Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Blog posts from the past on "iweb"...for those wanting to be Amused

A while back some folks had asked how they could get to my original iweb blog...I had no clue. The other day while messing around on the Apple I noticed the old iweb stuff was still in my Documents file....so I thought I would try to cut and paste it on this Blog...It worked and below is the result......it now is one entry that covers several summaries and a couple "daily Blogs" on two trips...needless to say it is a Loooooong entry...here 'tis.......

Since I have redone my website, I thought I would include a blog section to  document my
photo journeys..mainly for my Grandkids, who might enjoy them later in life.  It will not be a daily journal, unless I am on a trip...I will probably enter thoughts at random when the mood strikes. I thank you for taking the time to visit the Blog and hope you will return...

To add some instant interest...I’ll post a summary of some trips I’ve enjoyed in recent years...

March  2008....Big Bend National Park

Big Bend

Big Bend

Big Bend National Park is  one of the largest and least visited of America’s National Parks. It has over 8000,000 acres to explore and photograph. the elevation ranges from less than 2000 ft along the Rio Grande to nearly 8000 feet in the Chisos Mountains...Big Bend National Park can be thought of as having three natural divisions; the river, the desert and the mountains. 

I could go their one week every month till I meet my maker and still not see the whole park...You can experience/explore unmatched sights, sounds and most important for me solitude.....having said that people will either love it or hate it.....

July 2008....Slot Canyon,  Arches National Park,  Canyon de Chelly,  Canyonlands

Slot canyon

Canyon de Chelly

These places are examples of how generous “Mother Nature” has been to the USA...and why you don’t have to venture “Overseas” to find the “WOW” factor .....just try not to to be as stupid as I was and go in  JULY.....having said that it was the only time my Grandson could take the trip. I believe these 4 places should be on everyone’s “Bucket List”...If you’re not into camping, there are numerous motels at all these locations....and each location is not more than a days drive apart....I spent 2 weeks including the to and fro drive to my home..... Slot Canyon in Page AZ can only be toured by a Guide...I did the photo tour which has less people per trip and you get  to spend more time in the Canyon...a great way to spend a couple hours....of course Page is really on the Map for Lake Powell..what a lake, and how many ways can you spell fun.....plus they have campgrounds right on the lake...lots of tours and plenty of day hikes....Though my main focus was the slot canyons...there is so much more to do...I will return and try to capture it more in-depth.

Arches...(c)Horst Kelly Photographer
Page, Az(c)Horst Kelly photographer

Arches in Moab...is one of those “wonders”...spent 4 days there, if you camp, there sites are within the park, as well as outside along the river. Great Dry Camping!!!.....numerous super hikes and so much to take in....then sit by the campfire with your favorite beverage and watch the sun set  below the Arches...it gives one pause and a smile..... from Arches head over to Canyonland....I went to the North Area end and spent a day there...need much more time to do it justice...there is camping.....and with a 4 wheel drive you can venture down the inside of the  Canyon...there is also a south side, though for me it needs to be done as a separate day trip...oh well...save that for another adventure.

Canyonlands..(c)horst Kelly photographer

Canyon de Chelly has a enlightening Native American history, and one that is somewhat tragic...I am glad I took the time to visit....the area has both campgrounds and motels......various guided tours, to include overnight trip into the Canyon....I opted for the expanded day trip, includes a packed lunch....very educatioal, super vistas, and time well spent...also did a self tour on top of the canyon....it has many pull offs and a great way to experience another view of the Canyon......I took most of the day for the rim drive.
Canyonlands...(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

The bottom line is this trip was one that validated  my decision to do what I am doing.....after I retired I had a opportunity to be a consultant for several  Dept. of Defense Contractors , be a “Beltway Bandit” (Washington DC) or I could take my Life in a whole other direction...I chose the latter and have never looked back or regretted my decision....chasing a sunset is a lot more for-filling than chasing a dollar!!!

