Spring 2022 Rockhunts Scheduled!

Hi Y’all!  Below is my complete rockhunting schedule for the Spring of 2022.  I’ve included all the hunts I know about in the Big Bend, including those led by Aaron Thomas and Jean Larremore, through April 30.  Both Aaron and Jean are leading hunts in May, but I stopped my calendar at the end of my hunts in order to get it out sooner…

Aaron, Jean and I work independently of each other.  Each of us will be booking our own trips.  Contact information for all of us is here:

Teri Smith’s rockhunts:  email me at agatehunter@sbcglobal.net or teri@terismithrockhunts.com.  If no one has signed up for a rockhunt 48 hours before it’s to start, I will cancel the hunt and make other plans.  But if even just one person signs up, the rockhunt will happen.  If the rockhunt is going to happen, you can just show up at the meeting location and go.

Aaron Thomas’ rockhunts:  email him at texastakeahike@gmail.com, or visit the website www.takeahiketexas.com

Jean Larremore’s rockhunts: email her at jeanlarremore@yahoo.com, or through Facebook messenger.  Please make your reservation with her at least 2 or 3 days before the rockhunt.

I will be sending out another email soon that contains my trip rules and guidelines of what to bring, wear, and do.  Each ranch is a little different, so it’s important to check with the leader of your field tip about unusual circumstances (such as your bringing your pet aardvark along, bringing a bulldozer, or inviting Queen Elizabeth to join us).

I hope to see y’all out here this spring!

Regards,

Teri

Click Here to View Schedule

To rockhunt or not to rockhunt? Is that a question?

Hi y’all!  It’s Fall, and with the cooler weather comes opportunities to hunt for agate and other collectible rocks in the Big Bend Region.

In a “normal” year I’d be attaching a schedule of my field trips to this email.  But 2021 is not a normal year.  COVID is still with us, and it’s still killing people.   And we have no clue to what the long-term aftereffects of even a mild case may be.

I came out to California in May.  Here in California there’s a mask mandate, and the rate of COVID infection is 25 people per 100k.  In Texas, it’s 56 people per 100k.  Since my #1 goal this year is not getting COVID, it makes sense for me to stay where the infection rate is much lower.  So as of now I’ll stay out here.  I’ll check in the middle of October whether the rate in Texas has gone down, and then decide if I’m coming  back for November.

So while I may get back to Texas in time to lead field trips in November, it’s also possible that I won’t come back this Fall and Winter at all. 

By the way, the photo above is from Patrick’s Point State Park in California, where they encourage you to pick up the agate and jade you find on the beach and take it with you. But you have to hike back up a cliff with it, so you end up being quite selective.

Until then, please consider Aaron Thomas’ field trips to the 06 Ranch, the Larremore Ranch, and Needle Peak.  They are wonderful.  I’ve attached his schedule to the bottom of this email and will put it on my website.

I’ll also be selling rocks when I get back there.  I have 400 or so buckets yet to sell or sort through to pick out the best material to sell.   I hope to make several more sorted Singleton buckets and Walker Ranch buckets out of the things I have left.  Then I’ll sort and sell some smaller lots of things and perhaps special individual rocks, and the equipment I decide not to take with me to California.

I hope all of you are healthy and doing well in this unsettled year.   I’ve done some rock hunting in California, and had fun, but a lot of the places I’ve wanted to go have been closed due to the wildfires or the concern that new wildfires could break out and there would be no firefighters left to put them out.  The largest fire, the Dixie fire, is almost a million acres, and has been burning for over two months.

I miss seeing a lot of you and keeping up on what’s going on in your lives, going out with y’all to the beautiful ranches, and getting to see the lovely things you find. But when COVID recedes and we can gather in groups again without concern, the rocks will still be out there, waiting to be discovered.  I look forward to that day. 

Regards,
Teri

Here’s Aaron’s Schedule:

Field Trip Report: 06 Ranch (also called Winn VI Ranch)

Note: For details about attending one of these incredible hunts, see the note at the end of this post.

