Tuesday, April 12, 2016

March 24, 2016 - Sonora, TX to Fort Davis, TX

It was a very beautiful, but chilly morning. Winds were over 20 mph. We got everything put away for our next trip.

Mike, the manager, stopped by to see if everything was alright, gave us the receipt for last night’s stay.  We will definitely come back here next time we visit Sonora, TX.

Mike & Erwin
We left Stadium Park at 10:30 am. Edith looked at the map and decided that we were not going to visit San Angelo, TX. Another time, perhaps. We decided to go to Fort Davis and Erwin called the Historic Prude Ranch for campsite availability. They have spaces.

Pollen was still very high and with the wind it was even worse.  Edith had been taking Allclear, which seemed to help a bit.  

Diesel prices jumped up 10 cents more today than it was yesterday. Thanks to Gas Buddy app we found Sunoco that had diesel for $1.79 g. There was a long line of cars waiting to get gas/diesel.  Elsewhere it was $1.89 g.  The gas station across the street had it for $1.89. Tough competition.  

Waiting in long line for diesel since it was cheaper than
other gas stations nearby
While pumping Erwin noticed the fuel cap was missing from the post he put it on, notified Edith about it. She went out to help him look for it. We thought someone might have taken it by mistake.  The attendant noticed it under the LH in the back. The wind must have knocked it down and it rolled way down to the back. What a big relief to find it. $74 (the pump cut it off at that point).

Now on I-10 West to Fort Davis, TX.  Good road condition and not much traffic.  The sky was still all blue. It is a good thing the sun was behind us, won’t glare in our eyes while we drive west.

We pulled into a rest area few miles west of Sonora, TX  (1 mile east of Exit #392). There were interesting wagon wheel picnic shelters and rails.

After Sonora the route was not very scenic, but there were some interesting landscapes after Exit 392. Lots of rocky landscapes, shorthorn cows, few oil pumps, lots of bare trees, rock walls. No sight of bluebonnets or Indian paintbrush along the way. No birds in flight! No wildlife! The right lane, for so many miles, was rough!!! 

Views as seen from I-10 W on way to Ozone, TX
First sight of wind turbines on the north side near rest area. Lots of them, about 4 miles long. We pulled into a rest area at Exit #310 for lunch/coffee break and to stretch our legs.

We took Exit #261 to go to the post office in Fort Stockton, so Edith can mail a priority express package to a person who needed it.

Edith at Fort Stockton Post Office
After leaving the post office we went by the side road, so Edith can take pictures of Piasano Pete Giant Roadrunner statue. 

We stopped at Walmart on W. Dickinson to pick up more fresh fruits and milk for Erwin's breakfast.

The sky was still all blue.  Not as chilly or very windy as it was this morning.  The traffic was great all day long. Easy in/out at every stop we made.

The landscape is not as barren, but less trees. We can see the far blue mountains in the distant West.

The far blue mountains
The road surface after we left Fort Stockton was almost as flat and not very straight. There were many motorhomes heading east on I-10.  The elevation was slowly climbing to 3,000'.

We got off to Exit #209 for Fort Davis, TX, turned left then right to get on Texas 17 South.

The scene along Texas 17 S was very beautiful. Lots of mountains, plateaus, very rocky.  We drove through Balmorhea town and there is a state park with campsites, but we wanted to camp in Fort Davis. 

Approaching Fort Davis Texas 17 South

There was a fire on the mountain and we were not sure if it was prescribed or not. Firetrucks and police cars were parked on the shoulder.  There were many ranchers on the road looking on to the wildfire.

From Texas 17 S we turned right to Texas 118 North for Historic Prude Ranch & RV Park.
We arrived at the ranch at 5:15 pm, stopped by the office and got the map of the ranch. There are two separate RV sites, one back-in and the other pull-thru. We chose to park at back-in sites and got the site with 50 amps (only one available).

After eating leftovers we went off to Marfa, TX to see the mysterious lights..  There were few pronghorns grazing in the field as we were heading south.  

A herd of pronghorns

The parking lot at the Marfa Lights viewing area was pretty much filled up, but Edith managed to find a tight space to park the Jeep in.  We walked up to the viewing area and had to wait until the sky was dark.  It was very cold!  After waiting 45 minutes Erwin gave up and went back to the Jeep while Edith stayed and waited.  She finally saw the Marfa lights, also known as ghost lights or glowing orbs, and they were aberrant movements.  It was difficult for Edith to capture the lights because they were so far away and small. The glowing orbs were sometimes red, sometimes blue, sometimes white.

The glowing orb on the left side
The moon rose above the peak making it difficult for Edith to focus on the orbs. After staying out for over an hour she decided to pack up her camera bag and we left to go back to the ranch.

****We have put on 1,900 miles on our LH since we left Jacksonville, FL on March 4th***

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