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
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
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
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.