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Fort Davis weekend

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Offline bdann

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Fort Davis weekend
« on: January 05, 2009, 09:39:19 PM »
My wife and I spent a long weekend in Fort Davis, Jan 2 - 5, here's a quick trip report...

Friday:
Uneventful drive out to Ft. Davis.  Gas was cheap, traffic was light, weather was warm.  We checked into the Indian Lodge at Ft. Davis State Park around 4:30 and settled into our room.  We stayed in the "new" section, which was very nice and comfortable.  The room was suprisingly spacious and very clean.  We ate dinner in the Black Bear Restaurant.  Genye got the chicken fried chicken, which she reported to be very good.  I got a cheeseburger that was massively over cooked and no so great.  That evening we just watched TV and relaxed.

Saturday:
We got up REALLY early Saturday to see if we could see some meteors from the Quadrantid meteor shower.  I counted around 36 from 3:00 AM to about 4:15 AM.  Once we had our fill, we went back to bed and slept late.  We got up later and headed to town for a late breakfast at the Ft. Davis Drugstore, which was excellent. 
We didn't have much for plans this day, other than visit the Observatory.  We decided to take the long way around and drive the Davis Mtns Scenic Drive, which I want to say is around a 60 mile loop.  Very nice drive, the road climbs well above 6000'.  We arrived at the McDonald Observatory around 1:00 PM.  We spent some time in the gift shop and had a coffee in the cafe before the afternoon tour/program started at 1:30 PM.  We opted not to come back for the star party that evening because the lady at the desk told us they were expecting up to 500 guests that night!
The afternoon program was fantastic and well worth the $8 each.  I'd done the guided tour twice before, but it has improved now, not to be missed if you're in Ft. Davis.  It was nearly 5:00 PM when we left the Observatory, and having skipped lunch, we were hungry.  We headed back to town and enjoyed the buffet at Cueva De Leon. 
After dinner we went back to the room and watched football for awhile, then I headed up Skyline Drive for some night photography that was mostly derailed by some battery issues. 

Sunday:
Sunday morning we had breakfast at the Black Bear, which was very tasty.  After breakfast I went on a short 2.5 mile hike on an un-named trail.  It was a great hike that took me to the top of the mountain opposite Skyline Drive, then back around to a point high above the Lodge, then steeply down to the Lodge parking lot.  The views were fantastic.   When I got back to the room we decided to go back to the Ft. Davis Drugstore for lunch.  We both had cheeseburgers and they were really good.  Sunday afternoon we spent watching football in our room as it had gotten quite cold outside.  Before dinner we drove up Skyline Drive to watch the sun go down.  It was an awesome sunset, though it was FREEZING!  Sunday dinner was at the Black Bear.

Monday - drove home with snow threatening and plenty of ice for the middle 350 miles or so, then just miserable rain for the last 150. 

A few photos here: http://picasaweb.google.com/brian.dann/FortDavis?authkey=dsuBAFdXgPI&feat=directlink
WATER, It does a body good.

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SHANEA

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Re: Fort Davis weekend
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2009, 09:55:50 PM »
Sounds like it was a great trip and I concur on the views.  Star party is well worth it, sans the 500 guests...   :icon_wink:  Good call there.  If you plan well enough in advance, I highly recommend the "limited edition" tours of the big scopes.  They even have a dinner party and lodging available up on Mount Locke.  It's really "weird" up to there at night with all the lights blacked out, red headlights on the vehicles, etc.   Saw a fantastic thunder and lightning show from up there.  The ampitheathre down at the visitor center is really nice too - and a lot of the local astronomers bring out their homemade scopes to show-and-tell. 

Always wanted to stay at the Indian Lodge - I've camped at the campground there several times - the raccoons and other mischievous animals are constantly at work on the coolers, etc.    Indian Lodge looks like a fantastic place for a romantic get away or something along those lines...   :icon_wink:  I bet more than one bambino had their beginnings there...  :rolling:   They recently, within the last two years or so, did a total remodel of the place.  Swimming pool looks really inviting during the warmer months - and it's not too far from Balmorhea. 

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SHANEA

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Re: Fort Davis weekend
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 09:59:17 PM »
Your pictures are really good.   :eusa_clap:

#2 - always looks like a welcome oasis when you see the Indian Lodge from afar.
#16 - man, sharp looking pano - what are those "bumps" on the hills?   :icon_wink:
#17 - nice capture there of the sky...  Sure makes it look daylight with that moon!   

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Offline randell

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Re: Fort Davis weekend
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2009, 02:41:26 PM »
WOW, really nice lighting and composition on #1 and #14.
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline bdann

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Re: Fort Davis weekend
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2009, 04:38:42 PM »
thanks, I wandered around the ridge a bit trying to find the best vantage point.  When I got to the grass lit up by the sun, it was just amazing.
WATER, It does a body good.

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Offline bdann

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Re: Fort Davis weekend
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2009, 04:40:13 PM »
WATER, It does a body good.

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Offline Goldilocks

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Re: Fort Davis weekend
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2009, 05:03:26 PM »
Beautiful!  Glad you and Genye were able to get away for a couple of days!

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Offline presidio

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Re: Fort Davis weekend
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2009, 11:56:36 AM »
thanks, I wandered around the ridge a bit trying to find the best vantage point.  When I got to the grass lit up by the sun, it was just amazing.


Very nice photo.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Fort Davis weekend
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009, 11:09:31 PM »
With this talent,BDann...i wonder what you could do here :eusa_think:
Stay thirsty, my friends.

 


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