Nov. 2009..Seminole Canyon and Davis Mountains area

Davis Mts. (c)Horst kelly photographer

Notice the Cliff Dwellings

Seminole Canyon is a state park...for 20 +

dollars you get electricity and water...they have a dump station and bathroom facilities, very clean. The campground sits on the highest point in the state park, so the views are 360 degrees across the Chihuahuan Desert landscape. You have distant canyon views. and state park all around....what views and sunsets/sunrises....its magnificent.....the sky is pitch black, and the stars and constellations are as clear as it can get...WOW is all I can say...I sat out there.......taking in the wonders of the sky.....it may be a barren landscape....but there was something majestic about this place ....I had wanted to take the guided tour of the "pictographs"...but they only do the tours Wednesday-Sunday 10 and 3.....so I decided to take a 6 mile roundtrip hike on the west side of the canyon. At the start of the trail they had another trail, to the east, that was a mile long taking you to the beginning of the canyon.....not too much to see when I reached the end of the trail....got back on the main trail.....their are two loops to take, I thought I'd take the eastern loop down and the Rio Grande River Trail back....great hike...though mostly scrub brush...and no sign of wildlife....saw one deer that looked at me and I thought he said " take me, I'll be a really great pet, just get me out of here".....when I got to the end of the trail, it was worth the hike...across the canyon where caves on the sides of the cliffs...with pictographs...and the canyon merged with the Rio Grande/Amistad Reservoir... drop off of 100-200 feet...so you have to be careful of where you're stepping...no guard rails.....talk about solitude..I didn't meet one other person......I really enjoyed the hike....got back, made lunch and decided to take a short trip to Landry...about 15 miles west...its a VERY small town, the attraction is the Judge Roy Bean Center....."the Law West of Pecos".....enjoyed the visit and toured around the area.....got back to my site close to dinner time, so I grilled up a salmon fillet, salad, and garlic bread...took some sunset photo's and than some reading...called it a nite...the stillness of the desert is a nice treat..... 
Hill Top...Davis Mts State Park(c)Horst Kelly photographer

Got up early, had my coffee, took a couple photo's of another GREAT sunrise, hitched up and left for Ft. Davis and Davis Mountains State Park.....another drive with few towns, 196 miles....... arrived early afternoon..the campground sits down in a valley between two mountain ridges. Some sites have trees, some out in the open...but all are quiet, sites are full hookups to primitive.....Does have cable capability, no internet, only place with cell connectivity is up Skyline Drive...This state park was one of the earliest Civilian Conservation Corps projects in Texas.....the crowning achievement to me was the construction of Indian Lodge...great place, super views, good restaurant, with reasonable prices.....The Lodge was built in the 1930s by the CCC in the Southwestern Native-American-style, to resemble a multi-level pueblo village. After getting set up and I took a hike around the campground...lots of deer and javelins.....a variety of different sites, all laid out pretty nice....Then I drove up Skyline Drive, super views, 360 degrees, will come back up for both sunrise and sunset photo's....A person up there doing a painting of the east vista...Decided to take in Ft. Davis, which probably is the best remaining representation of a " frontier western fort"....the fort was established on the eastern side of the Davis Mts., in a box canyon...it was functional from 1854 until 1891....they continue to do a lot of preservation and restoration....its a self guided tour...for me the most memorable moment was their retreat parade sound program...very realistic...close your eyes and you think the parade is really happening.....you can smell the Horses and taste the dust....
Ft Davis, Tx
Ft Davis, Tx

Got back, had dinner and went up Skyline Drive for some photo's....it got dark quickly and like Seminole Canyon, the sky was clear and covered with millions of stars....quite impressive.....got back to Ms Casita, downloaded photo's and called it a nite..... Next morning got up before dawn to take the 77 mile scenic loop...to me that's a most do trip....I did it twice..chasing the "light" for both morning and evening shots..it was a great trip...I stopped every other minute..ha...a lot of great sites....plus the McDonald Observatory....easy pull offs and picnic area.....several mtns...highest peak is Mt. Livermore at 8382 ft., Sawtooth is 7718 ft., and the rest around 7000+ ft. What a great variety of stuff to see.....
Sunset Davis Mts. State Park

Another super trip....spent 10 days on the trip and realized that Texas has a variety of adventure “stuff” to experience.....this trip I saw thousand(s) year old pictographs, Colorful history such as Judge Roy Bean, Ft Davis and its history of Buffalo Soldiers, largest telescope in the world at McDonald  Observatory, Marfa ghost lights, and quaint towns.....Can you tell I’m enjoying this Life!!!...
McDonald Observatory

19 March-14 April 2010 to East and South

Ok...this is trip I need a daily journal....so I will give you a summary of this trip...Texas to the East, than south to Florida and stroll my way make to Texas