The hunt at the 06 was amazing.  We drove north of Alpine on 118 for a ways, out onto the flat valley.  We turned right into a dirt road, and drove east on dirt roads for about half an hour.  We stopped at a huge valley with a pipe-and-wire corral in the middle of a lovely set of mountains.  This was a new place Aaron and James had only hunted once before.  The hills were similar in height to the bluffs at the Walker Ranch, and of course steeper in some places than others.  There were outcroppings of basalt here and there.  
 
There were 9 or so rockhunters on the trip (I believe 10 is the limit) and  we were pointed to a hillside about half a mile long.  We could fan out enough that we would have not been able to see each another.  Aaron & James handed each of us a walkie-talkie to use, and since it’s deer season, we were loaned bright fluorescent vests to wear.
 
At the bottom of the hills, there was a field of rocks about grapefruit to football size.  There were agate and quartz crystal pieces in those fields, partly buried in many cases.  As you went up the hills, they got rockier, and in some places there was grass stubble between  the rocks.    Now and then you’d find a patch that had several good sized agates on the surface, and more partially buried.   In between those patches were smaller sized agate and quartz crystal pieces and some small nodules that were interestingly colored and otherwise marked on the outside.  There were lots of worked pieces and evidence of a native American campsite.  We had been advised to go around the campsites when we found them, and although the one I saw was full of broken agate and jasper pieces, there was enough good stuff all over the hills to make it easy to bypass the camp sites.
 
Some of the agate and jasper there looked like material from the Ritchie.  The dominant agate was yellow/gold/brown moss in a background of cream, white, or blue chalcedony. 

The moss patterns varied from filaments of gold in lacy patterns, to larger patches and islands of moss, to patterns as dense as the flower garden moss from the Walker Ranch. There was enough of it on the surface of the part of that hillside where I was hunting  to fill up the beds of several pickups.  And the gold moss was ubiquitous:  you would go into and out of areas with other types of  agate, but you never got far away from the moss agate.
Along with the gold moss on that hillside there was red moss, black plume in cream and blue backgrounds, occasional pieces of red and gold moss, and some really neat stuff that they call “crayola”.  It looks like the opalized agate that we found on the Ritchie, with much smaller opalized bits in a chalcedony background, often in a regular pattern.  There were small and big pieces of that, some partly buried and a lot on the surface.  Many had surface pits that were in a regular pattern, as if there had been filaments of aragonite or another material in the cavity as the agate formed.  Some of the prettiest colors were lavender, maroon and mauve.  I didn’t seen any ‘rind’ on any of the pieces, so they probably came from a large seam somewhere up the mountain.
 
We had 3 hours there and I probably picked up 100 lbs of what I thought was good material.  Aaron wandered around collecting full bags and buckets, which he carried back down to the cars for us.  Since I don’t carry a rock hammer, he helped me get a couple of large pieces of the ‘crayola’ agate out of the ground, then  carried them down for me.  On the way back down to the cars, I followed Aaron to another part of the hill, which was covered with beautiful quartz crystal specimens.  I picked up some individual crystals that were at least 3” long, by far the biggest I’ve found on any of the ranches.  There were lovely crystal on agate specimens sticking out of the ground everywhere!  This was one place where I didn’t mind picking up gold moss agate!
 
I didn’t get to see what everyone else found, so I have no idea what was on the rest of the hill.  We got back to the car a bit late, with Aaron carrying all sorts of nice things for me.  Everyone else on the trip were people I had taken on fieldtrips, and everyone was excited by what they had found.  Some of them were making their second special trip to Alpine from Houston, Schertz and San Antonio to hunt for one exciting day.
 
Then we drove back the way we’d come for a while, and took a different branch of one of the roads.  In about 20 minutes we were at an area that was the other side of the mountain we had hunted before.  The valley we were in now was not very wide, and there was supposed to be good agate basically everywhere. 
 
