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.



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. 

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…





Lots of Agate Available for Fall Rockhunts

Jean Larremore will indeed lead trips to on her ranch on Tuesday, October 18 and Tuesday October 25.

This last week, I’ve been on the South Larremore Ranch, the Ritchie Ranch, and the Singleton Ranch.  There’s lots of new agate visible on all three ranches.  We’ve had lots of rain in the last few months, and that’s at least partly responsible for uncovering new pieces.

At the South Larremore Ranch, there were a few muddy spots in the creek bottom, but very few puddles (and all of them were small enough to really call puddles).  The mud at the crossing was too deep and sloppy to attempt the crossing in a car, but we walked across it (after I slipped and fell on my butt, of course).  By the time the day was over, Brian Larremore had used the tractor and made the crossing good enough that we would have been able to drive it.  However, since then it has rained for two solid days here in Alpine, and I have no idea how much rain they got down there.



Fall rockhunt information: Corrections and additions.

  1. The Singleton Ranch accepts only cash.
  1. On the big Fall hunts schedule, I got two of the starting times wrong. They are corrected below:
Th 17 Stillwell Ranch Start Time:  7 a.m.
S 24 Ritchie Ranch Start Time:  9 a.m.

Or, to put it another way, the starting times for all Fall field trips will be:

East Needle Peak and Stillwell Ranch:  7 a.m.

Singleton Ranch, and South Larremore Ranch:  8 a.m.

Ritchie Ranch:  9 a.m.

  1. The Larremore Ranch and the South Larremore Ranch mentioned in the field trip list are the same place. But the South Larremore Ranch is not the same as the old Larremore Ranch that we hunted back in about 2006.  The South Larremore Ranch is very productive with lots of unusual agates in addition to those similar to the Alpine agates and the agates from the Needle Peak area.  If this is confusing, just remember that all the Larremore ranch field trips on the Fall schedule are to the same wonderful ranch.
  1. I neglected to mention in the email that, if no one has signed up for a field trip a week before the date of the trip, the trip will be cancelled. I know this makes it difficult for people who make last-minute trips to the Big Bend, but in previous years I spent a lot of time preparing for field tips just in case someone wanted to attend who hadn’t signed up. My schedule this year is too tight to allow me to do that.

Thank you all for bearing with me.  I’ve only been doing this for 15 years or so.  I should know what to put in an email by now!



Final Schedule for October 2016 Rockhunts

Hi Y’all!  I’ve gotten lots of responses from rockhunters concerning the schedule in October.  Although I had several requests for changes, I had lots of people sign up for most of the trips, so I’ve decided to keep the schedule as it is.   I’ll certainly keep your suggestions in mind for the rest of the Fall schedule, which will be coming out in another email very soon.

The prices for the ranches are also unchanged from last year:  The Ritchie Ranch is $10 entrance fee and $1 per lb. for the agate you take; the South Larremore Ranch is $40 per person if I take you, and $50 per person if Jean or Brian Larremore take you; the Singleton Ranch is $50 per person, which gets you up to a 5-gallon bucket of agate (if you find more it’s $40 per bucket, charged in ¼ bucket increments), and East Needle Peak is $40 per person.  The Stillwell Ranch has no admission fee and charged 50 cents per pound for good rocks. The price for the Rollin’ Rock club membership, which is required for my hunts, is also unchanged at $10 per calendar year for a single membership and $16 per calendar year for a dual membership.  And the price for my guide services is still the same:  free, but you can give me a gratuity if you feel so inclined.

So here’s the October schedule, with the addition of starting times.  All trips begin in front of the office at the Antelope Lodge, 2310 W. Highway 90 in Alpine.  However, if you’re staying someplace that is closer to the hunt site than Alpine is, let me know and I’ll try to make arrangements to meet you someplace along the route.

See you soon,


October, 2016
S 15 Ritchie Ranch Start Time:  9:00 a.m.
Su 16 East Needle Peak Start Time:  7:00 a.m.
M 17 South Larremore Ranch Start Time:  8:00 a.m.
Tu 18 Teri’s day off (maybe South Larremore Ranch?) Start Time:  8:00 a.m.
W 19 Singleton Ranch Start Time:  8:00 a.m.
Th 20 Singleton Ranch Start Time:  8:00 a.m.
Tu 25 Teri’s day off (maybe South Larremore Ranch?) Start Time:  8:00 a.m.
W 26  South Larremore Ranch Start Time:  8:00 a.m.
Th 27 Singleton Ranch Start Time:  8:00 a.m.
F 28 Singleton Ranch Start Time:  8:00 a.m.
S 29 East Needle Peak Start Time:  7:00 a.m.
Su 30 Ritchie Ranch Start Time:  9:00 a.m.
M 31 Stillwell Ranch Start Time:  7:00 a.m.


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!



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.


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.



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.