Sunday, August 31, 2014

Trans-Pecos Weekend

 Our family loaded up Friday morning for a nice trip to the Trans-Pecos out in Far West Texas to visit the Labor Day festivities around the tri-county country. We enjoyed a brunch at the Sutton County Steakhouse in Sonora. It was great food for a very fair price topped off with great service.

Arrived in Alpine to check into our rooms and then a late afternoon drive to Marfa to see their festival celebrating their famed Marfa Lights. Most of the activities were downtown around their county courthouse.

It was packed with folks enjoying the vendors, food and several bands that were playing over the weekend.

We spent most of our time at the Paisano Hotel. It is an old historic hotel that still takes care of guests and has wonderful meals on their outdoor patio, which we enjoyed.

James Dean, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor and a whole bunch of Warner Brother stars and technicians stayed here one summer while they filmed the movie, "Giant". Lots of memories were made here and the hotel has a special room dedicated with these times back in the 1950's.

Saturday morning bright and early, we headed to the Alpine airport for the 20th annual Big Bend Balloon Bash, of which I will report on after the holiday. But here is a preview:

Ten balloons may not sound like much but they were all very impressive.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Summertime Visit Downtown

Private home on the Concho River.

The San Angelo Visitor Center

It has been a little cooler here in West Texas this summer. July was very dry as always but we've had some hit and miss showers in August with some pleasant temperatures. They are just perfect to set up for a walk downtown along the North Concho river in San Angelo.

The city has spent lots of time, money and energy revitalizing the river walk lately. They have been showing off much of their hard work in the last year and I must say it is a very nice attraction for locals and visitors alike.
Jogging & walking trails along the riverside.

The city sponsors a celebration of the rivers that joined together at the point that established our town which is very close to Fort Concho. River Fest will be in mid September.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Harper Park at Seymour Crossing

Out for a Sunday drive this afternoon to check out Harper Park, a county park in Tom Green County, Texas. It is off the beaten path and travelers would not even know it was there for them to use except I saw it on a printed map as a picnic day use area but in fact it has about a dozen electric and water connections. There is also a dump station on the site. The North Concho river provides decent fishing for the die hard angler on this hot summer day.

Here is a reference site.

There is a campground host and it is kinda an honor system arrangement. Very quiet and very shady among some of the sites. It does look like it could use a little tender loving care but this park is nothing to stay away from because it's location and basic amenities are just fine. At $20 a night, not a bad deal. A couple of cabins and community kitchen are available for rental. The restrooms and showers were nice and clean and open for use.

There are several picnic table scattered along the banks of the North Concho river. The tables and rest areas are perfectly located under large and healthy pecan trees. The afternoon breeze was an excellent air conditioner.

Even though the grass is dry and suffering from the long days of heat and drought, the park is a welcome break from road weary travelers. It is often patrolled by law enforcement because it is a great shady spot for them to park and take a break or catch up on paperwork.

You might give it a look if you are in the area.

Monday, August 4, 2014

It's Fun To Get Out And About

On our weekend trip to the Texas Hill Country, we stayed overnight in Fredericksburg. As always the town was packed with visitors and workers. Behind one of our favorite restaurants near downtown, we stumbled upon a large city block of small cabins, streams, water wheels and natural areas. There was not a living soul on the premises and there were no signs. No parking signs, no informations signs. Nothing except for the name of the cabin which was shown on each door and even it was discreet.

What a beautiful setting. Even though it was in the city, it seemed like it was miles away from civilization. We became curious about its purpose and so we walked a ways to ask a neighbor who was sitting outside with her dog.

The neighbor says the property is owned by a shoe company in San Antonio and uses it as a corporate retreat for its employees and stockholders and other important company people. It is not used by the general public. It is not fenced off and there are no 'keep out' signs so visitors can roam around.

Our purpose of our trip to San Antonio was to attend a surprise 65th birthday party for my brother. His wife had been carefully planning and organizing for a long time to pull this off and sure enough she did. He had a lot of old friends and family attend the brunch party and everyone had a great time including our 90 year old mother.

I enjoyed getting out of town and even though I had gotten tired during the days, I felt stronger because of the exercise required while traveling. Wearing a colon bag and maintaining it while traveling has been a chore and changing the dressing on the wound has also been a learning curve but I am getting stronger and glad to be able to get out and about.

How would you like to stay over night in this unique 2 story rock cabin?
The windmill actually pumped water when the wind blew enough.

The water wheel actually worked and it make great sounds as it creaked around.

Happy 65th birthday, brother!