My apologies to everyone for not emailing you sooner concerning rockhunts this fall and winter. I’ve been working on several projects, which are, of course, proceeding more slowly than I had planned. For the last few months I’ve been waiting for an appointment that will finally happen at the end of this month. After that there will need to be more appointments, each with a number of variables which can go wrong, thus pushing back schedules even farther.
I was going to wait to send this email until I had something solid to tell you about my rockhunt schedule, and what I have is a lot of conjecture and an inability to plan a schedule for fall and winter.
So the only thing ‘solid’ in my schedule is that I won’t be leading rockhunts this fall, and probably not this winter, either. Unless things change materially, however, I will be leading rockhunts next March and April.
Aaron Thomas and Jean Larremore are leading hunts in the Big Bend region this Fall and winter. You can get ahold of them through the Facebook group “Texas Rockhounds” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/775245782823113). You can PM them on Facebook and get an answer fairly quickly. I recommend them highly. You’ll have a great time and find great rocks whenever you go with them.
I miss seeing y’all back there, and I hope to see a lot of you when I’m there in the Spring. As I’ve done in the past few years, I’ll be holding my hunts Thursdays, Fridays, and Mondays, which are usually the days when neither Aaron nor Jean has another hunt. That way you can have a longer set of hunts and not have to choose between two ranches on any given day.
I’ll still be leading hunts to the Ritchie Ranch, the South Larremore Ranch, and East Needle Peak.
I’ll also have buckets of agate for sale. I’ve got about 400 buckets left, so there ought to be something you’d like to have in that selection. Since I’m not in Texas, I don’t have access to the buckets right now to show you photos or sell you something. I can, however, update my online inventory, and I hope to do that in the next week or so.
Be safe, y’all and have a great holiday season! I’ll let you know pretty soon what my schedule for the spring will be (probably as soon as I know Aaron’s & Jean’s schedules for the spring).
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.
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.
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.
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.
hope y’all have a good summer and stay well.
See you in the Fall!
Aaron Thomas and I are happy to present the Big Bend
rockhunt schedule for Winter and Spring, 2020.
Aaron has added a new ranch:
The Stieg Ranch, near Balmorhea. The Stieg Ranch is an alluvial fan, which
is relatively flat terrain, with a creek bed running through it. Both the alluvial fan and the creek bed have
every type of agate that eroded out of the surrounding hills. You can find the Balmorhea Blue agate, banded
agate, jasper, petrified wood, chert and artifacts. The fee will be $50 per person, and that will
entitle you to a 5-gallon bucket full of collectible rocks.
Aaron will be leading field trips every weekend from January
4th through the end of April. I will be gone for January, February,
and the beginning of March, and will begin my weekday hunts on Monday, March
16. I’ll have hunts every weekday during
the two weeks that constitute spring break for most Texas schools, so there
will be hunts each day from Saturday, March 14 through Sunday, March 29. Then there will be rockhunts Thursdays
through Mondays for the next several weeks until Monday, April 27. This will give y’all the longest possible
time for rockhunting on your trip out to the Big Bend, and you can pick and
choose which days you’d like to hunt.
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. All of Aaron’s field trips will be limited
to 12 people, and there’s still no limit to the number than can attend my field
All field trips this year will begin at Tri-la-Bite, which
is 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.
So here’s the schedule.
Be sure to look at the start time for your field trip because they vary
depending upon the ranch. I love y’all, but I’m tired of getting emails and
calls for questions that are answered in this email, and available on my
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.