Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The South African Hyena in all it's rude glory

One of my favorite African safari animals has to be the hyena. So interesting and unique. Some things in life can almost be so ugly that they are beautiful. That’s the hyena for me. Every time I see one I am mesmerized. They are almost ugly beyond redemption. Even a little bit mangy. Certainly not the most majestic animal to behold, but they have a powerful beauty about them that will almost hypnotize you into watching their every movement.

On my first safari in 2014 at Thornybush we only encountered two solitary hyenas the entire time. Our guides even searched for them one day. It was frustrating because I really wanted to have a hyena experience. These were the only two we saw and both were quick sightings.

South African hyena

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Can you find the Hyena in the creek?

So we were driving on safari at Sabi Sabi Game Reserve in South Africa.  Just cruising along looking for our next leopard or cheetah, elephant or giraffe.  We cruised right through a creek bed.  A very innocent looking creek bed to be exact.  Nothing really of interest at all I thought after peering down the wash as we passed.  In fact here is a screenshot from the video I will present later. Can you find the sleeping hyena?


Monday, December 3, 2018

Hiking on Table Mountain above Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa. One of my favorite cities I have been blessed to visit. I’ve made three trips to South Africa and I have made a point to go for a hike on Table Mountain every time. Two years ago the mountain top was completely clouded in. I was only able to see about twenty feet. This time the weather was absolutely perfect and to top it off I had my beautiful fiancĂ© Taylor with me for the adventure.

To set the stage a bit I will just tell you that Taylor and I had arrived in Cape Town the prior evening. Let me say again....we arrived. Our two big bags did not. We each had a backpack which we carried on the flights from DFW to Qatar and then South Africa, but we each also checked a bag which meant Taylor was a little short on clothing options!

Anyway, after some “work” with the British Airways lost luggage department it was determined our luggage would be waiting for us the next day. The plan was to drive to the Cape Town airport, grab our found bags and head to the Waterfront area of Cape Town where we would catch one of the double-decker tourist buses. These ran every fifteen minutes and made a stop at the Table Mountain tramway before continuing the sightseeing tour.

My wonderful cousin Kathleen, who owns Noble Hill Wine Estates (make sure to go for a wine tasting!), was nice enough to lend Taylor and I a car for the day. Operation Luggage Rescue & Table Mountain Adventure was in action.

Now keep in mind this was my first time to drive on the wrong side of the road. It was a bit challenging. For some reason Taylor kept saying “watch your line “ a lot. I don't know why...it couldn’t have been me drifting her passenger side towards oncoming traffic. Who knows?

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Rockhounding Trip to Deming New Mexico

Oh Deming, New Mexico.  One of Taylor and I’s most favorite places to adventure.  We never cease to find wonderful stuff every time we visit.  Deming is about an 11 hour drive from DFW so we decided to leave late Sunday night and do the trek.  That way we would arrive in Deming on Monday morning and have the entire day to rock hound.

I’ve read several accounts online that Deming has been picked over.  People say there just isn’t much left to find out there.  Well let me tell you, those people are knuckleheads.  Just think outside the box a little bit and a treasure trove of beautiful jaspers and obsidian awaits.  Maybe Rockhound State Park is picked over, but there is plenty of area around Deming to find wonderful stuff.  Like I said…. do your research and think a little outside the box.

I’ve researched the google maps and found a great place absolutely littered with jasper and obsidian. Literally every step you take brings a piece of jasper. Some of it quite awesome material.  Taylor and I spent about three hours at the “secret spot” collecting to our hearts desire.  Taylor found a particularly wonderful specimen that we both think is citrine on a base of rock and silica.


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Gold Prospecting from Denver up to Central City on Clear Creek

There’s no doubting that my absolute favorite hobby is gold prospecting. I try to get up to Colorado two or three times a year to chase the pretty yellow stuff. I have also prospected in North Carolina, Arizona, New Mexico and South Dakota. I guess you wouldn’t call me a greenhorn anymore haha.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

The 2018 Tucson Gem Show Trip

For rock hounds and mineral lovers Tucson is the Holy Grail. Every year for a few weeks in late January and early February the city is taken over by rock, mineral and gem dealers and lovers from around the world. There are over twenty different shows around the city with dealers from all continents. This year marked my second trip to Tucson for all the fun.

Honestly, my first visit back in 2013 I was overmatched. A definite novice in awe of the greatness. Once again I was able to go on the Tucson adventure with my awesome Mom and stepfather Richard. In 2018 we returned more educated and ready to do some real damage. We had a few hours Thursday afternoon after flying in, all day Friday and all day Saturday to search for treasures.

The plan was to hit the show at the Kino Sports Complex on Thursday afternoon. Friday morning to the Miners Coop show and Friday afternoon to the main show at the Tucson Convention Center to see the super high dollar specimens. Saturday we’d hit the big hotel shows all day.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Five Interesting Facts About Gold

As many of you that know me well or those of you who just enjoy following TexanTreks have learned....I love me some gold prospecting.  Personally, nothing beats getting up into the mountains and going on a treasure hunt.  Sure it is hard work, but it is the kind of honest work that makes you feel good at the end of the day.  Throw in a little bit of gold and sometimes some beautiful red garnets and I love it!   I've posted accounts of several of my past mining adventures:

Gold Prospecting around Stanton Arizona
A Colorado Gold Adventure
Getting Gold on Cache Creek, Colorado
South Dakota GPAA Claims

I also enjoy reading about gold prospecting and the history of the old gold mining times and ghost towns.  Today I came across some quite interesting gold facts I thought I would share with you.  I am pretty sure you will find them just as interesting as I did!

Five Interesting Facts About Gold -
1. All the gold that has ever been found in the entire world would fit inside three Olympic size swimming pools! Just one table spoon of gold is worth almost $10,000. This stuff is rare!
2. Apple Inc - In 2015 Apple recovered a whopping 2,204 pounds of gold from broken iPhones. You see there is .035 grams of gold in every iPhone. So just in 2015 Apple recovered $40 million in gold. WOW!
3. An Olympic gold medal is only 1% gold.  The rest is actually silver......
4. The first gold rush in the US was actually in North Carolina 50 years before the California Gold Rush of 1849.  A boy found a 17 pound gold nugget which his family used as a door stop for three years before they figured out what it actually was!
5. Gold has been found on every continent on Earth, but mining for it is illegal on Antarctica