Monday, September 14, 2015

How Do We Spend Our Time When Camping?

When we camp someplace, we try to stay active, but our days are often filled with down periods. I thought you might be interested in just how we do spend our time, so below is a day-by-day account of what we did for the week we were in the Davis Mountains.


We left San Angelo about 8:00 AM and stopped at a roadside park outside Ft. Stockton to make sandwiches in our trailer around noon. We finally arrived at Davis Mountains State Park about 1:30 PM. We made 2 or 3 passes through the campground before settling on a campsite. After securing the site with the office, we took our time setting up. Since we were going to be there a week, we wanted to get everything arranged right. We also had to make a run into town to pick up a couple of items needed for our site, and by the time we returned, there wasn't a lot of day left. We did, however, drive to the top of Skyline Drive and admire the views. We then returned to camp, showered, ate a light supper, and turned in for the night.


We rose early and walked about 3 miles or more along park roads. Even when on vacation -- yeah, a vacation from retirement -- we try to get our exercise in. We visited most of the camping areas as well as Indian Lodge. Back at camp, we showered, grabbed a snack, then jumped in the truck for a drive around the Davis Mountains Scenic Loop. When we returned to Ft. Davis at the end of the loop, we enjoyed tostadas and nachos at Cueva De Leon, a local restaurant. Back at camp, we relaxed, enjoying our million dollar views of the mountains. We especially enjoyed watching vehicles riding the switchbacks of Skyline Drive to the top of the mountain and back. Just before dark, a mule deer leisurely wandered through our camp.


After breakfast, we drove to Alpine. First stop was the Lost Alaskan RV Park to pick up some RV supplies. While there, we drove through the park. It's a nice park, and probably the best in Alpine. Should we ever want to stay in Alpine, this is the park we'll go to. Next stop was the local Radio Shack to look for a power cord. From there, we visited the Museum of the Big Bend, then took a short stroll through the quad of Sul Ross State University. On our way out of town, we filled up with gasoline, then headed to Marfa. Just east of Marfa, we stopped at the Marfa Lights viewing area. After a brief look around Marfa, we headed back to Ft. Davis, where we shared a malt, cheeseburger, and onion rings at the Fort Davis Drug Store. Yummy! Then back to camp, where we spent a relaxing evening sitting outside reading and enjoying the view and weather. Just before turning in, a family of javelina wandered through the campground.


We went for another 3 or 4 mile walk along paved park roads in the morning. Back at camp, we had a very late breakfast, which Donna cooked on the portable stove outside. It was nice cooking and eating outside, watching folks moving about the park. After breakfast, I napped while Donna aggravated some aggressive birds around camp. Later, we drove into town for milk, vegetables, and other food. That evening, we attended a program at the nearby Interpretive Center: "Plants and Animals of the Davis Mountains." It was very interesting. Then back to the trailer for showers and bed.


We attended two presentations at the Indian Lodge this morning. At 9:00, we attended "Strong Backs and Willing to Work!", a program about the Civilian Conservation Corps with emphasis on how their efforts affected this area. At 10:00, we attended "Highlights of the Davis Mountains" a program on the wildlife, plants, and history of the  park. We then returned to camp for lunch. After lunch, we sat outside and watched as weekend visitors began arriving. We always enjoy watching campers come in to a park. We are always interested in their RVs, their equipment, and how they go about setting up camp.


We were moving slowly this morning. After a light breakfast, we drove the 35 or so miles north to Balmorhea to visit that park. We camped there in a tent about 30 years ago, but had not been back since. It was nice to see it again. After leaving the park, we drove on into nearby Balmorhea and toured the small town and drove to the small lake just south of town. Then we returned to the Davis Mountains for a mid-afternoon lunch at the Black Bear Restaurant at the Indian Lodge. Donna had the veggie burger while I had a very good chicken fried steak.  After lunch, we just relaxed the rest of the day. From our site, we watched several people hiking the trails on the slopes to the north of us.


We took another walk around the park this morning, then came back to camp where Donna cooked another late breakfast outside on the camp stove. Since we were scheduled to leave in the morning, we spent the evening hours packing gear for an early start. We'll rise early tomorrow and try to be gone shortly after it gets light. It's about a 5 hour or so drive home, then we have to unload the trailer. It will be a long day.

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