Thursday, March 27, 2014

Davis Mountains State Park Review

This rv park is in the state park, and most state and national park sites are usually primitive or no hook-ups, which means you are pretty much self-contained.  They will often have a toilet and sometimes a shower, but to find an rv park inside a park with full services is a treat.  And that's exactly what we had - and probably a little better than we thought.

 This isn't a picture of the campground.  It's a picture on the road to the McDonald (and yes, we went, and yes it was a gas - not nebular fortunately!!!!)  But this does show the topography of the area.  It is mountainous desert and I say that because it is dusty and dry there, but this is normal for them.

We stayed at site #4 which happens to be the site of an elf owl's nest.  The thing is that often they will come back to those nests, and this owl has done that in the past, but this doesn't always happen - just saying that if you have a choice of sites, this can be a great one.

The sites are not level.  As a matter of fact most of the time the sewer hookups are higher than where the hookups are on RVs - that includes the large motorhomes as well as the simple as pop-ups.  We were lucky that our RV hookup was just a smidgen higher than the sewer site hookup.

That and the no cell and iffy-internet, (you can go to the top of Skyline Drive or into Ft. Davis to get a great cell signal - 4G), the park is really a great place to stay if you're in the area.

There are also critters running through the campground.  I asked if I could put up my birdfeeder on my back window, and they asked not to do that as it draws in the javelinas who draw in the mountain lions.  Now, there's one side of me as the photographer who would just salivate at that but then there's the kids and little dogs and just the general mayhem that would ensue with a mountain lion running amok in the campground.  So the better side of me did not put up the feeder!!!  And without the feeder the peccaries show up anyway!

What to do in Davis Mountains?  Well, if you ask me, you could go to the McDonald Observatory  - even twice.  This is the layout of the ampitheather part (during the day) and picture of the three "big" scopes they use for the star parties.  Be sure and make reservations early so you can get a spot, and they have a pre-event, twilight event, which is just as much fun. 

These folks (yes, it is the UT campus), going way beyond the norm to make sure that every person has a very enlightening and entertaining experience. It's really a lot of fun, and if you're anywhere in the neighborhood, I highly recommend it - even for novices.....especially for novices.  I wouldn't try and take kids who are too young as at the earliest the program is over is about 10pm.  But this program is geared for kids as much as for adults.

The Nature Conservancy also has an area that is not normally open, but was while we were there.  We made a round around Madera Canyon, but some of the roads were so rough that even the truck couldn't make it.  The runners are so low that going over some bumps and pot holes (if you want to call these pot holes in a dirt/gravel road), would not only cause damage, but the truck could get stuck and hung up on the high point where the wheels couldn't gain traction or even touch the dirt road, and then you're trekking back to the hiking trail head and then headquarters and possibly further to get a cell signal to get a tow truck to pull you out, and it just puts a real damper on the vacation.   So we turned around and came back.
On the way back we caught some wild turkeys and a javelina carcass that no one knew how it died, but could be any number of ways. 

We even stayed a couple of extra days at Davis Mountains and enjoyed our stay there.

On to Big Bend next 

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