In the Davis Mountains

11 03 2013

We’ve arrived in Ft. Davis, a small western-feeling town surrounded by the Davis Mountains of  Southwest Texas.

Old Texas Inn, Ft. Davis

Old Texas Inn, Ft. Davis

Jeff Davis County Courthouse

Jeff Davis County Courthouse

Indian Lodge

Indian Lodge

We’ve visited Fort Davis a number of time – one of the first was before the camper or trailer when we stayed in Indian Lodge. Located within Davis Mountains State Park, Indian Lodge was built in the 1930’s by the CCC and has been meticulous enhanced and maintained by Texas State Parks. Considered the “crown jewel” of the Texas CCC structures, the Lodge includes 39 guest rooms, meeting space, an onsite restaurant, swimming pool and access to miles of hiking trails throughout the park. In addition to the Lodge is a 94 site RV campground with full hookups. Unfortunately there is no cellular or WiFi access in the park so we didn’t stay in the park.

Harlan J. Smith 107-inch Telescope

Harlan J. Smith 107-inch Telescope

Another attraction that has brought us to the Fort Davis area is the MacDonald Observatory. We attended a Star Party during our first visit and stay at Indian Lodge. These open to the public gatherings generally occur during dark moon phases (except during Spring Break when they are more regular) and include fun and information for the entire family. The 22-inch and 16-inch telescopes are available for viewing during the evening parties along with staff and researchers that demonstrate aspects of our solar system, point out easy-to-see objects and any special night-sky events. We were so fascinated by the work at MacDonald that several years later we returned for a much more intimate program when the 107-inch Harlan J Smith telescope is opened to the public. The “Dinner and Viewing” evening starts with dinner served in the Astronomers Lounge, where professional and students stay during research projects at MacDonald. After dinner the small group is lead into the telescope where the dome is slowly opened to reveal the night sky from high atop Mount Locke. Led by a professional astronomer, the program includes plenty of viewing opportunities, open question/answer sessions and background into how modern-day star study is done. This is a 10-12 times per year presentation – make reservations early.

Our stay in Fort Davis was at a small RV campground hosted by the Fort Davis Motor Inn. 14 sites in a small grove of cottonwood trees behind the hotel provide full hookups (with snowy TV cable signals) enhanced with laundry and shower-house access. Things are apparently in the midst of upgrades, the laundry isn’t functional and the showers were in need of cleaning and refurbishment. If you are completely self-contained or only need hookups, this is a good option for a close-to-town and quiet park. The cellular coverage was good, and the motel’s WiFi signal was adequate. After spending two fairly chilly and windy days, we’ve opted to continue south to Lajitas. More from the banks of the Rio Grande!

From Fort Davis Motor Inn RV Park

From Fort Davis Motor Inn RV Park

From Fort Davis Motor Inn RV Park

From Fort Davis Motor Inn RV Park

From Fort Davis Motor Inn RV Park

From Fort Davis Motor Inn RV Park

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: