MacMillen RV Park, Ft. Davis, TX

11 05 2019

MacMillen RV Part, Ft. Davis, TX

We last visited MacMillen RV Park in 2016 when  nearby Davis Mountains State Park was hosting the Mile High Chili Cookoff. We’re pleased to note that the amenities at MacMillen have seen major improvements since our last visit.  The laundry room now has two washer/dryer combination machines that look fairly new and run $2.50/wash and $2.00/dry.  The guest showers are repainted and clean.  The former patio area is been cleaned up and reverted to a private area for the owners that are living in the main house.  We’re once again parked at the central row of sites, with a 50A outlet, water, a sewer port and cable TV.  There is a small tree on each side of our site along with a covered picnic table.

MacMillen RV Part, Ft. Davis, TX

 

 

 

The plan is to spend 3 nights in Ft. Davis so that we can attend the Friday night Twilight Program and Star Party at McDonald Observatory.  However, weather forecasts are not looking favorable and sure enough, Friday evening is damp, cold and foggy.  We attend the Twilight Program in the visitor center theater but are disappointed when the Star Party is moved indoors.  Oh well, maybe next year!

After Ft. Davis, we’re headed to Las Cruces.  More from southern New Mexico…





Davis Mountains State Park

19 03 2017

Davis Mountains State Park #7

The Davis Mountains of west Texas never disappoint.  Our nicely wooded sites #7 and #10 PARK MAP along the (dry) creek bed provide plenty of privacy and shade as the temps climb into the 90’s.  Unusual for this time of year, this heat wave has been with us since Phoenix and Tucson where they were breaking records and running 20+ degrees above normal.

Our weekend in Ft. Davis includes a McDonald Observatory Visitor Center tour, wandering through the old western downtown and a visit to the Ft. Davis Army Fort.  On Saturday we make the short trip to Alpine to make reservations at the Lost Alaskan RV park where we’ll spend 2 nights on our way south to Big Bend.  On Sunday we head down to famous Marfa with a good friend that has joined us from Las Cruces, NM.  A bit of a disappointment, about the only thing we could find that looked open and inviting was the Planet Marfa beer garden.  The folks were friendly, the beer was cold and the peanuts were free – what more could you ask for in a beer garden in the middle of West Texas?

After Ft. Davis we’ll make our way south toward Big Bend where we’re planning to stay next weekend.  We’ll spend 2 nights at the Lost Alaskan and then 1 or 2 nights at Maverick Ranch in Lajitas. More from Big Bend country…





Van Horn and on to Davis Mountains State Park

17 03 2017

Van Horn RV Park

After leaving Las Cruces we’ve arrived in Van Horn – a popular stop in our west Texas travels.  Last year we spent 2 nights at Mountain View RV Park and decided it was a bit too close to I-10 and the rail road tracks.  This year we’re back at the former KOA, this year a little drier and dustier with the drought that is continuing in west Texas.  We’re assigned site E7, a long back-in with full hookups.  Site E8 would be somewhat better, an end site with a small patch of almost green grass and a cactus garden.

Van Horn RV Park

After a quick overnight in Van Horn, we’re bound for Davis Mountains State Park, one of our favorite Texas State Parks.  Located just outside Ft. Davis, the park provides easy access to the historic fort and McDonald Observatory.  We’ll spend the next 3 nights at Davis Mountains where we’ll catch up with our good friends from Montrose, CO – who are on their way back to Colorado after spending about 7 weeks in Texas RV parks. More from the Davis Mountains of west Texas…





Mile High Chili Cookoff, Davis Mountains State Park

23 04 2016
MacMillien RV Park, Ft. Davis, TX

MacMillen RV Park, Ft. Davis, TX

What, a mile high event that’s not in Denver?  We were surprised to read about this event when attempting to reserve a site at Davis Mountains State Park near Ft. Davis, TX.  Boasting  an elevation of between 5000 and 6000 feet, Davis Mountains SP indeed can host “mile high” competitions.  With 27 chili cooks, this CASI suctioned event judges chili, beans and salsa.  And, with complimentary park admission and a $4 donation to friends-of-the park, it’s a great afternoon out for everyone.  We enjoyed talking with the cooks, learned a bit about how a good cook could eventually be invited to the Terlingua International Chili Championship and of course tasting many of the chilis.

