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The Texas Adventure

          Feb 15th, 2009 was quite a day - we were loaded up and heading back to Kingman, AZ from the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show in Tucson, AZ., after a long three week show when the news came that a large fireball was caught on video accidentially by a reporter filiming a marathon in Austin, Texas. He didn't realize what he had at first - it is in the background. The video was taken around 11 am ; and even with the bright sunlight, you can definately see the meteorite as it is coming in.

       We were pretty tired after the excitement of the Gem and Mineral Show, so we actually didn't pay much attention to it for several days; and then issues like our stopped up septic tank interfered with our going so it was about 10 days after the fact before we actually went.
        Now we are old enough to realize that all day and night driving is not really for us, so we went about half way and stayed the night. Makes the trips MUCH funner - plus Keith and I don't kill each other this way!
        We made it to Waco, Texas and hunted up a couple friends of ours; Robert Ward and Shawna Russell. They were nice enough to entroduce us to a couple landowners who would allow you to hunt for a fee. This is definately NOT our  favoirte way to hunt- there is way too much risk in paying money and hoping to find something, but since we didn't know where else to start, we did it.

      Keith and I have different approaches to searching for meteorites - he likes to wander around where the mood takes him and I like to try and cover  the ground thoroughly - like gridding. The area this meteorite fell was very dry- in fact  they had not had a rain since October; and you could certainly tell it by how cracked and brown the land was. I decided to walk up and down these rows in a pasture; Keith deicded to go across the property and search in another field.
       Our cell phones didn't work (of course)  so I turned mine on the radio and decided I was just going to jam a while. There was a stray black and white collie dog that was hanging around - I was told her name was Hopper. She was awfully thin so I started feeding her some beef jerky that I had with me - and she became my friend for as long as I was around! The landowner  we were searching on told us that she was a stray that they had actually tried to shoot to get her to go away. I am glad that they didn't get that accomplished!
       Hopper would walk with me up and down; and only wander off when she could see some cows in the next pen. Then she would sit down and stare at them while looking back to see where I was. It was pretty comical!

         I had never searched for a new fall before; and I really didn't know what I was looking for. Keith told me  just to look for a black rock that looks out of place. Just look for a black rock? They are everywhere in Texas! Finally he said to just put anything that looked suspicious in my pocket and that way I would be safe!
         So off I went; me and Hopper. We went up and down, up and down......for a while. I turned on my tunes and basically started dancing down the rows.....actually it was pretty fun! Then suddenly I see something strange looking!

        It was a black rock...with this funny greying look to it too...but it had this obvoius metal thing on it....was it a meteorite? I looked at it a while trying to decide if it was or not then finally put it in my pocket. About an hour and a half later, Eric Wichman and his Girlfriend Jamie came over to where I was, so I asked him if he had found any yet and he said he had. So I asked to take a look at his. His was completely crusted, so it didn't look exactly like mine, so I got mine out and showed them.
        Needless to say , Eric was willing to take if off my hands for me if I didn't want it! They were heading over to where Keith was, so I asked them to let him know that I had found one.

      Now that I had found one, Keith was more determined than ever to find one as well. He came over to where I was searching and started hunting too. He was using his handheld detector, which everyone was telling him would not work, but it did. Within an hour, he found his first one! It weighed 3.3 grams, and was completely fustion crusted.        That is what you call motivation...find a couple meteorites!
       After studying the area we decided to go further down the line and see what we could find.

It was a good day!!!!

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