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!