Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Davis Mountians, September 2016

We spent September 5-12 at our beloved Davis Mountains State Park. We've been visiting this park off and on for more than 30 years, and it remains one of our favorite places. So, after so many trips there, what keeps dragging us back?

Park Headquarters at the entrance.

One thing we like is that it is an escape from the heat Texas endures during summer months. During our stay, temperatures were about 10 degrees lower at the park than they were in San Angelo. In fact, in the mornings, we'd sit out drinking our coffee with light jackets on. One day, the high never rose past 70, mainly due to a rain system that slowly passed through the area.

Of all the state parks in Texas, I don't know of a single one that provides better for its guests. The park offers more programs than any other park I know of. Just go to the Events page to see what programs or other events are available at the park. We always take time to attend as many of these programs as we can, as all of them have been informative in the past. The more you know about a place, the more enjoyable it is. It's also a good way to get to know park staff and other campers.

Not all parks in Texas offer full hookups (electricity, water, and sewer), but DMSP does. In addition, it is the only park I know of that offers cable TV. Although we don't watch much television when camping, it is nice to have a news and weather source available. And for those times when the weather is bad, a little television can really help out.

Even though we've done about everything in the area there is to do, we still enjoy repeating some of these. For example, on this trip we once again drove the Davis Mountains Scenic Loop even though we drove it just a year ago. Because of Hurricane Newton moving up from Mexico, the skies were often overcast, and it was interesting to watch the clouds dance around Mount Livermore. And there are one or two places we always look forward to eating. We especially like the Drug Store in Ft. Davis, which offers some very good old fashioned burgers and some really good old fashioned soda fountain malts. The onion rings are pretty good as well. Yum!

We usually see quite a bit of wildlife while in the park; however, on this trip, we did not see as many animals. That may be a result of the good rains earlier this summer as well as increased traffic in the park. We did see a few mule deer, though. The javelina herd that has been a fixture in the campground for the past several years was noticeable by its absence on this trip, though.

And those night time stars are clearer and closer than anywhere else in Texas. There is a reason why McDonald Observatory is located just a few miles up the road.

There are lots of reasons why Donna and I continue to return to DMSP. Most of all, though, it has come to feel a bit like home to us.

Below are some pictures I took on this trip.

Building in very center of picture is the Interpretive Center, where most of the presentations are held. Our campground is just to the right.

If you look carefully, you will see Skyline Drive switchback up this mountain. Look for the diagonal lines. You get some great views of the area from atop this mountain. Our campground is at the base and to the right.

At top left, the water tower is clearly visible. But look closely at the center of the picture. Do you see the man-made structure there? This is known in the park as the "Loo with a View". The restroom was built years ago by the CCC and hugs the side of the mountain.

Donna sitting on the wall outside the "Loo with a View". Yeah, the ground does fall away, doesn't it. I was surprised she was able to pose on the wall for this picture.

Donna snapped this picture of me stop the water tower. In the background beside my right elbow is the entrance to the park off Highway 118.

The amphitheater is located behind our campground. The interpretive ranger told us during a presentation that it would soon be replaced by a newer one.

 We camped in site 27 this trip. There are 2 camping areas with full hookups. We normally choose this one, which is on a slope. The views are great, but the sewer connections are all located up hill, so to speak, and I don't care for that. Most sites are in the open, which is fine during nice weather. The other camping area has much more shade, which is great for the hottest months.

Another view of our campsite.

Below are links to entries related to the Davis Mountains from past trips:

I have a couple of related stories on our recent trip to publish over the next few days.

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