Friday, January 27, 2012

Traveling to Canyon Lake, Texas

Another grand adventure begins.....

We left home on the 22nd and had very high winds all the way through Colorado.  We managed to get as far as Raton Pass before disaster struck - a flat tire.  In fact, the tire was not only flat, but completely shredded and missing!

Luckily, we are members of the Good Sam Club.  Our rescue took an hour, but we were on the side of the road and Sid didn't have to change the tire.

Because we didn't get off as early as planned, then the flat, we got only as far as Albuquerque the first day.  We decided to stay at the Kirtland Air Force base FamCamp.  (See my RV Parks page for a review.)  We, AND the puppies,

were very tired after our eventful day.

First thing the next morning, we called the tire store on base and they had the tire we needed.  It was mounted and balanced in a jiffy and off we went for another day of travel.

I-25, by the way, is very BORING all the way through Las Cruces, NM. 
I was glad to see this sign!

Things picked up a little when we hit El Paso.  I didn't realize that El Paso was so big, plus the fact that the city seems even bigger because Juarez, Mexico just continues across the river.   Outside El Paso, on I-10, we were surprised to have to go through a border check.

The border patrol agent asked if we were both US citizens and that was it.  Somehow, it doesn't seem very cost effective to try to control illegal immigration this way.  If you were illegal, would you try to come in on an interstate highway?  Oh, well, our government at work!

Another surprise came outside El Paso, as we discovered we were on the Texas Mountain Trail!  I think the highest altitude we travelled was 2500 feet, but they do call them "mountains!"  I took pictures, so you won't think I'm making this up.
Cutting through the "mountains"

And that the speed limit in West Texas is 80!

Balmorhea State Parkwas the destination for our next night (all the place we stay will be detailed on the RV Parks page).  It is home to the San Solomon Springs which has provided water for travelers for thousands of years. Artifacts indicate Indians used the spring extensively before white men came to the area. In 1849, the springs were called Mescalero Springs for the Mescalero Apache Indians who watered their horses along its banks. The present name was given by the first settlers, Mexican farmers who used the water for their crops and hand-dug the first irrigation canals. The park didn't have any trees, but all the sites were drive through, so it was perfect - we didn't have to unhook or anything to just spend the night.

On our way out the next morning, we went through the town of Balmorhea - a wide spot in the road, really.  But we did see wild turkey roaming through town and a very interesting storefront.

Got an early start and headed to Fort Stockton to see an historical fort and a large roadrunner.  The fort was a bust, but Paisano Pete (the largest roadrunner in the WORLD) was cool!

Time to get on the road again.  Five miles outside of Fort Stockton, can you believe it, we had ANOTHER tire blow out!  Grrrrr!  We had to wait 2 hours this time.  Sid had nice conversations with a rancher and the state patrol who stopped to see if we needed help.  Our plan was to get to Canyon Lake by the end of the day, which looked unlikely at this point.  But we traveled on...

Ozona, TX was our next stop.  Ozona is the only town in the county of Crockett (yes, named for that famous person) which is 3215 square miles! 

 I'll tell ya - West Texas I-10 is pretty darn boring itself.  Anyway, we saw the Davy Crockett monument in the town park,

saw a beautiful sculpture called "The Tie that Binds",

let the dogs get some exercise and got back on the highway.   We were pretty tired by now, so decided that Llano, TX would be our last stop for the night.

In Llano, we had some really good barbeque at Cooper's

Cooper's wood pile behind the restaurant

and headed to South Llano River State Park.  This park is GREAT!  We debated staying for a few days, but decided to push on in the morning.  There were bird blinds with movie theater seating where you could sit, unseen, for hours and watch the birds, deer and turkey.  The sites were all back in, but with plenty of space and lots of trees and trails.

After a good sleep and a long walk in the morning, we headed to Comfort, TX where I was going to see "my people."  Comfort is known for a tragic event that took place during the Civil War.  The Treue der Union Monument ("Loyalty to the Union") was dedicated in honor of 35 men who died at the Battle of the Nueces, which took place because they opposed the state's secession from the Union. The German settlers were killed on their way to Mexico during the Civil War. They were attacked by Confederate forces near Brackettville on August 10, 1862. The bodies were not buried and the bones were retrieved and placed here in 1865. The monument was erected in 1866.   Thus, "my people" - you know, the damn Yankees!

Sid and the dogs leaning on a live oak tree

We took our time getting going in the morning, because we had only a short drive to our destination - Potter's Creek Park on Canyon Lake.

That brings y'all (see how quickly I can turn into a Texan?) up to date.  I don't have wireless capability at the campground, but found a coffee shop nearby (7 miles) where I can go to post the blog.  By the way, it's seventy degrees today, so until next time - enjoy and STAY WARM!

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