There was a dry creek in the bottom of the valley, and since I was looking for the ladies’ room, I wandered into the brush in the creekbed.  There were a lot of large pieces of blue chalcedony, some quite vivid, with gold moss or plume in them.   There were different colors of blue and grey in fortification patterns or bands, and one had a red coating inside, all over the botryoidal surface, but only on the surface.  I found several  nice pieces of tube agate:  one was blue with blue quartz crystals on the outside of the tubes, another was blue with black and grey fortification lines at the ends of tubes and then around several tubes.  That one had gold moss that looked like it was in the middle of the tubes on one side that was broken obliquely to the pattern. There were also several small pieces that were spectacular!

Although there was supposed to be agate up on both hillsides of the little valley, I never got very far up the hills.  I stayed in the creek bed for a while, then ventured only a little ways up each hillside.  On one hillside I found several large nodules (the size of one of Johnny’s croissant sandwiches) that were orange or yellow chalcedony throughout  and really big compared to the ones I found at the Ritchie and the Walker.  I also found some pieces off a large seam agate that had a dense pattern that included red, blue, black grey and gold, and appears to have some plume in it. 

It was there that I came across the only annoyance of the day, in the form of an individual bee that wanted me to turn around and leave.  The bee hovered around my face and hands for several minutes until I got the hint.  Since I’m really allergic to bee stings, I took his advice and wandered away from there.   Full grown human:  0, Bee: 1.

The other hillside had some blue botryoidal pieces with crystals, a couple of nice red moss pieces, and my trip rock:  a long, narrow nodule of tube agate with the edges broken off in several places.  The chalcedony at the outer edge of the nodule was stained yellow and orange., and only part of the nodule was filled in around the tubes.  In the lower part of the nodule, which was solid, there were filaments of pink that went to maroon and gold.  The other end of the nodule was quartz crystal covered tubes. 

We hunted there for another 3 hours, got back to the cars at 5 p.m., and the rocks were weighed up.  I had 153 lbs., which included a very large piece of gold moss that was covered on one side with quartz crystals.  If it weren’t for the help of Aaron and James in carrying my rocks back to the vehicle, I wouldn’t have gotten a third as much.

Today as I was washing the rocks and sorting them, I’ve found about 10 lbs. that, in retrospect, I should have left there.  But first thing in the morning you don’t know what you’ll find later, and when you’re finding good stuff and having it carried back to the car for you, you don’t take much time to high grade. 

My total adventure cost $213:  $60 entrance fee and $153 for rocks.  Was it worth it?  Oh yes!  It was exhilarating, hunting on ground that had not been hunted much before.   It will be years before that particular hill runs out of large pieces, and there are hundreds and hundreds of hills on that ranch.  Aaron and James and the other guys that were there to help dig and carry were helpful and nice.  Aaron explained a bit of the geology to us before we started in the morning, and told us where we should find better material.  I’ll admit I didn’t understand much of the geological information he was telling us, but his advice on where to find the good stuff was similar to what we had been practicing on the Walker, Singleton and other ranches.  And the good stuff was indeed there.  I’ve been on a lot of field trips (over 1000 when I quit counting), and this is one I’ll remember for many years.  I’m going back again in 2 weeks.

Regards,
Teri

Note: The rockhunts on the 06 Ranch are being led by Aaron Thomas and James Winn VI. They begin at the Tri-La-Bite food trucks in Alpine. They currently happen only on Sundays, and are limited to 10 rockhounds per hunt. As of publication time, all hunts scheduled through 1/31/21 are full, and a new schedule for the Spring will be published in February. Once that schedule is published, I will try to schedule my rockhunts to other ranches (if indeed I am leading any) around the 06 hunts so you can come out to the Big Bend and go on hunts ion 4 different ranches in 4 days. If you have any questions about the hunts, you can reach Aaron Thomas at noraathomas@msn.com or roadcutgeology@yahoo.com

Help Santa out this year and buy Holiday Gift Rock Buckets from me.

