Day 2, Fort Davis, Texas…

Friday, January 5th, 2007

A quick stop this morning next store at the Twin Soul Café, where I also met my new friend Jerry who, with the help of his wife, are opening a Bookstore. Well, nothing quick actually as the conversations went on for about an hour. Sunny skies, uncluttered from any clouds, the wind was howling and swirls of sand made the short walk almost a challenge. I finally, on my return, took the rig off the trailer, we needed to ride… you know what I mean… can’t go too long without it. Destination?… Fort Davis, Fort Davis Mountain and the Observatory… A quick ride through the Fort, decided to skip it today and come back to spend more time… I wanted to ride the Mountains today…

Fort Davis Mountain is a beautiful Park with some incredible roads. On the opposite side from the one I was climbing, I noticed an unpaved one… will have to ask about it as it looked promising. Many campsites and the Indian Lodge… the best was the road going up to the scenic look out point. I am always surprised to see how little traffic there is around here… how few campers there are! As an example, where I am staying right now also I am the only one… From the top, with just a little walking you can see as far as your vision allowed, a 360 degree panoramic view. The winds had not died down… even Spirit was struggling and I had a hard time holding the camera still…

He does not like wind either… does not like water… only good smells… and there were plenty of them up there. Many old structures are left here and there, great view points to see the enemies miles away, no where to hide between the distant Mountains and where I was, I can just imagine the scenes many moons ago in war times! And again I have to return! I have a tendency to ride quickly through it all, get a feel for the area and then go back spending more time in learning the history of it, reading about it. I managed to keep him still for a minute while I took this shot… I probably have already written this, but he has been such a good sport! Talking about a no complainer!… I know I have said this, he is not a morning dog… but then again… I kind of like him being quiet in the morning… This guys can sleep… eat… and always ready for walks… loves it! Our descent down the hills, fun… fun… fun… And we have to stop again for more scenery… I would say, “on a clear day you could see Big Bend”… but not really! I do see the road that leads to it, passing through Alpine first which I would also like to go back to. On the top of the Mountain, to the right, you will almost have to guess it, is the Observatory… Nice roads going up, it is getting warmer, the Gerbings are off, and somehow the winds have died down. The Gs has been running without a flow… hate to even think about it as not to disturb its karma… soon she will need an oil change again. Have not lost any bolts or nuts… checking them weekly and using some blue Loctite has helped!

And here it is… I don’t know why, but I thought it was going to be bigger! What do I know… There is nobody around, I bypassed the Visitor Center, where the crowd is, which means again I have to come back.. The doors are open and I was surprised to be able to walk right to it, separated only by a glass window. Spirit stays in the car, a little sunshine today will do him good, no need for his cover. It is the only telescope made of many little mirrors, the complete lens measuring 11 meters. I watched the short program they have on a couple televisions, very interesting as it has become more of a remote telescope, with some complains from the old fashion Astronomers which do not even need to come here anymore, as all their datas are transferred to their remote location. My mother use to work, in Germany, for ESO, same idea, the Organization,comprised of 11 countries, have their telescope on the high mountains of Chile, while the scientists and astronomers resided in Germany, near Eching to be exact, a bit north of Munich, and did their research remotely… I can understand that… kind of like if I ran a kitchen from my home through computers! You can see the lens pointing out, the dome today was not open… I just wish I could come back one night for their Star Party! They are working on a 25 meter lens and even thinking about a 100 meter one… That would be so incredible… we could finally find out what the “others” are riding!!! So now I know where I need to go back!… There are still Balmorhea… ride the loop from Fort Davis on 118 and 166 back to town. The need to go to Marfa for what also I heard a great Pizza… will see about that! Alpine… and the City of Fort Davis itself where I want to visit a reptile center! Not quite a reptile, well, none by far… a giant Tarantula caught my attention, just hanging on a fence… Texas size… remembering that everyday while in Big Bend VIVID1 looked for one… I needed to let her know that I had found a nice specimen today… I did not get too close, thinking about Spirit’s and my own safety… but I was still able to get a nice shot of it… The altitude here is over a mile, like being in Denver, and I feel it. I think it will take me a couple days to get used to it… just maybe a bit out of breath… a slight sense of tiredness… and then again, what is the rush! Be well… Ara & Spirit

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