We had tried to unpack very little for our one night stopover so packing up the camper didn’t take too long. By 10am, we were at Fort Davis National Historic Site. This was set up as a protective outpost in 1849 for those travelling the San Antonio – El Paso road, and then onwards to California in search of gold. As part of the Junior Ranger program, we learned that the travelers would walk an average of 8 miles a day next to their wagons filled with furniture and belongings. It would have taken them 50 days to reach Fort Davis from San Antonio and from there, they still had 125 days to walk until they made it to California!
The main enemies of those billeted at the Fort were the Indians, particularly the Apaches. They did not appreciate the taking of the land or the onslaught of the New American population. It was interesting to learn that although the Fort had no walls surrounding it, the Apaches never attacked: too few of them compared to the number of soldiers to confront in a full out battle. The Apaches did occasionally come into the Fort to steal cattle but otherwise were only confrontational when the soldiers waited to ambush them at their waterholes.
After receiving their Junior Ranger patches and eating lunch, the kids begged to have ice cream. Fort Davis has an old caboose on railway tracks that is a cool ice cream store, selling Blue Bell ice cream. We had our choice of 24 flavors, different cones and toppings; it was delicious! The Moon’s own this, along with a couple of other stores in town, and, as I had to go ‘next door’ to pay by credit card, I met Mr Moon (and bought fudge….), who gave us a prettier alternative route up to Carlsbad.
The GPS certainly did not want us to take the roads he had suggested but, it was worth it. They were extremely windy and fairly steep initially (good practice for UT and CA Dave said, while I gripped the door handle and tried to remain calm….) but did take us through some pretty areas. Once off the I10, we again pained the GPS by taking the TX-54 in a straight line up to the Guadalupe Mountains, driving through some spectacular scenery and past a few remote ranches. We were laughing that we were certainly on ‘the road less travelled’ as we saw 4 other cars in a 30mile stretch!
We passed Guadalupe Mountains NP and ran in to collect the Junior Ranger books, before heading to Carlsbad RV Park. We absolutely felt like we were in desert area at this park, lots of dusty ground, very few trees and pretty barren. Certainly there were plenty of positives though: there were two Shetland ponies, turtles, sheep and goats, also a heated indoor pool, playground, an awesome 5-piece tire swing and bonus: $1 movie rentals!
States visited: 49!
visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800
Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)