It’s time again to start considering what to give your favorite rockhounds for the holidays.   Obviously, the answer is not just ‘rocks’, or even ‘great rocks’,  but ‘large quantities of great rocks’.  To make your rock shopping easier, I’ve gathered more Walker Ranch cutting agates, and dropped the price on some other categories of rocks.  And, if you order soon,  I can pack them and ship them to you before the holiday rush.  Or, you can come out for rockhunts and pick them up yourself.  Here’s what I’m featuring:

Walker Ranch cutting agate, $250 per bucket.

Walker Ranch and Big Bend Crystal and Botryoidal Specimens, $100 per bucket.

Ritchie Ranch agate, $100 per bucket.

As you may recall, I ran out of buckets of Walker Ranch cutting agate last spring.  However, I’ve figured out a way to gather Walker Ranch agate from a number of different types of buckets (Walker Ranch specimens, Misc. Agate, Misc. Rocks, Cut Ends, agate sorted by color, agate nodules, etc.)   That idea is working well.  I’ve gone through different buckets to find the Walker Ranch agate, and I now have 2 buckets of Walker Ranch agate to sell.    I believe I’ll have perhaps 10 more by the time I’m done.  Although these buckets are not ‘unsearched’, they are full of great stuff!  I’m not holding out any cutting material that I find in the other buckets or anything like that.

Because the Walker Ranch specimen buckets have been raided for Walker Ranch cutting agate, I can’t say they’re ‘unsearched’ anymore, so I’m selling the Walker Ranch ‘searched’  specimen buckets, and many other buckets of crystal and botryoidal specimens, at $100 per bucket.

I’ve also reduced the price on the Ritchie Ranch buckets to $100 each, through the end of the year.

Shipping cost is $50 per bucket.  I take checks, PayPal, and cash.

Regards,

Teri


P.S.  I’ve had people ask me for details of the new ranch Aaron Thomas is beginning to lead fieldtrips on.  I really know nothing about it, except that it’s just north and east of Alpine, and Aaron has shown me photos of wonderful agates that came from there.   If you would like further information, please email Aaron at noraathomas@msn.com, or roadcutgeology@yahoo.com.

COVID Protocols for Rock Hunts

Hi y’all! I’m back in Alpine, Texas, in time to start field trips next week. Before the fieldtrips start, there are a couple of things I’d like to tell y’all about.First, I’ve added a new hunt on Sunday, 11/15 to East Needle Peak. Starts at 8 a.m. at Tri-la-Bite, and is $40 per person. Email me if you wish to attend.Second, for all hunts, COVID protocols will be in place: wear a mask when people are gathered, or when you are carpooling with someone you don’t live with. Wash hands with hand sanitizer (bring your own), and social distance at least 6 feet. I’m afraid that means no hugs! Mask wearing is required for the fieldtrips: you must wear a mask or you don’t go on the field trip. I’m in a high-risk group (age 65, moderate emphysema), and I really want to live through all this so I can have another 35 years or so to rockhunt. Aaron’s a bit younger than I am, so he will have another 60 years of rockhunting ahead of him, which y’all don’t want to miss!

Regards,

Teri and Aaron

Fall 2020 Rockhunt Schedule

I’ve finally got a rockhunt schedule for Fall 2020.  Right now, with COVID and the resulting changes in how things are done, we are fortunate to still have three great ranches available for rockhunting:   The Ritchie Ranch, the South Larremore Ranch, and East Needle Peak.

I’ll be leading my field trips, cycling between all three ranches, each Thursday and Friday in October and November.  Aaron will be leading trips on most Saturdays, October through December.  This will give y’all three days in a row for rockhunting on your trip out to the Big Bend, and you can pick and choose which days you’d like to hunt. I’ll also be leading additional trips now and then,  so if you have a special request, let me know. You can sign up for Aaron’s field trips the same way you sign up for mine:  send me an email with the days you wish to attend, and make sure to include the phone number for a cell phone you’ll have with you.  Both Aaron and I will be leading trips to the South Larremore Ranch.  Aaron’s field trips will be limited to 25 people, and there’s still no limit to the number than can attend my field trips.

