:00 a.m.

Thursday, 12/20:  East Needle Peak  8:00 a.m.

Friday, 12/21:  South Larremore Ranch  8:00 a.m.

Saturday, 12/22:  Stillwell Ranch  8:00 a.m.

Sunday, 12/23:  Ritchie Ranch  9:00 a.m.

If no one has signed up for these rockhunts two days before they are to occur, they will be cancelled.  Since at least one person has signed up for each of the other rockhunts on my list, they will happen.

  1. As many of you know, I don’t get paid in money to lead the field trips, but I get to pick up rocks. This has resulted in my having a collection of well over 1,000 5-gallon buckets full of agate, specimens, and other rocks.  It’s time for me to downsize my collection to include only the things I’d most like to cut and/or display.  I’d like your opinions and comments about how I can best facilitate the sale of most of my collection of 40,000 lbs of agate, specimens, and other rocks to rockhounds such as yourselves.  The collection is 90% Big Bend material, with the other 10% consisting of saleable, cuttable rock (geodes, lace agate, chevron amethyst, etc.) from the US and Mexico.  I am going through it right now to catalog it completely and decide what I want to keep.

There are five basic ways I can sell the collection:  as a complete collection; by the category; by the bucket as they are; by the bucket after I’ve curated the contents; and by the pound.   This list begins with the least expensive cost per pound and progresses to the most expensive one, because each succeeding option requires more of my time and effort than the previous one, thus adding to the cost.

The material includes just about everything that can be found at the ranches I’ve led rockhunts on, including the Walker and Singleton, which are now closed forever.  There’s material from the Woodward Ranch, and from a couple of ranches that were never opened to the public.  There’s old Mexican material from the estate of a man from Presidio who bought and sold agate by the ton or truckload, and from a couple of other estates of local rockhounds.  There’s some unusual material from the Gila National Forest in New Mexico that I can’t legally sell but can give to those who buy other stuff.  And there’s also over a ton of slag glass.

There are also several methods I can use to sell the rocks:  my website, www.terismithrockhunts; another sales channel like eBay, or the Facebook rock pages; via emails to my email list; or at sales at my home here in Alpine.

I would appreciate you letting me know whether you’d have any interest in purchasing rocks from me, and what option and method would work best for you.  I’ll take all that information into consideration as I decide what to do. Obviously, there’s no obligation on either side…