A ride to Balmorhea Hot Springs…

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

I keep thinking sometimes how can one be so busy living on the road!… and then this happens and I wonder even more… The day started, well you know, this is a small town… and when you are standing on the sidewalk, same bookstore, one sees everything going on… including when a little pickup trailering a little Scamp has a flat tire! Okay… I know… not a big deal… not even worth taking a picture or two… well, it is, here! We generally have nothing else better to do… and we all helped change the tire! Me too… I took the pictures… And this is what does not make much sense you will tell me after my opening phrase… I think we have priorities set up a bit different… that’s all! You see, there is even a horse going by… and that is at least another half an hour of conversation! But we had to go… stop at the Reptile Museum first… where Buzz manages the snakes and other little critters… none that are too friendly. I also needed to say Hi to him from another member that had asked me to… message or not… I still paid my 4$ to get in… I am always fascinated by the Rattle Snakes… and had never seen a Scorpion this big!

Back on the bike toward the Balmorhea Hot Springs that I have heard so much about.
I probably always talk about the last road ridden that it is the best one!… well… the road from Fort Davis to Balmorhea IS NOT to be missed… great black top… great scenery… curves…old mountains and rugged ones… you have it all.

Roses Pass… and on the left a complete row of mountains with caverns carved on its sides…
I am still amazed how it ever happened that all this land is private! 98% of all Texas… and as I look at all the great private roads going up the hills, I wonder if they would ever pass a State Dual Sport Day… when all the owners will put their gates down and let us enjoy the hills!

And we arrive in Balmorhea… a peaceful State Park in the middle of nowhere… with the scenery
of those mountains we had just passed, there it was, and, if I had known, if my plans were not already made, as California Park reservations are driving me bunkers, I would have camped here a few nights! Each site had a brick awning, table, benches… and one can even pick up WI FI from their office! Next year I promised myself… a great place to write, relax, cover for some serious outdoor cooking… all here.

A long walk with Spirit, he finally gets his exercise, well, we both do, with this warmer weather, and he will patiently wait in his sidecar while I go check out the pool… where no dogs are allowed.
Immense… giant pool… millions of gallons of water pouring in every minute… nice water temperature, more thoughts about coming back here for a few days.
It is deserted right now, not in season… I forgot… the Holidays are over and everyone is back at work… save your money and come to Balmorhea, you will not regret it.

I have to leave however, my last day of riding in Texas I imagine, I still wanted to go to Marfa, if nothing else, you guessed it, to have some of that Pizza I have also been hearing about.
Balmorhea will be on my mind for a while…

Back on the road, back through Fort Davis and on to Marfa… There are 3 giant tomato plants on the way and I was thinking that maybe they give tours… after all, being a Chef I should know where those tomatoes come from… you know… the ones that are never ripe!
But there is a armed guard up front… did I say armed! I am not intimidated, but, no sir, no tours.
You can however come back on Friday when they sell tomatoes to the public… sure… I will make a point of it to detour. Three facilities… 42 acres each… that is a lot of “maters”…

The wind was against me again, I was already looking forward to coming back… I love to ride with the wind behind me! An old gas station I was told… Marfa is quiet, not much at all going on and the Pizza joint is an easy one…

Yes, it was a good day… and you know why?… because the Pizza was awesome and, unlike some from Chicago that have no clue what a white Pizza is… these folks knew exactly what it was…
Olive oil… garlic… spinach and lots and lots of Mozzarella… with a semi whole wheat crust, a bit crunchy on the edges… best Pizza in a long long time…
Friendly people, from New York, makes sense right?… been there four years… and too busy to even have yet seen Big Bend, yet, just a few miles away…
Did I talk to them about my own philosophy?… you know the one where life is too short… this being a one way trip… of course I did! Someday… they will do it.

See you soon…

Ara & Spirit

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