Week 160: Fort Davis and El Paso, TX

Feb. 20 - 26, 2022

Sunday, back to the Big Bend! I actually started the day by watching the sunrise! That doesn't happen very often but we have a lot of miles to cover today. This time we visited the west side of the park.  We started by going thru Alpine, TX where we saw a herd of elk on the way.  We entered the park thru the Terlingua entrance (past the airplane house again).  Our first stop in the park was the Santa Elena Canyon Overlook. Wow, just Wow! I wish we had our rubber boots, there is a trail that goes farther into the canyon to an overlook.  I whimped out and didn't want to get wet.  You could tell that the water was very low.  We drove back past the Mule Ears trail head and out to the Lower Burro Mesa Pour-off trail head.  We met a couple from Beaumont riding their motorcycle thru the park and who had spotted a barbary sheep. We chatted for a bit and got a couple of photos of the sheep.  We walked the Sam Nail Ranch Trail past an old homestead that still has an operating windmill... I would love to have a windmill. We exited the park back thru Terlingua where I visited a quilt shop.  It was more of a sales of already created quilts rather than quilt making supplies.  I did find a piece of fabric though.  Next we drove Hwy 170 along the border to the town of Presidio. We saw the abandoned Contrabando movie set and we made a stop at Big Bend Ranch State Park. There was a large group of mountain bikers there who had been enjoying the trails.  Presidio was a bit weird, it seemed like a pretty good sized town but there was no one out on the streets.  We enjoyed the long ride back to Fort Davis.

Monday, the wind kicked up again so we spent the day inside.  The dust made for an interesting sunset.

Tuesday, we moved to El Paso. As we left Fort Davis we saw a Border Patrol helicopter and truck teamed up in the hills near where we saw the blimp last week...hummm. We stopped at a truck wash to get the coach washed.  It took 2 hours to get in and about 30 minutes to get the actual wash. I guess all the truckers needed a wash too. Our new park is right by the interstate so we will miss the peace and quiet we enjoyed the last few weeks.  I'm six and a half weeks into eating a Keto diet I've lost 10 pounds.  That is a pound and a half per week.  I would say that is pretty darn good, especially since there has been VERY little exercise going on in that time frame. The weight change happens in fits and starts but I'd say its pretty effective.  I am going to continue this for six months total and then have blood work done again before deciding whether to continue eating this way.  I do want to emphasis that I am doing "clean" keto, not just eating a bunch of bacon LOL. I'm not gonna lie, I miss bread but overall I don't feel deprived and I am eating more calories that usual. 

Wednesday, we made a quick grocery run today.  Then we just enjoyed a day of rest after all the activity of late.  

Thursday, we did a little exploration around El Paso, including some Roadside America attractions.  We visited the Chamizal National Memorial. It is a tribute to the agreement that ended a 100 year disagreement over the border between the U.S. and Mexico.  Since the Rio Grande changes coarse so much it was agreed to build a canal that would serve as a fixed border.  Next we ticked off some Roadside America attractions, Pancho Villa's trigger finger, it is in a local pawn shop but there was no parking so we passed it. "The Door" was an interesting sculpture on the way to the San Jacinto Plaza.  The plaza provides a nice, cool, open area in downtown for the the folks who work there to get outside.  They was an interesting alligator sculptor.  El Paso Holocaust Museum & Study Center was next.  It is a really well done museum.  The most impactful exhibit to me was a book, "And Every Single One Was Someone". It is simply 1250 pages of only the word Jew, printed in 40 columns 120 lines long on each page...6,000,000. The book is about 3 inches thick. I hope we never forget. We ended with another Roadside America attraction, a sculpture called the Cloud which is in the center of a roundabout.  The weather made it nice day.

Friday, laundry day...

Saturday, we started the day with another Roadside America point, the House of Sugar. The homeowner has turned his fence into a work of art.  It really does look like sugar.  Next we visited the National Border Patrol Museum, very interesting. The entire property was surrounded by unexploded ordinance signs, I never did find out why but I assume it has something to do with Fort Bliss.  Did you know that when they were founded back in 1904 they were charged with detecting Chinese aliens and Europeans who didn't pass inspection at Ellis Island who were trying to enter the country illegally thru our southern border.  They had several very ingenious crossing devices that they've captured over the years on display. They have several different vehicles they've used to patrol over the years. Next door was the El Paso Museum of Archaeology. Very cool pottery and dioramas. We continued with a drive thru the Scenic Drive Park.  It was a beautiful view for sure and I found a USGS marker. The big red X monument is called La Equis but its official name is Monumento a la Mexicanidad. Our next stop was a Triple D restaurant Tasty Kabob. It is Persian food and it was pretty good. Then the day turned south, my phone crashed... hard! It got stuck in a reboot loop and I couldn't get it to do anything, not even turn off.  I let the battery die and when I plugged back in, it was still stuck in the loop.  I ended up buying a new phone at the local Best Buy.  Guess Sunday will be spent setting that up and trying to recover as much data as I can. 

Make Life an Adventure!