Singleton Ranch trip report and Walker Ranch rockhunts planned for April!

Singleton Ranch Trip Report.  The January hunts were fantastic!  Before the hunts started, I had the opportunity to do some scouting, and came up with a location that hadn’t been hunted at all.  It’s in the easternmost part of the ranch, and anyone who’s been there with me has driven by it.  It’s a large, flat area that has large pieces of agate scattered across it.  I found two nice-sized chunks of bouquet agate in an hour, along with water level agate, and large botryoidal and crystal specimens.
The locations that we’ve hunted before are also yielding some incredible pieces.  Several large (fist-sized) pieces of bright pink, red, and yellow bouquet agate were found on the big mesa on the northern part of the ranch, along with many, many smaller ones.  Great agate was also found on the bluff on the western side of the ranch, along with the green botryoidal agate and green plumes.
Three of the people who came for the first weekend had so much fun that they came back for the second weekend.  Glen Fritz and Sue Patillo drove back to San Antonio on Monday and came back to Alpine on Thursday.  I did some scouting on the second weekend, too, and found another small patch of bouquet agate in an area that is relatively unexplored.
The next hunt is next weekend: Thursday, February 6th through Sunday, February 9th.  The second rockhunt in February is on a weekend when there’s an event in the Big Bend:  The Cowboy Poetry Gathering.  This means that there are probably no hotel rooms left in Alpine, and very likely none in Marfa, either.    So if you were planning to come to Alpine that weekend, check on accommodations now to see if you can get a place to stay.  If you want to come the third weekend in the month rather than the fourth, perhaps that can be arranged.
Walker Ranch Trip in April.  The 2014 Alpine Gem Show will be April 18th, 19th, and 20th.  The Walker Ranch rockhunt this year will be a six-day hunt, starting on Wednesday, April 16th, and running through the next Monday, April 21.  Sign-ups are starting now, so if you are planning on coming, please email me.  Those who pay their fees prior to March 20 can hunt on Monday, April 21 at no additional charge!
We’ll need to have a minimum of 20 people who have paid their deposits by April 1 for the rockhunt to happen. The price is still the same: $75 per person per day, or $150 per person for 3 days. The fourth and fifth days are $35 each.  Those of you who have been here know that this ranch is certainly worth the price of admission.    If you haven’t been to the Walker Ranch, check out my website,, for information and photos.
Please email me back if you’re interested in hunting at the Walker, at (or reply to this email), and let me know how many people will be in your group. We’d love to have clubs come out at that time! You will be able to dry camp on the ranch if you wish, at no cost.  Your reservation won’t be confirmed until you send a deposit of half the cost of the rockhunt. I’ll send you the details about the deposit once you tell me you are coming.
There will be Singleton Ranch rockhunts during the weekends before and after the Walker Ranch hunt, and if I have any energy left, there’ll also be field trips to the Ritchie Ranch and East Needle Peak.  I’ll publish that schedule soon, so if you have any preferences about where you go on what days, please let me know.
This is going to be a very busy, fun spring, and I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of you out here, finding some of the most beautiful agate in the world!
Regards, Teri

FANTASTIC NEWS! The Singleton Ranch will be open this winter and spring!

Announcing a series of Winter and Spring 2014 field trips to the SINGLETON RANCH in Presidio County.  This is the “ranch south of Marfa” that I have been leading field trips on occasionally during the past few years.  Now, for the first time, I’m able to use the name of the ranch, and to schedule field trips for the entire spring season.

 The field trips will be four-day weekends on the second and fourth weekend of each month from now through May, with the exception of this month, when the field trips will be on the 3rd and 4th weekends.   The last field trip in May will be over Memorial Day weekend, and will be 5 days rather than 4.

Here’s the schedule:

Thursday, January 16, through Sunday, January 19

Thursday, January 23 through Sunday, January 26

Thursday, February 6 through Sunday, February 9

Thursday, February 20 through Sunday, February 23

Thursday, March 6 through Sunday, March 9

Thursday, March 20 through Sunday, March 23

Thursday, April 10 through Sunday, April 13

Thursday, April 24 through Sunday, April 27

Thursday, May 8 through Sunday, May 11

Thursday, May 22 through Monday, May 26

The cost will be $50 per person per day.  That covers the first 5-gallon bucket of material.  Each additional bucket of agate is $40.  Payment must be in CASH ONLY. If you haven’t been out there before, I’ll show you what to look for at the beginning of the day, and if you’re not sure what you should keep at the end of the day, I’ll help you sort out your finds as much as time allows.  Unlike the Walker Ranch, there’s no minimum number of people required for these trips to occur, and I don’t need a deposit in advance.

Rollin’ Rock Club membership is required for these trips!  For those of you who are already members, you can renew your membership for 2014 at the field trip.  If you haven’t joined yet, you can join the RRC at the start of the field trip. The cost is $10 per year for a single membership, and $16 per year for a dual membership.

 The Singleton Ranch is located south of Marfa on Highway 169.  A high-clearance vehicle and confidence in your driving skills are absolutely necessary to get to the collecting sites, and a 4wd vehicle will make your trip much easier.  If you don’t have that type of vehicle, there are places where you can park just off of the main ranch road, and we’ll find someone you can carpool in with.  I can usually fit 1 or 2 people in with me, if I know in advance that I need to get my jeep cleaned up so you’ll have a place to sit. 

 If you haven’t hunted at the Singleton Ranch before, it’s an amazing experience.  There is so much agate out there that in some places you can’t walk without stepping on agate.  Not all of it is agate you’ll want to cut or collect for specimens, but there’s enough incredible bouquet, plume, water-level, moss, and fortification agate out there that you will no doubt find something spectacular.  The bouquet agate is a plume agate where the colors of the plume are pastels, including yellows, oranges, pinks, peaches, reds, and occasional lavenders.   What I’m calling plume is the same stuff, but in the more conventional plume colors of black, grey and white.   Both Matt Dillon and Steve Ivie have great photos of Singleton Ranch agate.  Matt’s is on Flickr at, and Steve’s is at  Of course the photos are of the best agates, and they’ve been cut and some have been polished before being photographed.  Still, they do represent what can be found with a little luck and determination.

Right now there are two major collecting areas, so at least two days of hunting will be required to collect the different types of agate available.  I’ll also be checking out other areas on the ranch for new hunting locations that I haven’t located yet.  The material out there is fantastic, but there may still be other things out there that haven’t been seen for years!

This ranch has been open for hunting on and off for the past several years.  It is my hope and belief that I will be able to continue leading field trips on this ranch every spring from now on.   However, if you haven’t been to this ranch, don’t wait for next year.  Take advantage of the opportunity this spring and see what you’ve been missing!

Also, for those of you planning to come out for the Walker field trip in April, the Singleton trips will be occurring on both the weekend before and the weekend after the Walker trip.  I’m sure I can do a few field trips in between, too, to East Needle Peak and the Ritchie Ranch, but I won’t be able to do those trips every day.  Now and then I’ll need a day off to catch up on my beauty sleep!

The field trips will begin at 8 a.m. each day in front of the office of the Antelope Lodge in Alpine.  Please email me at and let me know when you’d like to come.  For reservations at the Antelope Lodge, use our website at, or call 1 (800) 880-8106.

Looking forward to a great spring,