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Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fort Davis, TX and Davis Mountain State Park

We left the Big Bend National Park on Saturday morning, and arrived at Davis Mountain State Park shortly after noon.  We got set up in our site, and rested for a while.


On Sunday, we drove up the mountain shown above on the other side of the Bus, and got this picture of our site from above……


As seen by the signage in the first picture, the park includes the Indian Lodge and a restaurant.  Here are pictures of it……….


Here are some pictures of the lobby area……..


Here is a picture from a mountain drive that shows the relative orientation of the lodge to the park…..


And here are a couple of other pictures from the top of the mountain……..


On Saturday afternoon, we took a 75 mile scenic route around the area on our way to the McDonald Observatory facility.  The terrain is very similar to Big Bend, except that there is a lot of grassy areas and more plants and trees.  Here are some pictures of the country side in the area…….


At about 50 miles into the trip, we started to see the telescopes from the McDonald Observatory on the tops of mountain peaks (in the first picture, one on the peak on the left and two on the peak on the right)……..DSC00904DSC00905DSC00906DSC00908DSC00907DSC00911

At the observatory, we signed up for and stayed to attend a 7:30PM “Star Party” that lasted for two hours.  After dark, it began with an informative lecture pointing out the star systems in the sky, like the north star, big & little dippers, etc.  Afterwards, the had 5 big telescopes set up for us to view the stars, such as star clusters, the moon, and Jupiter.  It was a good show, and we got to buy the grandkids some stuff at the gift shop.  There are no pictures because it was dark and only red lighting was being used.  No camera flashes were allowed!!

On Sunday, we drove into the small downtown area of Fort Davis.  Here it is…………


The last thing that we did during the weekend was a tour of the “Fort Davis National Historic Site…………


Monday will end our 6 days in the Big Bend area, and we will hit the highway headed for San Antonio. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Another Day at Big Bend and Terlingua

This morning, we made the decision that we did not want to cross over to Mexico, so we planned to complete the last loop in the Big Bend National Park road system, and then visit Terlingua, Texas.

Today, the sun was out and it was bright and warm at almost 70 degrees!  We got to see the winter NP yesterday, and the Summer park today!! 

Here are a couple of general pictures with the sun out…….


The last loop that we took today was the least scenic in the whole park, but it did offer on side trip called the “Dagger Flat Auto Trail”.    It also had a short side trip with a walking trail showing a fossil bed area.  Here are some pictures of us on the trail……….


After our little hike, we went on the Auto Trail,  In this instance, “Auto Trail” means a really unpaved or improved road.  It was a good thing that the Honda CRV is 4WD!!  The treat is that the trail goes off the highway and winds 7 miles into a Yucca plant forest, where there are a number of different Yucca plants & trees.

Here are some pictures of the ‘trail” mixed with different Yucca plants……


………… and just plants.


After this final loop, we headed in the direction of our campground and Terlingua, Texas.  Terlingua is a small town with homes (mostly shacks and trailers) and a few small businesses scattered around the area.  It also has a Ghost Town section, containing a lot of ‘carcasses of old buildings.  Some have been used to rebuild into a somewhat useful business……. mainly bars and tourist traps.  Here are some Terlingua pictures………


And…….. there is even a cemetery that has been in use since 1903.  Note the flat rocks that cover each grave.


Tomorrow, we will be leaving this area, and traveling north to Fort Davis, Texas and the Davis Mountains State Park.  We have campground reservations for Saturday and Sunday nights.