 If you haven’t hunted with Aaron, his fieldtrips are different than mine.  He keeps the group together and hunts with you.  He’ll even carry your rocks back to the car.  On my hunts, I give you instructions, make sure everyone knows what they can find, and then you hunt by yourselves until it’s time to get together at the end of the day.  I try to meet with everyone once they’re out hunting, to make sure they’re having fun and finding good stuff.

All field trips will begin at Tri-la-Bite, which is the food truck run by Aaron and his wife Katrina. It’s at the corner of Holland Avenue and Garnett Street in Alpine.  It’s on the left side of the street, across from the Sonic Drive-In.

There will be some protocols in place for extra safety during the COVID pandemic.  I’m asking everybody to wear a mask whenever we’re grouped together, and have your group stand 6 feet away from other groups and me.  Once we’re rockhunting, however, you and your group can remove the masks.

Rollin’ Rock Club membership is still required for my field trips.  Cost is $10 single and $16 for a dual membership.  Membership will run through the year 2021.

Aaron and Katrina have also opened up a rock shop in Alpine, called the Circle T Rock Shop in honor of Aaron’s family’s ranch.  It’s located on the east side of 5th street in Alpine, just north of Holland Avenue.  They’re usually open Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  They also have a Facebook buy and sell group called Circle T Rock shop, https://www.facebook.com/groups/2555173857901636/, where you can buy agate from local ranches by the pound.  And there are lots of other goodies available in their shop.

As for me, I’m still selling agate by the bucket, as listed on my website, www.terismithrockhunts.com.  I’ll get back to Texas at the beginning of October and hunt through lots of buckets to re-sort the material into more single-ranch buckets, especially Walker Ranch buckets.   I’ll be also offering special deals, and going through my studio to see what else I have to offer.  If you aren’t coming out here for field trips, I can mail a bucket of rocks to you for $50.  Last Spring, I mailed more than 150 boxes of rocks via USPS, and every one of them got there in good shape with all of the rocks protected!  A couple of them did take scenic trips around the United States, however, before getting to their new homes.

So here’s the schedule.  Be sure to look at the start time for your field trip because the Ritchie Ranch hunts begin at 9, not 8. That’s  because the drive to the Ritchie Ranch only takes about 8 minutes, so we can still get out hunting by 9:30 or so.

Regards,

Teri and Aaron

Date Location Leader Cost Start Time Requirements
Sat. 10/3 South Larremore Ranch Aaron $50 8:00 Limit of 25 people 
Cash or Check
Tues. 10/6 Ritchie Teri $10
entrance + $1/lb
9:00 Cash or check
Wed. 10/7 South Larremore Ranch Teri $50 8:00 Cash or check
Thu 10/8 East Needle Peak Teri $40 8:00 Cash or check
Fri 10/9 Ritchie Teri $10
entrance
+ $1/lb
9:00 Cash or check
Sat. 10/10 South Larremore Ranch Aaron $50 8:00 Limit of 25 people 
Cash or Check
Thur. 10/15 South Larremore Ranch Teri $50 8:00 Cash or check
Fri. 10/16 East Needle Peak Teri $40 8:00 Cash or check
Sat. 10/17 South Larremore Ranch Aaron $50 8:00 Limit of 25 people 
Cash or Check
Thur. 10/22 Ritchie Ranch Teri $10
entrance
+ $1/lb
9:00 Cash or check
Fri. 10/23 South Larremore Ranch Teri $50 8:00 Cash or check
Sat. 10/24 South Larremore Ranch Aaron $50 8:00 Limit of 25 people
  Cash or Check
Thur. 10/29 East Needle Peak Teri $40 8:00 Cash or check
Fri. 10/30 Ritchie Ranch Teri $10
entrance
+ $1/lb
9:00 Cash or check
Sat. 10/31 South Larremore Ranch Aaron $50 8:00 Limit of 25 people
  Cash or Check
Thur. 11/5 South Larremore Ranch Teri $50 8:00 Cash or check
Fri. 11/6 East Needle Peak Teri $40 8:00 Cash or check
Thur. 11/12 Ritchie Ranch Teri $10
entrance
+ $1/lb
9:00 Cash or check
Fri. 11/13 South Larremore Ranch Teri $50 8:00 Cash or check
Sat. 11/14 South Larremore Ranch Aaron $50 8:00 Limit of 25 people
  Cash or Check
Thur. 11/19 East Needle Peak Teri $40 8:00 Cash or check
Fri. 11/20 Ritchie Ranch Teri $10
entrance
+ $1/lb
9:00 Cash or check
Sat. 11/21 South Larremore Ranch Aaron $50 8:00 Limit of 25 people
  Cash or Check
Wed. 11/25 South Larremore Ranch Teri $50 8:00 Cash or check
Thur. 11/26 East Needle Peak Teri $40 8:00 Cash or check
Fri. 11/27 Ritchie Ranch Teri $10
entrance
+ $1/lb
9:00 Cash or check
Sat. 11/28 South Larremore Ranch Aaron $50 8:00 Limit of 25 people 
Cash or Check
Sat. 12/5 South Larremore Ranch Aaron $50 8:00 Limit of 25 people 
Cash or Check
Sat. 12/12 South Larremore Ranch Aaron $50 8:00 Limit of 25 people 
Cash or Check
Sat. 12/19 South Larremore Ranch Aaron $50 8:00 Limit of 25 people 
Cash or Check
Sat. 12/26 South Larremore Ranch Aaron $50 8:00 Limit of 25 people 
Cash or Check

