Before I begin, I just want to say that there is no way I can tell or show the great scenery that I have witnessed in our country. It has been so beautiful and wonderful I am just amazed. My picture taking is sad sometimes to what I see. I wish I could wear a Go-Pro and video tape all I see. You need to be here.
Left about 10:30, Brenda had met with a lady in the campground and discussed quilting – the two ladies hit it off and spent part of the morning discussing sewing.
Ride over wasn’t too bad, roads in West Texas in decent shape. More curves as we ascended into the mountains. We are now at 5000 feet. Big Bend was around 1100. The air is still pure and clean. The temperature is cooler here in Fort Davis but good for sitting outside in t-shirt and shorts. We did stop along the way for lunch (leftovers). Texas seems to have many picnic areas along the highway with shelter. I guess as big as this state is, you do need to take breaks.
Our campground is a State Park but has full hook ups, so we are not having to be concerned about water quantities or waste. We may be camping but we are not suffering or doing without. Great campground as it sits at the base of the mountain and the scenery is wonderful.
Saw two deer by the roadside coming in. And the lots are spacious so we don’t have our neighbor in our face.
We did ride our bikes together around the campground to stretch our legs.
Tuesday woke up to cool weather but it was surprising how quickly it warmed up. Not a cloud in the sky. We made our reservations for the Observatory – more on that later.
We drove up the skyline drive (a rise of 555 feet) within the campground. Will try this on the bike – more on that later. Took the dogs and did a little hiking on top of the mountain. What views!
After the hilltop ride we went in town and needed to get a shelf bracket. GPS told us nearest one was 28 miles, so we headed out. As we got to the town of Fort Davis (3 miles from camp) saw a sign for Builder’s supplies. I told Brenda, let’s try this. Sure enough it was a local hardware store (including a place to tie up horses in front) and they had everything, so no long trip to the next town.
Went over to the Interpretative Center to use better wifi. They have a bird-blind outside and took some time to view the wildlife. Saw 6 Javelinas – small mammals (learned later they are related to the hippopotamus and not the pig) that run wild in this area.
We have been eating all our meals lately in the RV (not too many restaurants around). We are well stocked for a while.
Headed over to the University of Texas McDonald Observatory (about 13 miles away). For a small fee they have different programs. We choose the Twilight Session, which was indoors and the program tonight was about the moon, its lunar phases, what causes them and a discussion of some of the craters and mountains on the moon. Very informative.
We also choose the Star Party which started at about 7:30 PM and was held outdoors. It was 46 degrees and we dressed well for it. Brenda had four layers plus a blanket.
First 45 minutes was a discussion of the constellations and the stories behind them. He had a pointer that sent a laser beam to the sky and it was almost like he was touching the particular star. He knew all their names. He was also quite adamant about not having any light sources on including your phone or IPad. This was a totally dark sky and you could see the stars so clear. So I have no pictures of the event.
He did pause and point us to the Hubble Telescope as it made its way across the sky and we did see the Milky Way.
The second part of the program was viewing through five (5) different telescopes. Two of them were pointed at the moon (it was in its first quarter waxing mode). One was of the whole moon, the other was a close up. It was so amazing to see the craters and mountains in such detail. The other scopes were pointed at star formations that made them come alive. Later in the evening they moved one of the scopes to focus on Jupiter. To see the four moons and stripes across Jupiter was impressive.
Wednesday temperature was down to 36. The dogs let us sleep in till 6:30 because of the late night.
Went to visit Fort Davis Historical Site. One of the last remaining cavalry forts in the USA that is in good shape. Built in 1854 to protect the area. Many of the original building are still there and about a 1/3 have been restored to what they looked like in 1875, including furniture. Watched the movie and got my stamp.
Fort was originally built to protect travelers as they headed west for the 1848 gold rush in California from the Indians. No battle was ever fought there, but the soldiers headed out to fight battles and drive the Indians south to Mexico.
Thursday is Brenda’s create day. I did get to ride my bike and took the trip up the mountain. 1-1/2 miles up 544 feet. Tough but I made it. Quite a thrill and scary coming down.
Had a chance to relax, read and walk the dogs. We attended the Interpretative Center’s educational session on the park and the wild life and animals within the park. It is nice knowing the different kinds of animals and their living habitat.
We did do dinner at the local campground lodge Restaurant – Black Bear Restaurant. The lodge was built by the CCC group in the 30’s. Took 4 years and 400 workers.
Friday we are off to Carlsbad, New Mexico.