Thursday, April 4, 2013

Moving North–Alpine, Balmorhea, Longhorn Cattle, and Armadillos

We left Big Bend, but only moved a hundred miles or so north to the town of Alpine, Texas.  We moved there in no small part as there was no Church for me to attend an Easter Mass in Terlingua, outside Big Bend.  We couldn’t do much in Alpine.  The Museum of the Big Bend was closed for Easter weekend and Sul Ross University was down for the holiday weekend, about the only attractions in the town.  But we were able to get a radio signal again.  In Terlingua we were not able to pull in a single AM or FM station on our car radio.   And there are definitely no over-the-air TV signals anywhere in the area.  Internet through both our cellular modem and available wifi has been real spotty as well.   On Sunday, our campground allowed us to wash the motor home – the dust was an inch thick by this time.  Then we were on our way.

100_5482Our next brief stop was a Balmorhea State Park.  About the only feature of this park is its spring.  But, oh what an impressive spring it is.  This spring pumps out a million gallons of water per hour.  Yes, A MILLION GALLONS AN HOUR! 

Around the spring is a giant swimming pool – a cement pond for those who remember the Beverly Hillbillies.  This cement pond was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the late 1930s.  The pool is nearly two acres in size.  The water coming up out of the spring is constantly in the range of 72 to 75 degrees.  It was a day in the mid 80s so we took a dip.  The spring water flows out of the pool and is used to irrigate many acres of farmland in the Balmorhea area.

100_5477We had a good campsite in the state park including a cute little casita for the picnic table where we had a nice dinner off the grille for Easter Sunday.



100_4918When we were in Maine and Canada, we were always on the lookout for a moose – but we never saw a one.  In Texas, we were always looking out for longhorn cattle.  Ranchers don’t really raise longhorns anymore as they now raise much better producing breeds of cattle, but there are still some legacy longhorns in Texas.  A couple times we saw a longhorn from the road, but there wasn’t enough time or space to stop and snap a picture.  One day, I saw some longhorns in a field off the freeway and there was a service drive whereby at the next exit we were able to drive back to the field.  Here is our one and only picture of a longhorn grazing in a field of grass.  There is only one little problem.  The longhorn in this field weren’t real.  They were just statues.  Now why does someone just put some longhorn statues in a field?  Beats us, but at least it allowed us to snap a picture of a longhorn.

We also never saw a live armadillo.  We saw several as roadkill along the side of the road, but never a live one.   But I am not sure we missed that much not seeing a live one.  And now we have moved out of Texas after over four months in the state..


  1. Big Bend really is remote, isn't it? We loved snorkeling at Balmorhea. Are you stopping in Monahan Hill Sand Dune SP.?

  2. No, we didn't go to Monahan Hills, but we will go to White Sands in NM and Great Sand Dunes in CO.