Rockhunts this Fall, and Rocks For Sale Now

Hi Y’all!  June is upon us, and with it the hot weather.  I’m working on my plan for going to California at the end of June.  My current thought is that I will indeed come back to Texas this Fall to lead more field trips, probably from Mid-October through Thanksgiving, or perhaps all the way til the middle of December.  You can look for a schedule from Aaron and me sometime near the end of August or beginning of September. 

As you know, mandates from the government to ‘shelter in place’ or not travel can indeed cause me to change my plans, but barring something like that, I want to lead trips this Fall to get to see everyone I didn’t get to see this Spring, and have lots of fun picking up agates and other goodies.

Also, I’m still selling rocks by the bucket, and shipping them out.  I’ve sent over 100 boxes of agate and other materials to rockhounds across the country via USPS, and every box has gotten there safely. I still have agate available from the Singleton Ranch ($125 for an unsorted bucket, $250 for a bucket where I’ve sorted two or more buckets together and removed everything that isn’t cutting material). There are a few buckets left of Stillwell Ranch material ($250 per bucket), South Larremore Ranch rocks ($200 per bucket), East Needle Peak rocks ($200 per bucket) and Ritchie Ranch agate ($200 per bucket).  I have mixed agate ($150 per bucket), Agate from Mexico ($175 a bucket) and all kinds of other goodies.  You can look at a complete list of what’s available on my website, at www.terismithrockhunts.com/rocks-for-sale/.   I hope to add selected specimens to the list of things for sale, but I don’t know when I’ll get that done.

If you wish to get your rocks before I head west for the summer, you need to order them by June 15th.  You can either have me save your rocks until you can get out here this Fall, or you can have me pack and mail them to you at the cost of $50 per bucket.

I hope y’all have a good summer and stay well.  See you in the Fall!

Regards,

Teri

Too Hot to Rockhunt? You Can Still Buy Agate by the Bucketfull

For those of you who don’t live in Texas, Friday, May 1 was when some restrictions on travel ended.  Hotels and motels in the Big Bend can open back up at 25% of their capacity, and restaurants can, as well, if they have room for social distancing.  However, the nice spring weather happened while we were sheltering in place, and now it’s pretty much summertime conditions: very hot, often windy, sometimes rainy, with occasional thunder storms which can bring lots of hail, or perhaps a tornado or two.

Because of the weather conditions, Aaron and I have decided that we won’t be leading field trips again until Fall.  We have lots of people tell us that they can take the heat because they’re from the Gulf Coast.   But the heat we have here is very dry heat, and you can get dehydrated here very quickly.  The combination of the elevation, the dryness, and the heat with no shade has sent many people to hospitals with heatstroke over the years, and we won’t lead field trips in conditions which may permanently injure your health (or ours!).