Mississippi River..Natchez, Ms

Natchez Historic District
Natchez Historic district 

For those that on the off chance might me interested on the direction and stops...here goes:
Tx to Natchez Ms  (19-22 Mar)..509 miles
Natchez Ms-Fort Payne, Al. (22 Mar)..459 miles 
Ft. Payne, Al-Greeneville, Tn (23-24 Mar)..243 miles
Greeneville, Tn-Keeling, Va (25 Mar)...247 Miles
Keeling, Va-Hampton, Va (26 Mar-4 Apr)..248 miles
Hampton, Va-Dillon,SC (4 Apr)..294 miles
Dillon, SC-Kingsland, Ga (5-7 Apr)..310 miles
Kingsland, ga-Cedar Key, Fl (7-10 Apr)..163 miles
Cedar Key, FL-Holt, Fl (10-11 Apr)..320
Holt, Fl.-Natchez, Ms (11 Apr)..335 miles
Natchez, Ms-Woodville, Tx (12 Apr)..204
Woodville, Tx-Breeham, Tx (13 Apr)..144
Breeham, Tx- Tx (14 Apr)..160 miles

Mississippi River...close to campground

Andrew Jacksons Home

This trip was like taking an American History course. ..First my plan was to stay off the interstate...I have always maintained that you can’t see America from the interstate or from an Airplane at 35000 feet....I was rewarded with great campgrounds, vistas, history, photo ops, but most important, the most amazing, enlightening, and friendly and interesting people I have ever met....Starting with Natchez...the historical section is amazing, I have never seen so many southern Mansions in a square block.....I camped right on the Mississippi River.....in the evening I would sit and watch theRiver boats with their goods traveling up and down the river....wondering what kind of life it is living on one of those boats....seeing a clothes line with there wear hanging from it and young children running from one end of the boat to the other..coming to the conclusion that’s not a bad way to raise a family....
One of Davey Crocketts Homes

Going along the Natchez Trail...what a history lesson that is...stop at Vicksburg and visit the Battlefield....there have tours, but I did the self guided tour and stopped and did a lot of walking over those historic battle fields...Seeing Andrew Johnson’s home, finding out Fess Parker is not really Davy Crockett..going to Jekyll Island and seeing how the rich and famous at the turn of the last century lived in their summer “cottages”..or going to Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge...and seeing the wildlife and virgin area..or maybe Cedar Key Florida...a small quaint village that is one of the main clam area’s in the states.....I really enjoyed my stay there....in fact stayed two days longer then I had planned to...if you are there , look up “Low Key Hideaway”....sits on a Key and the Host, Pat and Cindy are the Best......they have 4 or 5 rooms and about the same number of RV sites..and sit at their tiki bar or on their dock...watch the sun set and dolphins feeding..They are the true and real people that make this country great!!
Jekyll Island
Cedar Key Owl(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

I could go on for pages about all the great scenery I saw, people I met, and experiences I had...it is a trip forever etched in my mind....well, I got to go and plan my next photo adventure...

Okefenokee Swamp
Okefenokee Swamp

Cedar Key Fl.

Decided to take a post Christmas trip

Points West....Dec 2010

...couldn't make up my mind if I should go I-10 East or West... packed, hitched up, and had wheels in the well (pilot talk) about 1145 Sunday morning....the Interstate Gods made my decision when I got to I-10, overshot the "East" ramp...so West it was...... First time I have traveled on an Interstate for any length of time since I paired up with Ms Casita...traffic was light...not a cloud in the sky and listening to Bob Segar and the "Silver Bullet Band"......life is good...the towns drifted by, Boerne, Warring, Comfort, Kerrville, Junction, ok Horst, where are we going...looked at the map and saw Caverns of Sonora...and they even have a camp ground on the property...sounds like a plan to me....exit 392 and another 8 miles south and there I was.....$15.00 a day...electric and water...sites are gravel, pretty level, some have trees around them, and picnic benches....can't beat that...total miles for the day 202....unhooked and set up and by 1630... I was looking out my window at a two "peacocks". . wild turkeys..(I think), and  couple dozen or so Deer...Decided to drive to Ozona for dinner(35 miles west on I-10)....Stopped at the Next Door Cafe and had chicken fried steak...they have large portions, great home/comfort food ..... and the cost is about $10.00...worth a try, if you're in the area...got back after dark....and made some coffee....temps tonight are suppose to get down to the 20's....will give the little ceramic heater a work out...tomorrow I will take the Caverns tour...say tuned.... time to sip a little Jack Daniels and listen to some "Righteous Brothers" tunes
Caverns Of Sonora, Tx

Its 0600...29 degrees, no wind....clear sky.....went outside and saw another "star gazing show", cleaned up, dressed and now brewing a cup of "wake me up"....

