Ft. Davis Inn & RV Park

18 03 2015
McDonald Observatory

McDonald Observatory

With all sites at Davis Mountains State Park full with spring  breakers, we’re once again parked in the somewhat impromptu sites behind the Ft. Davis Inn.  The 10 or so sites all offer 30 and 50 amp electric service, water and sewer.  There are also about 30 channels of cable TV available, with a few too snowy to watch and a couple with bad audio.  We were here at Ft. Davis Inn 3 years ago, right after the current owners took over.  They have made considerable progress on the RV services area which includes a restroom, shower and a washer/dryer.  They have also upgraded the WiFi by adding an extended range access point.  However, with a huge Class A coach between us and the transmitter, the WiFi is nearly unusable.  But, the Verizon cell signal is strong and we have no problem getting good internet access.  With a site closer to the motel, WiFi access would be excellent – I achieved nearly 5Mb when downloading an audio book while sitting at the picnic table at site #4.

Since leaving Carlsbad we’ve encountered wet, stormy weather.  In fact, the drive down from Carlsbad along US 285 was perhaps the worst drive we’ve made with the RV.  With what appears to be nearly constant traffic of heavy drilling equipment, the highway is a collection of potholes and patches made even worse with the heavy rains and muddy conditions.  By the time we reach Pecos, TX the roads are running over the curbs in a red river of mud.  Once we crossed over I-10 and continue south through Balmorhea, the storms have passed leaving only cloudy skies.

After working on Wednesday morning we decide to go check out the Observatory to see what’s happening for Spring Break.  The visitors center is surprisingly quiet giving us quick access to the Solar presentation.  There is no live solar viewing due to cloud cover, however the evening forecast is expected to improve enough for the scheduled Star Party.  A few years ago we attended a Star Party with perhaps 100 other guests.  This evening, the entire outdoor amphitheater is packed, standing room only – there could be nearly 1000 here!  The Observatory staff has arranged for several additional telescopes, and after about a 30 minute introduction to the night objects that we will be viewing, the crowd disburses and forms lines at each telescope.  Even with the crowd, the lines are fairly manageable, and we enjoy our evening viewing the Galilean moons of Jupiter, the Orion Nebula and several other objects added as slight cloud cover drifts overhead.

We’re staying here in Ft. Davis until Friday when we plan to move into Big Bend National Park.  There’s very little cellular or WiFi access in the Park, so no updates until we leave the park on Sunday afternoon.




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