To tuck, or not to tuck, we’ll get into this later, but first…how can they proclaim this to be God’s Country or did word come from above?
How does one proclaim they are God’s country? Self proclamation no doubt! Maybe Kanye West told them…Ha! The 90 runs across Texas East to West slightly South of the Interstate and we wanted off of that! Enough freeways, these State Roads are often in better shape than the interstates and always far more interesting as you pass through the many small towns. Those billboards, guns for sale, try before you buy and more God. They seem to go hand in hand down here in Texas. We were on our way to Del Rio, Texas to an small RV park with laundry, yes it was laundry time:)
The town looked quaint, lots of little antique stores downtown in the narrow one way road through the main section then we veered into a residential area before arriving at the RV park. It wasn’t until the next day we discovered we’d found a low hanging branch that removed the digital TV antenna, the bathroom skylight and several of the caps for the vents..sigh…always something. Rocket enjoyed walking on the fence where a fabulous cicada skeleton was left after it molted. Friendly folk and and a great laundry/lounge as well but an RV park. We did a shopping run to the local H.E.B. grocery chain, hey they had potato chips made of REAL potatoes! Is it just me or is this an oxymoron? or have we the public become seen as such idiots they feel they must spell these out…I am offended;) Ha!
We taped up the damage to the roof and skylight with some duct tape and left for the Davis Mountains following the 90 along the Rio Grande and the Mexico/US border, past the migra stops and NW. This looks like old cowboy country you have seen in dozens of western movies, wide open spaces and cattle company signs dotting the barb wire fences on the range;) It is dry here, like Baja, the driest time of the year, just before the Winter storms start.
Davis Mountains State Park is one of our go-to places in this part of the world! Several sites along the hill-22, 24 and 26 are full hook up and so private, looking up the hill, the Mule Deer wander by every morning and Javelinas root about in the evening:) We had two nights reserved and when we got there, we added two more because they were available! Time for a 4 night break!
We also wanted to visit the McDonald Observatory again, Mike needed some additions to his wardrobe, astronomy related T-Shirts-his once a year shopping spree! Ha! We decided to do a tour! Great tour guide, very informative about the two telescopes we saw but the Texans with their tucked in pant legs and powder blue boots stole the show. They arrived on a very fancy tour bus and had one of the astronomers as a guide…wealthy donors to the University perhaps? I had to google this pants tucked in thing! According to one gentleman Texan:
“If you stuff yer Wranglers, or Levi’s for that matter, inside yer boots you ain’t coming in my house. Standing in your stocking feet, you want the denim to touch the floor at your heel to insure they’ll break on the front of the boot. If a gal wants to see the stove pipes she’ll have to take her chances”
OK…that was one opinion, a strong one at that. Another:
“Don’t go up to the Panhandle of Texas and tell some of those cowboys that they are fruity. Good Lord, we have people all over Dallas with purple, pink, and green hair, with metal jewelry imbedded all over their face. And wearing boots with your pants tucked in isn’t proper??? Wear them the way you want to, last time I checked, this was still America.”
“Never tuck the jeans into the boots unless you’re doing actual work on horseback that requires it.” according to the Art of Manliness’s guide to cowboy boots;)
All very interesting reads. It seems the Texas rangers tucked, and cowboys out on the range riding through brush might tuck, but these tuckers with powder blue boots, well, not my style, and no, I don’t tuck unless I’m wearing my English Dressage boots;) Maybe it’s an older vs younger generation, seems like the young’uns…are horrified by tucking! Ha! Texas!
On our two and a half hour tour we had a remote solar telescope viewing from the visitor center (nothing going on sadly, no flares or prominences) and a look at the Harlan J. Smith telescope and even got to rotate the dome and move the telescope up and down, big kid stuff! 😉 Also the Hobby-Eberly telescope in it’s fascinating clam shell opening like dome! This telescope is studying Dark Energy and looking for earth like planets in our galaxy, the Milky Way. It was a bargain at only 13.5 million dollars;) Over all a very interesting tour we would recommend and a great guide!
Back at the park the Acorn Woodpeckers were busy at their usual spots on the electrical poles, stuffing them with acorns they gather. If you sit and watch they go back and forwards, busy busy birds! Here the deer wander across the grass in front of you. A doe with her two youngsters and by the looks of it last years as well decided Rocket got a bit too close while we were walking and stamped her foot at him and started to come towards him! Like a good survivalist he decided to tuck his tail between his legs and make for the trailer! The woodpeckers also came to drink water from our dripping water line:)
Davis Mountains State Park also has two wonderful bird blinds you can sit and watch the wildlife come and go. We met several lovely people, chatting about photography and other places to visit. A wonderful Canadian couple from Toronto who took off 89 days ago I think is what they said and we exchanged hints and State Parks to stay at going along the gulf and East Coast one afternoon! Have to love people who love our State and National Parks!
There are wonderful hiking paths around the park as well. Both North and South. The bird life was quiet, more life near the water features in the park bird blinds than up on the dry hills. The views are beautiful-especially a trip along the Skyline Drive after sunset. It is open until 10pm and gives you a spectacular view South of the Milky Way and surrounding skies!
So that is why we come back here each year it seems, even though it is slightly off a direct route to Baja, it is an enchanting place! The towns of Fort Davis, Marfa and Alpine are steeped in history and wonderful weirdness, as well as strange lights, we’ll be coming back in the Spring to camp right at the Marfa lights…we want to believe! The towns all have interesting shops from reptiles to trinkets and old Fort Davis has a wealth of Western History as well as yes, please come into my shop armed and open carry…sigh…restaurants and food trucks as well. Sadly our favourites, The Food Shark in Marfa, and the Cow Dog were closed early in the week, we tried another spot in Alpine but came away disappointed, soggy fried chicken and cold fries as well as someone passed out at the table behind us didn’t work for us but it was interesting people watching! Lots of tuckers and non tuckers;)
In downtown Fort Davis in front of a closed Cantina there is a wonderful Osage Orange tree, new to me! The Osage orange has a long and interesting history of use by both Native Americans and early pioneers. Its wood was once in demand for making hubs and wheel rims for horse drawn wagons, mine support timbers, posts and many other uses where decay resistance was important. Osage orange was first cultivated in the south in the early 1800’s. It was brought north by Professor Jonathan Turner, a biology teacher at Illinois College, and promoted as a living fence by John Wright, editor of The Prairie Farmer. By 1847 Turner was convinced that Osage orange was the best fencing material available. He described it as “horse high, bull strong and pig tight” and it functioned as a “hedge” fence long before the invention of barbed wire. By the 1850’s Osage orange hedges made the fencing of entire farms possible. The French found the Osage Indians making bows from the wood and called it Bois d’Arc (meaning wood of the bow)….and you can’t really eat it! Ha!
To be honest-I could spend weeks at this park! Maybe on our way back! Next stop is a Harvest Hosts Winery near Anthony, New Mexico, then a new State Park for us! Stay tuned for City of Rocks State Park!! Saludos amigos! Keep watching the skies! The Unicorn Meteor Shower is coming up!