On another topic, my rock sales are going well.  All of the Walker Ranch cutting agate buckets have been sold,  as well as the buckets of agate nodules.  But there’s lots of other good agate still available.  Both the Singleton and Stillwell Ranches are great locations that are not open to the public any more. In my last email, I detailed the reason that I dropped the price on the Singleton Ranch tock buckets, but I’ll repeat it here:  Unlike the Walker Ranch buckets, where I separated specimens and cutting material, the  buckets of agate from the Singleton Ranch are completely unsorted.  That means you’re apt to get specimen material along with the cuttable agate. In order to make sure you feel like you’ve gotten a good deal, I’ve lowered the price of a bucket of Singleton Ranch agate to $125 for an unsorted bucket.  Or you can spend $250 for a bucket where I’ve combined two of the unsorted buckets and removed most of the stuff that won’t cut.

The Singleton material has some bouquet agate in it, and in general those pieces run fairly small.  Many will make only one cab, and to do that you’ll need to hold the piece in your hands while you grind a flat spot to glue the dop stick on.  The colors are usually pastels, and there’s also quite a lot of black and white plume agates there, as well.  There’s also water-level agate, which is where the silica that formed the agate was dissolved in ground water flowing horizontally.  The different minerals in the solution at different time made different color bands, mostly blue, grey, black and white. The bands are absolutely straight, so the material looks great if you cut diagonally across the bands for your cab. There are moss agates and occasional tube agates, and some very neat stuff that is brecciated common opal with a background of chalcedony. The opal can be any color from white through the buff, pink, and red colors into brown, and the chalcedony background  can be clearish, white, light blue, dark blue, or black.  The buckets of Singleton material are  $125 each, since I never separated the specimen material from the cutting material.  Or, I can send you a bucket that I’ve “curated”, taking the best cutting material from two Singleton buckets and putting them into one bucket, for $250.  that saves you shipping cost for the second bucket and doesn’t leave you with a bunch of specimen material you don’t want.
    
 The Stillwell Ranch had a whole bunch of different types of agate, jasper, flint, chert and petrified wood.  Pieces can be quite large:  perhaps the size of a brick.  I am continually surprised at the variety in the Stillwell agate.    In one afternoon a couple of years ago I found agatized petrified wood in nine different color combinations.  The pieces appear not to have grown in the location where they’re found.  There are several hills on the ranch that are actually just giant rock piles, deposited there in prehistory when the Rio Grande was many miles wide.  There are plume agates, mosses, fortifications, tube agates and some others that I can’t begin to describe.  There will also be colorful petrified wood, and perhaps some flint and chert that were exceptional for some reason.  They may have originated any where along the course of the Rio Grande, from Southern Colorado through New Mexico and the Big Bend of Texas.  Because this ranch is now closed to rockhunting, the buckets are $250 each.
 
 The South Larremore Ranch is very interesting.  It has gravel piles sticking up above ground level.  These piles were the bottom of an ancient lake, and they have some incredible agate in them.  It also has the creekbed for Calamity Creek, which is the creek that goes through the former Woodward and Walker Ranches, and picks up pieces of plume agate on its way down.  So there’s material there that looks like what you would find on the Walker and Woodward Ranches, in addition to the pieces in the gravel piles that can look like the spectacular fortification agates from Mexico. There’s also agatized wood, and perhaps some flint and chert that were exceptional for some reason.  Pieces are generally small.  South Larremore Ranch agate is $200 per bucket and the South Larremore Ranch is still open for rochunts in fall, winter and spring.

Feel free to look at my website, http://terismithrockhunts.com/rocks-for-sale/.

for other rocks for sale, and email me if you have any questions.

Regards, Teri & Aaron

Need more rocks? I can help!

Tired of being unable to go outside and hunt rocks?  Would some good agate from the Big Bend help you fight the “stay at home ‘til further notice” blahs?  And what better present for Mother’s Day than a few buckets full of agate?

