Sunday is moving day. I enjoy one last moon set over the mountains of Big Bend, the cool constant breeze and the yelping packs of coyotes. The plan is to enjoy the morning and get out 10 ish, and thatís what we do.
Donna gets to take a hot shower without me standing there with a stop watch and a scowl. In hindsight that wasnít my most brilliant move. No water, hot or cold, for Bill, and we get to smell what an overflowing grey water tank smells like.
Pulling out from the park I get my first full tank draining fire drill. There were lots of old stiff hoses and connectors left over from the last owner. I donít think anyone ever throws out old dump station supplies. I was able to cobble together all the necessary hoses and fittings and the drill went fairly well. Except for the fact that virtually every hose, fitting and connector was cracked and leaking, the task was accomplished and the desert nicely watered and fertilized. I learned one more lesson: If you donít put the cap back on the waste discharge, but leave it dangling by itís little retainer for 150 miles of travel, it most likely wonít be there when you stop.
Town was about 65 miles away and the destination, Davis Mountain State Park, about 110. The plan was to get fuel, groceries and some of the fabled Tex Mex of Alpine, Texas before moving on to the park. All seven Tex Mex joints were closed on Sunday. We push on to the Davis Mountain State Park.
We had our directions a bit out of kilter and missed the turn into Davis Mountains State Park. Unfortunately, just after Davis Mountain State Park are 25 miles of steep, twisting, poorly maintained two lane roads that no better informed RVer would drive up, and back down. After 25 miserable miles we got to turn around and do it again. If we didnít have packages being mailed in we would have kept going.
Davis Mountains State Park turned out to be well worth the effort. The park is situated along a valley in the mountains. At the end of the park is a resort built by the CCC. The ground cover is much more hospitable, less cactus, covered by golden dried grass, punctuated by trees and boulders. Last week the park was jammed with spring breakers. This week itís still about 2/3s full, but there is at least room. For whatever reason, we were put all by ourselves at the end of one section. We canít see another RV for most of the week. Itís like weíre camping all by ourselves in a beautiful valley.
There is still no phone service here, so one of our first duties the next morning was to drive to a mountain top observation area for phone service. While Donna is getting her gab fix I take the dog for a mountain top walk on one of the many trials. After about a mile of following the dog down the trail I was reminded that the fact that there werenít as many cactus didnít mean there werenít any cactus. I gave one a good solid kick and quickly learned that a city walking shoe is no match for a cactus. Fortunately, my toes stopped all the spines before they got to me foot. I hobbled back to the truck glad that is wasnít Buddy that connected with the cactus.
Along with the occasional cactus, this place is covered in millions of dried sand spurs. Thatís not really any trouble for me, but Buddy has quickly learned heíd rather walk the roads in the park than the trials. Fortunately thereís a beautiful 3 mile route from our spot to the CCC hotel.
Early mornings are finger stinging cold, with mild temperatures by about 9 AM. Afternoons are hot. Conditions are windy with some 50 to 55 mph gusts at night.
Our care package arrived from Amazon today with some much needed supplies. Leveling blocks and wheel chocks (I could have lived without them but decided to treat myself), an antenna modification so hopefully Donna will have some TV when we get to more populated area (sheís handled her withdrawal well and reads about a book a day), and a replacement camera. I had hoped to keep track of our trip mostly with pictures and as little as possible writing, but thatís hard to do with no camera.
On one of our trips into town we visited Fort Davis National Monument, and 1850s vintage cavalry fort. In town there is a great little food store and deli, Stone Village Grocery, thatís become a regular stop. A bit pricey, but excellent quality and selection. We pick up some grub, take the 75 mile scenic drive back, and stop at one of the most beautiful road side rest stops I think Iíve ever seen.
Itís now late Saturday and weíre slowing prepping for tomorrows moving day.
Photos: Davis Mountains State Park, views of and around our campsite, views from the near-by observation point, Fort Davis National Monument, CCC Lodge area, campground view, boat camper, motorcycle camper, roadside views, javalina.
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