Just finished my Caverns tour....I thought it was  SUPER,  great young lady that was our guide and fantastic caverns... Formations called impossible grow as crystal formations on the walls, ceilings and floors...if you are in  the area its well worth a stop and see...The folks who run the place are very friendly and knowledgeable....BTW they sell some GREAT fudge...about 15 different varieties...The tour lasts 2 hours and the is about 2 miles long, though there are about another 8 miles of trails in the cavern. They do groups of 12 or less...for us "Old f...s" you need to watch your step and hold on to the rails...the last bit is somewhat strenuous....about 7 flights up to the exit.... took about 100 or so photo's(will have some on my website)...though when I downloaded a lot of them didn't come out...
Caverns of Sonora, Tx

They also have Special Group Tours as well as  "Discovery Challenge" tours that take you in the undeveloped trails and includes a rappel of about 50 feet into the 'Devil's Pit"

The rest of day was a "drive-around" looking at the area...lots of oil fields and cattle ranches...., it is "West Texas".....

Tomorrow I think I will keep heading west and spend the night in Balmorhea, Tx....They have a  Texas State Park so I'll check it out....more to come...time for a sip of JD and a little Eric Clapton...I think I'm liking this AARP life with Ms Casita!!

Got up at 0630 and cleaned up and dressed.... usually I'm pretty good at eating healthy foods, but since I already blew that with my "chicken fried steak"...I found no reason to stop now....I had bought some "lite" spam.....smiling...I fried that..had some home made bread I got from a neighbor friend....and cut it about half inch thick...toasted...then fried a egg...over easy..so it's toast than my "healthy lite" spam and finally my egg.......Its my version of a "breakfast of champions"....It really tasted great...just don't let your arteries put  you on a guilt trip!!!

My Favorite Kind of Road

Got all hooked up and hit I-10 about 0830.....223 miles later reached  Balmorhea, Tx  and  Saddleback Mountain RV park...its a Passport America member...cost $10.00...nothing  to write home about...about 300 yards off of the Freeway, full hookups, no wifi, gravel, 5 trees....but its all in one..RV Park, gas station, convenience store, and a saloon.....After Ozona, Tx...there isn't much until you get to Ft Stockton....so make sure you got gas...BTW it's $3.09 per gal...Balmorhea Township is in real disrepair...really sad to see..they did have a "International Art Emporia"...I think I saw a rug painting of Elvis......I'm thinking the "saloon" may be the highlight of my stay tonight...or NOT!!!... Had some soup for dinner...back on my healthy diet...I guess life is a matter of "balance"....

Just took some photos of a sunset...I never tire of sunsets or sunrises....Did a little reading and some logistics for my trip tomorrow..it will be the longest segment. I go straight north on 17 until Pecos, then catch 285 through Carlsbad and at Artesia head west, hwy 82 till I reach Alamogordo go north on 70/54 for 2 miles to Edgington RV Park...another Passport America..Right  now I plan on staying there as my Base Camp for 3/4 days and do day trips within a 100 mile radius....And as "Bugs" says...that's all folks...time for some shot eye...

I was up and about by 0630 and had to wait until after 0700 to start hitching up...it was 39 degrees and windy...but you ain't see nothing yet......got started about 0830 on way to Pecos....not many towns along the route and the few that I went through...... well, example, Verhalen maybe had  a population of One...after Pecos it really became barren....for the better part of 100 miles nothing....not even one "Road Kill"...If you ever want a bit of solitude...this stretch of road is it.....Carlsbad was not camper friendly...I went right through town..they had road work going on and for good reason...it was like "a washboard"...The first chance I had to pull over I did...and inspected the inside of the camper....what I mess....oh well...next stop Artesia...and turn West  on Highway 82....and this is where the fun began.....the further I traveled West...the stronger the crosswind...and I’m climbing in altitude.....the higher I climb the stronger the crosswind...with my sway bar and WDH...things are going pretty well....I am getting concerned as I will reach 9000 feet and then the decent is suppose to be one of the worst around...now I understand why I haven't seen any trucks and only a handful of cars...I decide to pull over , get out and see how strong the wind is....bottom line I could not open the door, at first I thought it was locked...that's when I decided to turn back and regroup...I figured I would go to Roswell as it was one of the places I wanted to visit....found a RV park...explained my situation....the owner told me I made  the right decision as There is a storm...as in snow on the way and it would not have been a pretty situation especially with the wind......in fact there is a good chance that Roswell will get snow flurries sometime tomorrow...

