Terlingua, Texas, is a weird place. Located just west of Big Bend National Park, it’s a “ghost town” mostly in the quote-unquote sense. You can walk amongst the remains of a quicksilver boomtown and visit an eerie miners’ graveyard (Terlingua Cemetery), but you’ll also have to contend with an unfettered dose of tourist schlock, including rentable teepees, an onslaught of landfill-bound plastic trinkets, and Kappa Sig cowboys in rental SUVs.
Rockhound Ring Huggins wanted out of that racket, so he set up shop a good ways out of town. Many Stones sits on TX-118, about two miles south of the park exit. As the name indicates, he’s got many stones—also jewelry, cacti, dinosaur bones, hubcaps, and a dirt lot full of rusty old jalopies like the beauty pictured above. He’s a fun dude to talk to with an interesting past. Amazingly, Ring can go for a hike just about anywhere in the world and return with armloads of semi-precious rocks; he’s got eyes like a hawk. Fair prices, too. You won’t find a better deal on fat slices of San Carlos agate from Chihuahua, Mexico (from $20), gorgeous Owyhee or Morrisonite jasper from Oregon (from $8), or Apache ryolite from New Mexico ($1/ct).
TX-118, Terlingua, TX; 432-371-2994.