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Rockhounding "Today" !

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Willy
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« on: July 27, 2009, 12:03:45 pm »

Well all I can say is going out and finding rocks is not today what it was even 5 years ago.

For 5 weeks now I have been running the Special Series on the BLOG (www.jewelrybycncsa.blogspot.com) about the Official Gems/Rock of the States.  One thing that keeps ocurring in the writeups I find concerning locations to search and where to go look, is that  1)  be careful of new State Laws prohibiting collecting on public lands or on State Right of Way's,   2)  if you go on Priviate Property make sure you have permission, and in several cases the comment was made, Get It In Writing,   3)  under no-circumstance encroach on any marked claims.

Well  I decided to brave the heat and go look for some Topaz up around Mason, Tx.  So north on US-87 from San Antonio I trecked.  Just north of Mason is Katemcy Creek, a tributary of the San Saba River, both of which with our 2 year drought are now for all purposes "dry".  The McWilliams Ranch, where all the local rockhounds say to go off of Farm Road 1222, currently is closed because of the high fire conditions and they don't want anyone driving back into the fields in case the catalitic converters on vehicles would catch the fields on fire.  That I can live with because of the big brush fire near my home earlier this year caused by off-road vehicles and their catalitic converters catching the dead brush on fire.  Well I went on up FM-1222 to where it crosses Katemcy Creek and decided to go hunting in the dry creek bed.  About 30 minutes after arrival the local Constable showed up and advised me I was on Priviate Property and the owners had advised I had not stopped to get permission.  Asked some questions and quickly found out the property owners own to the middle of the roads, so even thought I was in the road crossing swell of the dry crossing of the creek, I was still on Priviate Property.   I was further advised that the Priviate Property extends to the middle of all roads in the area except for US-87, which is US Govt property to the 'pole lines'.  So followed the Constable back out to US-87 and back towards Mason where he said he would show me a good place to look.  Another dry creek crossing (signs show water lever can be 10 ft so sure wouldn't want to go thru there if raining in the area).  Well I ended up with two nice Topaz crystals, a bit small though, and a bunch of small chuncks, and while at it got a nice Llanite specimen.

So I guess only thing I can say is, wide open Texas, or maybe anyplace else these days, is not that wide open, so be careful where you collect.  I have a feeling if I was not a retired Texas Peace Officer, I may have visited the Justic of the Peace in Mason that day.

Picture of the Llanite I found, about 3 in long.  The best of the Topaz crystals is about 2-3mm per side, not the best picture, trying to blow it up to show the crystal structure.

Willy
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hulagrub
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 09:38:57 am »

Well Willy, In NW Arkansas, the problem is not having places to actually find something other than limestone or chert. Anyway, we envey you living in Texas=more rocks and bigger fish!
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Dave, a certified Rockaholic



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