[meteorite-list] Thank you West Texas!

From: Eric Wichman <eric_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat, 07 Mar 2009 08:52:40 -0800
Message-ID: <49B2A658.80004_at_meteoritewatch.com>

Hi All,

We're back from West Texas now and after letting things slow down a bit
and catching up on some much needed work I've finally got a moment to
post some photos. I'd like to thank all you guys out there in meteorite
land. My good friends, Mike Miller & Ruben Garcia (finally got to meet
you Ruben after talking on the phone for 2 years!) Without you guys'
help this trip might not have been a success.

A big hello and thank you also go out to our new friends Michael
Cottingham and Christopher Cottingham for his first finds,
congratulations to Christopher for his gorgeous 44 gram oriented West
meteorite. It was a pleasure to be there to see it happen. And to Keith
and Dana Jenkerson, we appreciate the advice! Jim Baxter, I didn't
forget you... It was very good to meet you Jim!

I certainly can't forget Mike Farmer, Robert Ward, Shauna Russell, Greg
Hupe, and their crew for their generosity in sharing the information. It
was good to meet all you guys finally. A big hello also to Steve Arnold
& Geoff Notkin. It was good to finally meet you Steve, I have a new
found respect for you now. And to Geoff, glad to meet you again, this
time in the field. Too bad we didn't get a chance to talk a bit.

I also want to thank all the people of West Texas for their Texas sized
hearts and their overwhelming generosity. If it weren't for your
hospitality the scientists and hunters wouldn't have had the opportunity
to collect as many specimens and the meteorites would be plowed over or
rotted away never to be seen again. Not only did you help us collect
meteorites, you helped further science and the knowledge of our
universe! I thank you very much for your kindness, and the meteorite
world thanks you, sincerely.

As for Hopper, the meteorite finding dog... ;) Well all I can say is I
have to chuckle a bit!. We got to spend two days with Hopper. No photos
of the dog but I did somehow manage to get on the news in the Hopper
segment New 8 Austin filmed. I'm only in the opening scenes but it was
kind of exciting to see yourself on TV. Weird feeling really. Hopper
liked everyone, well, everyone that might have food! She also loved to
mess with the cows.

My first experience with Hopper was startling. Literally! I was out in
the middle of a field minding my own meteorite hunting business and all
of a sudden out of the middle of nowhere as I was staring at the ground
searching intently for the elusive West Texas meteorite this black furry
creature runs up to me and I about jump out of my boots!

You have to picture this, I'm concentrating so hard on the ground at
finding a meteorite that I'm oblivious to my surroundings and out of
nowhere a black hairy thing comes walking up within inches of my leg and
I was staring into the eyes of the beast! ;) lol My heart leapt and I
had to choke back a little noise. THAT was MY first experience with
Hopper! Sweet dog really?

Another little tidbit of info for all you guys that went Gaa Gaa over
Hopper. Since we did get a chance to hunt for two days with Hopper
running around and frolicking in the fields of West Texas, we got to see
a side of Hopper most didn?t have the good fortune to witness. They
certainly experienced it, even if it was unknowingly. Dogs will be dogs,
and we all know dogs like stinky stuff. Really stinky stuff! And what do
dogs do when they find stinky stuff? That?s right, they roll in it!

Hopper came up to me and played and right off I noticed how nice a dog
she was. She was so friendly she would walk up to anyone. I petted her
and played a little with her in the field and went back to hunting. Then
a couple hours later, I witnessed her rolling around on the ground about
20 feet or so away, and when I walked over to see what was going on,
that?s when I noticed the nice big, ugly and very dead raccoon Hopper
was rolling around in. Eew, Yuck! I promptly washed my hands. I tried to
warn everyone I saw, but they were so caught up they didn?t care. You
know the old saying ?you don?t know where that?s been.? Well?

This in no way detracts from her meteorite hunting prowess, or her
awesome personality! Hopper is a great dog. I wish I had a meteorite
hunting dog like her. She was super and deserves every steak she?s fed.
She truly is a one of a kind dog. She does need a bath though.
OK, OK? I know you guys are wanting to see some photos so here they are?

I was fortunate enough to find one stone. It?s not much but it made the
trip all that more rewarding, and 10, 20, or 50 years from now I can say
Feb 25th 2009 I went, hunted, and found a piece of the West Texas
meteorite fall. A witnessed fall, and my first chased meteorite fall

PHOTOS: http://www.meteoritesusa.com/west-texas-meteorite.htm

We hunted all over West, and had help from some of the best hunters in
the business, but it comes down to being able to spot them on the
ground, and there's no substitute for experience in the field. It takes
some luck, but mostly it's skill and certainly I needed more experience
in the field. A good friend of mine says he makes his own luck, and he's
surely one to listen to, as he seems to have a knack for finding main
masses. First you need to know where to look in the first place, and
then in knowing how to spot the meteorites on the ground. And from my
experience and the discussions I've had with most hunters out there,
this was not an easy one to hunt and I should count myself lucky I found
even one piece. I do, and I am grateful for the help and excited I found
one. I will not sell it, I might cut a piece off to sell, but the main
piece goes in my small collection of first finds.

It was a wonderful experience to go on this trip, and worth every penny.
I am proud to have gone out and braved the West. We met some great
people, made some new friends, and had the priveledge to hunt with
veteran hunters from all over. This is truly a great meteorite, and a
trip to remember.

Thank you all...

Eric Wichman
Meteorites USA
Received on Sat 07 Mar 2009 11:52:40 AM PST

Help support this free mailing list:

Yahoo MyWeb