What was initially planned as a 4-day Memorial Day getaway to our favorite spots in Brewster, CO, TX turned into a two-week long wild spree in the Big Bend deserts. We took the trailer to the Marathon Motel and Sky Ranch for some stargazing and serious rockhounding. We had exhausted the Mother’s Day batch from New Mexico the week before, and the timing was perfect. It was great to be back in our favorite spot hunting rocks for future Local Stone quality semi-precious jewelry pieces.

We arrived Thursday and were delighted to learn that there was a Star Party planned at the motel for Friday night and a New Moon party scheduled for Saturday night. It didn’t take long for us to determine that we had a new favorite place to stay in Marathon, TX. The nights there were magical and were highlighted by thunderstorms and some rare desert rain which ment the pitter-pattering of rain dropping on the trailer throughout the night while we were sleeping. The sunsets over the mountains just north and west of Alpine from the patio area of our trailer were amazing.

On Friday morning we were up at dawn and spent the next 3-days (in between those amazing star parties and nights under the new moon) gathering some of the finest stones that we have ever collected. Highlighted by this piece of purple BRECCIATED JASPER (some red-stripers and this amazing purple specimen below), much POLYCHROME JASPER (which we call Green-Stripers, or more formally TEXAS TURQUOISE), HYBRID JASPER, MIDNIGHT PICASSO, several new pieces of GHOST FOREST AGATE (which I am very excited about) and many more very cool one-off pieces.

The extended weekend was perfect. We got a lot of rockhounding in, some swimming at the hotel pool in the high heat of the desert afternoons, the most amazing nights at the Sky Ranch (meeting a bunch of new friends and learning a ton about astral photography and the galaxy) and discovering our favorite new cider–Austin Eastciders-Blood-Orange! Another important highlight were the friends we made at the French Grocer Co. in Marathon. They so graciously invited us back the next weekend (which was now only three days away) to set up our stuff and sell some jewelry at their legendary Friday Burger Night. We had to act quickly so we left the trailer there at the motel with plans on returning in three-days for our very first jewelry showing. We made it back the next weekend with all our stuff, our tent our stones and our trees and had a blast at our first unofficial jewelry show. We sold a few pieces in person for the first time and met lots of cool new friends. Marathon, TX was starting to feel like a second home to us.