So stamp stupid on my forehead.....but I guess that's why they call this an adventure....I'll bed down here till Friday and see what options I have...in the meantime I'll tour Roswell tomorrow...and with any luck Scotty or some ET will beam me up....

Since I have internet this evening I will post this...next installment from Starship Enterprise.....


This morning started pretty early as I am now on Mountain time, but my brain is still on Central time....I decided to tour the Town of Roswell early...got out and about before 0800 and did a walk around, took some photo's.....of a alien hardware store, alien drug store, alien tattoo parlor, alien jiffy lube, alien KFC...and the alien beat goes on.... There are a number of interesting venues; the Roswell Goddard Planetarium star shows, to include a lot of hands on activity for the kids; Roswell Pioneer Plaza, a nice alternative to seeing all the alien stuff; UFO museum; Serious Art Center....and the Alien Autopsy Dummy.....or not....also impressive was the New Mexico Military Institute Founded in 1891 by Joseph C. Lea, who selected former Confederate Col. Robert S. Goss as the Superintendent for the Goss Military Institute (which was later renamed NMMI), and inspired by Virginia Military Institute, it is one of five Military Junior Colleges in the United States....Its a very impressive looking campus,,,and walking the grounds was inspiring.... I thought I would take a drive on 70 west and maybe even get to Alamogordo and White Sands..... took a side trip along the way to Arabela, which is north on highway 368 about 40 miles west of 70....it was a 17 mile trip to the north...nothing except a few cabins and some photo ops of Capitan Mtn....headed back to 70 and west and the winds really picked up....took another detour on highway 380 Lincoln State Monument down to Fort Stanton, doubled back as the wind was getting worse...decided not cross over the pass to Alamogordo and headed back to Roswell...the wind was really getting out of hand...when I started down the pass, Roswell looked like the worst day that L.A. had for smog....except this was a sand storm....I got back to the campground and decided enough of this...I'm heading south tomorrow..to Fort Stockton, Texas...the Weather Channel said that rain was coming, and snow before morning and temps. with wind chill would get to 4 degrees...I decided to hitch up Ms Casita before the nasty stuff came in.....about 1600 hours the temps dropped from 60+ to 40 ...and the wind gusts at about 50 MPH.....Sooooo, I'm beded down for the evening...had a taco salad for dinner....and ready for my next adventure tomorrow...Happy New Year's Eve, if I can't wish you one tomorrow...more to follow....
El Capitan Mt. N.M.

Left Roswell around 0800..it was 28 degrees...but didn't get the snow they predicted and the wind is not nearly as bad....made it to Ft Stockton,Tx by early afternoon....staying at Hilltop Rv Park close to I-10, cost is $27.00...they have no discounts....Great attitude/friendly Hosts....campground is gravel, clean, seems that more than half are long-term/full timers ....with there "Massive" Rigs...but friendly...Ms Casita is a "novelty" to them...but it gets conversations and friendships started.....a nice and quiet New Years Eve......Happy New Year!!!
Ft Stockton, Tx
Alpine, Tx
Alpine Tx, Railroad Blue Tavern

