After our stop in Fredericksburg, we had about a 5 hour drive to Davis Mountains State Park according to Google maps. Of course, a 5 hour drive is more like 6 or 7 in the Bounder. It ended up being a cool drive. The landscape really starts to open up in West Texas. It felt like we were actually making our way out West.
Balmorhea State Park
On the drive, Leigh asked if I wanted to stop off for a swim. We were in the middle of the desert, so this didn’t make much sense at first. However, she found an amazing stop at Balmorhea, the world’s largest spring-fed pool. Balmorhea really is like an oasis in the desert. The water is crystal clear. Fish and turtles swim around the pond. In fact, we ended up snorkeling around the pool for a bit.
McDonald Observatory Star Party
After our swim at Balmorhea, we finished our drive to Davis Mountains State Park. The Davis Mountains really feel more like Colorado than Texas. In fact, the park is at 6,000 feet. We also had a treat for our first night there – a star party at the McDonald Observatory down the road. Unfortunately, there was a full moon so we didn’t see as many stars. The star party was still pretty cool though. Surprisingly, the telescopes were a little disappointing. The highlight was the laser pointer presentation highlighting the constellations. The presenter wasn’t all that great, but the laser pointer was amazing.
Cycling in the Davis Mountains
Leigh and I are considering doing the Santa Fe Half Century in May. Therefore, I am trying to get her in shape. After our ride in the Davis Mountains, I hoped she would even get on the bike again. We started in Fort Davis and rode down highway 17, then down highway 166. We rode 20 miles, and the first half was miserable – slightly uphill and into a headwind. Fortunately, it was much better when we finally turned around. It was still exhausting though.
After the ride, we stopped off at Fort Davis National Historic Site before driving back to the park for a day of relaxing and smoking pork tenderloin. We finished up the day by driving up Skyline Drive in the park for a sunset picnic.
The next day was Easter Sunday. We decided to break up another long drive with a stop in Alpine, TX for Easter service. It was good to go to church, but we didn’t stick around long after. We drove into town for lunch. After lunch, we planned to stop at the grocery store to stock up before our trip to Terlingua. However, the main grocery store was closed for Easter. We found another smaller grocery store we thought would work and looked up directions. After driving out of town for 30 minutes, then down a dirt road for another 5, we realized that Siri was not sending us to a grocery store! Rather than driving back to Alpine, we kept on toward Terlingua with hopes that groceries there wouldn’t be too expensive.
Our RV spent most of it’s life in Terlingua, so we’re even more ready for the next week of exploring the town and Big Bend National Park.