Mile High Chili Cookoff, Davis Mountains SP

Mile High Chili Cookoff, Davis Mountains SP

Mile High Chili Cookoff, Davis Mountains SP

Mile High Chili Cookoff, Davis Mountains SP

With all sites in Davis reserved for chili cooks, we opted to try MacMillen RV Park south of Ft. Davis.  We’re in site #25,  about the center of this 30 site park.  The sites are long, spacious and level – providing 50A power, water and sewer plus about 12 analog channels of cable TV.  Many of the central sites have a picnic table and a small tree in between you and your neighbor. Facilities have long deferred maintenance, the laundry room is down to a single washer and dryer – the shower rooms each have rattling fans and flaking paint.  A former patio area is now deep in weeds.  It’s unfortunate that these types of properties are let go – but maybe there’s enough profit at $30/night to keep visitors around long enough to break even.  Or, maybe there’s a complete lack of use of these type of facilities with fully contained RV’s, so it’s just not worth the investment.  Whatever the reason, this park is on par with the others in Ft. Davis and enjoys a quiet, peaceful setting on the outskirts of town.  We’re planning to attend a Star Party at McDonald Observatory tonight, then continue north toward Carlsbad, NM tomorrow.  More from there…

MacMillien RV Park, Ft. Davis, TX

MacMillen RV Park, Ft. Davis, TX





Davis Mountains State Park

20 03 2016
Davis Mountains State Park, Site #51

Davis Mountains State Park, Site #51

Good Morning from the Davis Mountains in West Texas.

We’ve visited the area several times, even before we had the truck camper.  We’ve stayed at Indian Lodge, but have never managed to get reservations at the Davis Mountains SP campground.  It seems that we’re almost always through Ft. Davis during Spring Break, when all campsites are busy and the town is full.  However, with better planning this year, we managed to reserve a campsite for 2 nights, apparently right at the end of Spring Break.  One of our favorite spots in West Texas, the McDonald Observatory always has special spring break Twilight Programs and Star Parties.  However, with the moon nearly full this Saturday evening, there’s little chance of seeing much through the telescopes.  And with temperatures dipping below freezing overnight, we opt to forgo the evening programs.

A nice change from Van Horn, our first night in the campground is quiet, relaxing and peaceful.  With all sites nearly full on Saturday when we arrive, we’re almost alone on Sunday after the spring breakers head home.  The nearby Black Bear Restaurant at Indian Lodge offers a tasty lunch buffet on Sunday.  In the afternoon we head out to the observatory for the daily Solar Program.  It’s always interesting to watch the sun “live” (as opposed to real time, which isn’t possible since it takes 8.5 seconds for the sunlight to arrive on Earth).  Watching the coronal flares and molten gases on the surface, we’re more inclined to slather on a bit more sunscreen and be better at wearing hats.  We’re also reminded that the Star Party includes one of our favorite aspects, the constellation talk, followed by telescope viewing. At least the telescope viewing is best enjoyed outside of Spring Break and Easter weekends – and both are better on darker (new moon) skies.  We may check schedules for our return trip.

Technology somehow still completely escapes Davis Mountain State Park.  Hidden up a valley, there’s no cellular service or over the air TV. The park offers some WiFi, best used at the entry gate or the interpretive center.  However, with just the right placement of a PC next to a window, we’re able to slowly download email.  We’re parked in site #51, a nice creek side water/electric site nestled into the trees.  There are two loops with full services including cable TV – the pull-throughs creek-side (#1-#8) are very nice.  The “upper loop” (#28 – #28) are located on a fairly steep loop and will take a fair amount of front to rear leveling and have fewer trees. The rest of the sites are best left for tent campers, low trees and narrow roadways would make RV entry very difficult.

Tomorrow we’ll continue east, with a overnight stop in Del Rio, then on to one of our favorite spots, the Texas Hill Country west of San Antonio.  More from there…