Deep in Baja five years ago, an exhausted, supply-less hiker was picked up by a crystal hound. The Senior took me hunting with him at certain ledges on the sides of washes showing former black volcanic activity. He taught me to spot a round dome rock that was as ugly as any other, except when you tapped on it. On knuckle rapping, if it made a hollow sound… We danced around the rock yelling, 'home run!'

It was worth a fortune, in Mexican terms; a 3' crystal sold for $80 (a week's salary). Continuing the hunt two days a week for a month, I helped him lug dozens of 30-120 lb. crystals up and into the pickup, and for the three hour drive north to San Felipe in Baja. A thief at night began stealing them, so I slept in a nearby abandoned trailer until they could be moved. On weekends, we sold them at the tourist swap meet and business was good, especially after I started putting desert cactus in the larger crystals making them planters. Others were fashioned into fountains.


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