Big Bend Real Estate Guide January 2022 - Page 8

Aaron is the kind of rockhound with an insatiable excitement for finding and sharing pretty rocks . Part of the fun for him is making sure others are also having fun as they experience the wonders of the natural world . Upon relocating to Alpine , he began helping guide rock hunts on lands where he had access . James welcomed Aaron ’ s insight to the o6 , and together they , along with rockhound cohort Roy Saffel , set out to find the most promising locations for agate deposits on the Kokernot .

Their search was not in vain , as they discovered site after site of agate . Some places have scattered nodules , or “ biscuits ”— another locally coined term — littering the ground . Other sites invite rockhounds to dig in with rock hammers to investigate what lies beneath the surface .
The trio struck a complimentary chord , and a new business venture was soon formed : Take-A-Hike , a team of West Texas professional outdoor guides who lead hikes and rock hunts on the o6 .
It launched the summer of 2020 , and despite being in the throes of a pandemic , the idea took off faster than a buck in deer season . Daylong outings saw groups of up to 30 people in attendance , with several outings taking place each week . Day adventures turned into three-day camping events as the buzz quickly spread throughout the rockhounding community that a new place opened its doors .
The excursions have attracted seasoned second- and third-generation rockhounds , globetrotters in search of new agates , folks from the gem and mineral show circuit as well as casual rock collectors looking for good company and a nice hike . Kokernot agates have been described as the most diverse in color and pattern to be found anywhere .
It ’ s given the ranch new life with a steady stream of interest and a modest revenue .
The draw for rockhounds is more than the prospect of a good find . It ’ s also the assurance that they will meet likeminded people to enjoy the great outdoors . And the outdoors of the o6 really are great .
There ’ s something special about
8 Big Bend Real Estate Guide • January 2022