March 24 - April 12: Texas

3/28 - Fort Davis (0 miles 1096 total)
layover day in davis mountains state park, TX
cold cold cold. they're having record low temps around here. ft. davis...the quaint little down 3-4 miles down the road from the highest town in texas, so when texas is cold, ft davis is coldest, i imagine.
but what a cozy place we have here at the indian lodge to spend a surly weather day. first of all, we enjoyed the luxury of awakening without an alarm. then around 8:30, sari & i meandered our way to the restaurant here at the lodge for breakfast. there weren't a lot of things on the menu, but we thot the breakfast burrito was delicious.
i'll slip in a photo i took yesterday that gives you an idea of the lovely setting here; this is the view of the courtyard--planted with a variety of beautiful desert plants--around which many of our rooms are located. the huge blooms on top of several of the yuccas are about to burst forth in flowers.
back at the room, we washed out clothes & hung them around the room. there were flakes of snow in the air, so hanging wet clothes outside wouldn't have dried them.
late morning, some people were out by the trailer working on their bikes, but most stayed inside to do that, since one's hands froze up quickly doing anything outside without gloves or mittens. a few folks biked down to ft. davis. we saw karen returning, & she looked invigorated, all right!
at 1, many piled into the van for a ride down to ft. davis. some wanted to shop, others to have lunch, most to check out this quaint historical town. since the phone lines at the lodge are in such troublesome condition (they don't even have internet access at the office), i packed up my ibook & took it along, in hopes of finding a phone jack in town that i could use to send thursday's ride report & check emails.
& many were looking for warm hats & scarves. most of us didn't pack enuf cold-weather gear to be comfortable at these temps. we were to ride across the south, after all. so sari & i started stopping in every shop that seemed to offer even the remotest chance of stocking the items we needed. the folks in the stores were soooo nice, as every texan has been whom we've run into.
i was lucky enuf to snap up the last polarfleece scarf in one cute little shop. sari remembered that she had a bandana in her bike bag, so didn't look further. then we proceeded to search out other kinds of interesting stops.
a "nut shop"--davis mountains nut company--across the street caught our eye, so over we bounded. it was a teensy little stone building, & inside a fellow greeted us with, "oh good, someone to sample the new recipe i've just created." he then brought out a plateful of chocolate-covered pecans. was this heaven?? it turned out they were a new capuccino/chocolate-covered pecan, & they were delicious. we also sampled many other flavors of pecans from an open tin on the counter. we chatted for quite a while with david billing, who, with his brother gus, had started this pecan business 7 years ago in gus' kitchen. they now use over 10,000 pounds of pecans a year to create the scrumptious roasted & dipped nuts they sell. learn more about them here
sari & i bought a pound to share...a mixture of the capuccino/chocolate & sassy cinnamon flavors. here's chip in the kitchen measuring out our order. we felt like we should add another $5 or so to our bill to cover the cost of all the samples we'd eaten.
nuts in tow, we headed on down the street in search of a phone jack & a piece of pie. we'd gotten a tip from the fellows at the nut shop about pie, but when we found the cafe they recommended, they were out of pecan pie! but they sent us on to a drug store that had a soda fountain, & we got their last 2 pieces of pecan pie. whew!
we also stopped at the ft. davis public library, housed in an old brick building. it's very nice, as are the people inside. they had not only computers for riders to use to check email, but a phone jack for me to use, so i was able to send off the 3/27 report & photos.
catherine picked up a bunch of us in the van for the trip back to the indian lodge. we had a map meeting at 5, then many ate supper in the restaurant. roma, sari, & i, plus several others, had liver & onions. it was served on a bed of brown gravy; i'd never seen that before. it must be texas style. it was delicious.
it had been cold & cloudy all day, but it was seeming to clear before supper, so i walked up behind the lodge to take this photo down into the state park, with the lodge in the foreground. it's a beautiful setting.
8 of us, headed up by caroline, our cultural events coordinator, left in the van at 7 for the drive to the mcdonald observatory. the night's "star party" was to begin at 7:30. my what a crowd there was at the visitors' center, including a busful of 40 school children from el paso. unfortunately, the sky was cloudy & never cleared, so we were never able to see jupiter, saturn, nor any other celestial sights through the telescopes. we went to a couple of programs, then headed back to the lodge.
If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, feel free to e-mail me with your request, and I'll save your note and get back to you after the ride. Stay tuned....

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