Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Our drive from Hueco Tanks took us through some very remote country. We drove on "farm to market roads" and "ranch roads" as we headed south from the Hueco Tanks Park. These two lane roads are in great shape probably because they aren't used a lot. In a 42 mile stretch on one road we saw a single car.

We joined I-10 and were back on boring interstate for awhile before turning off to Balmorhea State Park.  The reason for this park is a huge artesian spring. The Civil Conservation Corp built a two acre pool, a motel, camp spots, and roads here in the 1930s. The pool is the where the spring spews out 1,000,000 gallons of clear fresh water an hour. The pool is 28 feet deep. There was a scuba class going on when we arrived.

I took a few pictures of the pool and buildings using my phone. I wish you could see them. I think they are pretty good. I just can't figure out how to get them from the phone to my computer.

The next day we drove to a KOA in San Angelino. San Angelino is between I-20 and I-10. By the time we arrived at the KOA we were really very tired of the west part of Texas. We  drove through abandoned and nearly abandoned towns which briefly broke the monotony. Given how bleak the landscape was I can understand why these places were abandoned, I just can't figure out why anyone lived there in the first place.
Givers, Texas

Finally, the next day, we started to see green rolling hills.  Many of them. Too many of them.

The driving was more fun. The roads curve, go up, go down, pass over creek beds and dry washes (there has been a drought here) and through occupied country.

They "drive friendly" in this part of Texas. You know they do because the signs tell them to do so. "Drive Friendly" they spell out. In this spirit I kept smiling a lot and waved at every car that passed us. What the signs mean - we think - is for you to give way to other drivers. These are two lane roads with wide shoulders which you move onto in order that the cars behind you can pass easily. How's that for driving friendly?

Right now we are at the Inks Lake State Park near Burnet, Texas. This is our second night here.
Inks Lake State Park

 We came to this area to look for a couple of bird species we have never seen before. We drove about 100 miles today in search of the Black-capped Vireo and the Golden-cheeked Warbler. I think both are endangered species. I caught a glimpse of the warbler. Neither of us caught up with the vireo.

Birding here is tough. There are trees here. You can't see far through the trees. Furthermore the birds are on their nests right now so they aren't singing. This lack of song is more than made up for by the Northern Mockingbird which is everywhere here imitating other birds - probably imitating vireos and warblers. It may be a sin but I think we will kill some before we get out of here.
Could you see a Golden-cheeked Warbler here?

A footnote regarding Burnet, Texas. I thought this was named after my family but that they were too lazy to write the other "t". Actually the town was named after the first president of Texas who later became the first secretary of state of the State of Texas. I bet you don't know who the first governor of California was (hint, he used two "t"s).


  1. Yup it is pretty ugly country to drive through. What's the word on Jeff? I guess you are on your own for the duration, but you are making progress.

    As far as the pictures on the phone goes. With our phone we can just plug them into the computer's usb port, and they show up as a hard drive or something. The you find the folders with the pics and drag them over. You can also email the pics to yourself and get your email on your computer.

    Have a good time. Be careful.

  2. Despite the difficulties seeing the birds, Inks Lake State Park looks much prettier than any place you have been for the last few days!