Here is a summary of what we did on our latest summer vacation:
Day 1: Sunday
Drove from San Antonio to Davis Mountains State Park and setup camp on arrival (Dust Devil Day).
Day 2: Monday
Finished setting up the campsite (Adjusting to Altitude and Making Plans).
Day 3: Tuesday
Adjusted to the altitude and made plans (Adjusting to Altitude and Making Plans).
Day 4: Wednesday
Toured the telescopes at the McDonald Observatory (McDonald Observatory Tour).
Day 5: Thursday
Toured the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute (Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute).
Day 6: Friday
Did Laundry, found the Overland Trail Museum closed and went to a McDonald Observatory Star Party (McDonald Observatory Star Party).
Day 7: Saturday
Went to Alpine and ate lunch, toured the Museum of the Big Bend and did shopping (Museum of the Big Bend at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas).
In the evening, went to Davis Mountains State Park Amphitheater for a talk titled “Wanted: Soldiers for Frontier Service” and got a great dutch oven cooking demonstration (Dutch Oven Demonstration).
Day 8: Sunday
Sunday, when the alarm went off at 6:00 AM, Linda didn’t budge so I walked the dogs without her and I got to witness another Davis Mountain sunrise.
We wanted to dump the sewer tank. In preparation, before we showered, Linda closed the gray water tank valve so we would have extra water to flush out the sewer hose. After showering, Linda washed the dishes. Then it was my turn. I washed the coffee pot. Then I took a Hollywood shower (Water Usage and Conservation). Just as I got midway in my rinse cycle, I noticed that the water was up to my ankles and sloshing out onto the floor. I just turned off the water.
After rapidly drying off, I pulled the black tank valve and then turned on the water to the black tank cleaner. After the water coming from the black tank went clear, off that water went. Waiting a few minutes for any left over water to drain out, I closed the black tank valve and opened the gray tank valve. Whoosh! Cleaned out the sewer hose right quick.
I got a lecture for being an airhead.
Stayed in camp the rest of the day and goofed off. When it got hot in the afternoon, we turned on the camper’s AC and watched a movie indoors.
In the evening, another great wildlife show. The redheaded woodpecker pounded on the telephone pole. A pack of Javalinas tried make it through the campground without attracting attention. They failed and our dogs barked their fool heads off. I noticed a kettle of vultures roosting near the cul-de-sac in our campground. They did this every night since.
Day 9: Monday
Monday started out especially clear and bright.
In the afternoon, we toured Fort Davis National Historic Site.
Day 10: Tuesday
Packed up camp. Watched another movie indoors in the AC.
Day 11: Wednesday
Got up early and was on the road by 7:30. We thought we did pretty good to be getting out of the park within two hours of waking up. Good for us anyways!
Fueling in Fort Stockton seems to be getting more and more difficult. We seem to be feeling the effects of increased oil and gas production in the area. We had to go to the most expensive gas station to find open diesel pumps. This one is the Exxon at the US-385 exit toward Big Bend National Park. I went into the convenience store to get decaf coffee but they didn’t have any. When I tried to use the restroom, the urinal was still out of order from the last time we stopped for fuel here (11 days before). The stall was inhabited by a noisy fellow whom I assumed would be a long term tenant. Not my happiest moment.
Drove I-10 East toward Buckhorn Lake Resort in Kerrville where we stayed the night. I don’t believe I have ever seen Buckhorn this empty. Mid August is apparently not their season.
In the evening, well after dinner, we walked the dogs over to the dog run. On the way back, the windmill was light up against the dusk.
Day 12: Thursday
In the morning before 6:00 AM, we walked the dogs. It was so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of you. At this time of day, the windmill is especially pretty.
The drive home was mostly uneventful. The construction between Boerne and San Antonio on I-10 made the drive tense at points.
Because of the wind, fuel mileage was disappointing even though I kept the speed at 65 MPH or slower. On the way to Fort Davis, from Junction to Fort Stockton, we got 9.28 MPG (Dust Devil Day). Then from Fort Stockton to Fort Davis and back to Fort Stockton on the way home, we got 9.39 MPG. Those West Texas Winds!
Hope to see you on the road ahead!