I’ve spent my quarantine time learning how to successfully ship agate, and reconsidering some of the prices on my agate buckets.  So here are the deals:

FIRST, $50 SHIPPING.  I can send you a bucket’s worth of agate via USPS for $50.  Your rocks will arrive in 3 or 4 days in in 2 large, USPS flat-rate boxes. It takes me an hour or so to pack a bucket’s worth of rocks into the boxes and tape it up with enough filament tape to make sure it will get to you in perfect condition.  So far, I’ve shipped out more than 40 boxes, and all have arrived safely with no damage or loss to the rocks.

SINGLETON RANCH AGATES ON SALE!  Unlike the Walker Ranch buckets, where I separated specimens and cutting material, the  buckets of agate from the Singleton Ranch are completely unsorted.  That means you’re apt to get specimen material along with the cuttable agate. In order to make sure you feel like you’ve gotten a good idea, I’ve lowered the price of a bucket of Singleton Ranch agate to $125 for an unsorted bucket.  Or you can spend $250 for a bucket where I’ve combined two of the unsorted buckets and removed most of the stuff that won’t cut.

OTHER CATEGORIES STILL ON SALE:  In my first email about selling rock buckets, there were several categories of rocks that were at a low price until I could get around to sorting them.   But with the quarantine, people haven’t been able to come out rockhunting and pick up their buckets, so I’ve been spending a lot of my time packing and shipping rocks.  Since I won’t get to sorting those categories of agate anytime soon, the lower prices are still in force.  Those categories are:

Buckets of agate either sorted by color or marked  ‘mixed’ or ’misc’. $150

Buckets of Rocks that Aren’t Agate or Jasper $150

Buckets of agate from Margarita Gardner $175

I have only a couple of buckets of Walker Ranch cutting agate available at $250 per bucket.  I have had the chance to look at the contents of some of these buckets as I packed them, and I was amazed at what wonderful things were in there. Lots of red plume, black plume, flower garden agate, pastel fortification agates, and very amazing moss agates.  There are occasional Native American artifacts (mostly scrapers) in there, too, and a few geodes.  Once these last buckets are gone, there won’t be any more available from me, unless the ranch opens up for rockhunting again in the future.  Better order one right now if you want it!  Those of you who have reserved buckets already don’t have to worry:  I’ll keep them for you until you can get here to pick them up, or decide to have me mail them!

Since it looks like most of us will be staying home for the foreseeable future, these prices will be good through the end of May.  In June,  if we’re free to travel, I’ll go to California for the summer and won’t be back for a while…

I have a lot more types of agate for sale than I‘ve mentioned in this email.   I’ve updated my listing on my website to show the number of buckets of rocks available in each category now.  Some of the smaller categories are sold out.  To see the complete listing follow this link:  http://terismithrockhunts.com/rocks-for-sale/.

Regards,

Teri

All Rockhunts in March and April CANCELLED.

The remaining rockhunts for March and April, 2020, have been cancelled because of the public health directives issued by the Brewster County Judge.

The County Judge in Brewster County, TX (location of all three ranches that I lead field trips on) has expanded the recent Disaster Declaration to include the closure of restaurants, bars, hotels, motels, RV Parks and campgrounds.  Since these necessary services for rockhounds won’t be available, it seemed prudent to cancel the remaining rockhunts for the season at this point.  I had hoped we could avoid this, and if the restrictions are lifted in time, we can reinstate whatever rockhunts are remaining.

I will keep you posted about changes to the existing Declarations.  In the meantime I’m still selling rock buckets.  An inventory of the buckets for sale can be found at http://terismithrockhunts.com/rocks-for-sale/.

For those of you who have at least one bucket of rock reserved in your name, I’m still looking for the least expensive method of shipping the buckets to you.  Will let you know when I find it!

Regards,

Teri Smith

P.S.  If you have a hotel reservation here, you’ve probably heard from your hotel already.  If not, I’d consider calling them.