Good Morning from West Texas

29 03 2010

We applied the Texas sticker to our “been there” map last night when we arrived at the Balmorhea State Park. Balmorhea is located just off of I-10, about 200 miles east of the Texas/New Mexico state line. Balmorhea is an oasis in this otherwise arid west Texas landscape. Water pours from natural springs, providing a crystal clear dive location, swimming pool and natural wetlands in this unlikely location. The camping area has about 30 spaces, all with a fire pit, grill, covered picnic table and water (it’s in great abundance here) and most with electric hookups and a few with cable TV access. The facilities are old, and the bathroom/shower house badly in need of an update. Plugged toilets, slow draining sinks and cracked shower floors earn this Texas state park our “thumbs down” rating. We’d probably not stop here again. An additional strike against this park is the unavailability of wireless internet access. Texas is in the process of providing Wi-Fi in all of their state parks, but obviously haven’t come to Balmorhea yet. And, even the Verizon Broadband service is very limited, only capable of a very show connection.

However, on the upside… We’re now far enough south that the trees are beginning to have leaves. The grass has greened up a bit around Balmorhea, there are a few wildflowers and it’s much warmer. For the first time we grilled outdoors and even enjoyed dinner outside at the picnic table. We seem to be following the last cold-front that delivered snow and rain throughout the mountain west. But it’s warming up – Balmorhea is forecast to 80 today and 93 tomorrow.

It’s about 10AM (in the Central time zone now) and we’re about 50 miles east of Balmorhea. With the facility situation and the lack of broadband, we decided to pack-up and head east to the Texas Hill Country. We’ll be leaving dry arid west Texas and hopefully seeing some of the beautiful wildflowers that the Hill Country is famous for. More from Kerrville, TX when we arrive!

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