Fort Davis

Left Tuesday after a long meeting at work. Wheatsville, Whole Earth (fleece and pocket stove) and Whole Foods. On the road by 3pm, stayed in Fort Stockton after deciding not to arrive at 11pm at the David Mountains and try to set up the tent in the dark. A good decision.
Beautiful fall foliage along the Limpia Creek before Fort Davis (and also along 290 towards Fredericksburg) – lots of golds and greens and yellows. Also construction… waiting in line for the pilot car after first driving past the line.

Tent up by 10 am or so, hiked across the mountain to the Federal Park, the actual Fort. A nice hike, great views over Fort Davis (which now has a cellphone tower) and to the observatory. Ater 9 miles there abd back my left knee very sore.

36″ program at the Observatory – Frank the Sicilian astronomer drove us up with parking lights. Great lighting at the visitor center, Tatouine looking and subdued. The observatory with the darkest skies in America. Amazing skies… only one light across the valley was rather bright. 10 people, one family from San Antonio, other older people.

We saw Uranus with two moons (quite a long way away), a galaxy 150 million miles away, the star which is the middle star in Orion’s sword which is in fact a star factory, not one star at all; a globule of a quarter million stars… and Mars, actually rather the least amazing thing, though it too was amazing. The distances and the number of stars and the facts blew me away. Got to go here every day now. The universe is something like 150 billion light-years wide, as far as we know. The night sky up there was amazing. Just an incredible night, even though it was very late! Back in bed at 3 or something.

Thursday rode the scenic loop… 75 miles and very steep in parts. Took it easy and got into a comfortable gear and kept peddling and made it ok! Knee was ok, taking it easy, no hard pedaling, but my back got pretty bad after about half-way and the last 20 miles or so were quite tough, even if flatter. But very glad to have done it. The first part on 118 was the most beautiful and the steepest. Thanks to God for seeing me round with no mishaps. Ate spinach salad at Murphy’s Pizzeria then back for soup, campfire and bed. Not a bad campsite, a little close to the ac noise and parking lot light of the Indian Lodge, though.

Straight back on Friday – cellphone towers all along I-10 now, quesadillas at Tia’s restaurant in Ozona for luch, full of hunters… in fact the highway full of hunters in trucks with Kawasaki off-road vehicles going the other way for the opening of whitetail season.

Some patches of dead oak trees before Harper. Oak wilt?

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