Got up around 0530 made some coffee and cereal.... decided to do Alpine, Tx, Marfa, Tx Marathon, tx and Ft Stockton...First stop Alpine..its the seat of Brewster county...the largest county in Texas....fact larger than the state of Connecticut.....and a whole lot more ...you fill in the rest..... It has Sul Ross State University... named in honor of Lawrence Sullivan "Sul" Ross, the son of a pioneer Texas family who went on to become a Texas Ranger, a Confederate States Army general during the American Civil War, the 19th Governor of Texas (USA), and a president of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, now called Texas A&M University...founded in 1917. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,000+..Sits up on a hill.... The Museum of the Big Bend, on the campus, , offering a look at the early settlements in the vast Big Bend region (including Native American life), as well as artifacts from the mining, ranching, and settlement eras. The museum is accessed through the upper gazebo gift shop. Including the hands-on Discovery Center, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m...A Great place to start your Big Bend area adventure...wish I had come here when I first visted this area..... Stroll through the breezeway along side the Reata Restaurant, between the street and their patio, and marvel at the colorful mural, depicting scenes from the movie from which the restaurant takes its name, the motion picture "Giant". (which was filmed there).... Walk down the street two blocks south and you'll see another fabulous mural by Stylle Read along the side of Kiowa Gallery. This mural displays many images of West Texas and Alpine including one of Sul Ross' most famous alumni, Dan Blocker. Round the corner and Alpine's Rangra Theater is decorated with images of John Wayne, Darth Vader and many other famous move characters. I just parked and walked around...most of the stuff is between 5th and 7th street...Historic, rustic stuff.....One place that bears going into....is the "Railroad Blue" tavern...it looks like a hole in the wall...but it has character...its a funky live music beer and wine joint with a friendly attitude and a fun atmosphere...even for us "AARPS" Next on my list was Marfa... In 1883, the wife of the president of the Texas and New Orleans Railroad named a small West Texas railroad water stop Marfa after a character in a Russian novel that she was reading at the time....there is a lot of "stuff" in this town of about 2000...very eccentric.....it served as the base of operations for the crew while filming "Giant"... The lobby highlights the stars of the movie.... Marfa Army Air Field, they built it in early 1942 and graduated their first pilots on the first anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

By the Gage Hotel..Marathon, Tx
Gage Hotel, Marathon, Tx

Marfa almost had a pass to skate through the depression with the economic bedrock of having a Cavalry Post stationed there (the 1st Cavalry Regiment). Airplanes though, proved more effective at patrolling the border, and so Fort D. A. Russell (formerly Camp Marfa) was closed in 1933. It was reactivated for a few years by other than Cavalry units and then during WWII it housed Wacs, several Chemical Battalions and a large German Prisoner of War Camp....After the war it was deactivated permanently in 1946 and the buildings were sold or incorporated into the present-day city in 1949. Than there is the Chinati Foundation...large scale scale sculpture began by Donald Judd...the works are housed on the grounds of the historic Fort D. A. Russell.....It was closed today....so I could only see the outside stuff...which are no more than steel boxes...at least to me...but they call it "art" and who am I to argue.... Last but not least is the Marfa Mystery Lights...first reported by settlers in 1883 and the lights still defy explanation...there is a viewing area, I am not going back to view tonight..though I should....but from my camp to here is about 70 miles one way....They do have a camp ground in Marfa...probaby should go there....another time....
Marfa Hotel where crew of Giant Stayed
Chinati foundation
Marfa Mystery Lights Viewing Center

Next was Marathon...a quaint town that boasts a population of 800 or so.....the big attraction is the Gage Hotel...a restored Hotel of the 1920's, orginal pine floors and woodwork...I believe it has 19 rooms...I stopped and walked around for an hour..most of the stuff is right on US 90..but some is a couple of steets north of that...a neat place to visit... ...and back to Fort Stockton...which started as a military post in 1859, an outpost on the Butterfield Overland Mail Route at crossing of Old San Antonio Road and ancient Comanche War Trail....This area was popular with the Indians long before white men arrived because of the large springs...now known as Comanche Springs...now the site of a Olympic sized swimming pool.....Go down Courthouse Square..a lot of neat structures..and of couse the old Fort...not much left...but worth the stop.... A very nice day trip....worth coming back for a longer visit...Texas does have a lot of interesting History.... I'm sure these posts have been long and somewhat boring....so I thank those of you that have taken the time to read them....tomorrow I'm going to Seminole Canyon...I was there in Nov 2009, but it has great hiking and more than 200 pictograph sites known to contain examples of rock paintings ranging from single paintings to caves containing panels of art hundreds of feet long.....so time to relax...kick back...and get ready for the next journey...thanks for reading....Horst sends 

Ok...this will be my last installment, as I should conclude this trip sometime tomorrow.... and it has be a GREAT journey....today I woke up to 27 degree weather...but a nice clear day...and crisp...no wind to speak of, watching the sunrise over Fort Stockton.....imagining the Comanche's sitting on this hilltop watching the soldiers at Ft Stockton...and trying to decide their next move....well my next move was to hitch my horse to the wagon and head to Seminole Canyon State Park...I took state road 285 south...its about 65 miles to Sanderson...another one of those drives that if you broke down they would find your remains in a year or so...I did not meet another car either way...ok it was early Sunday morning.....but still, not one soul was on that road....I finally get to the junction of 285 and 90...head east and there is Sanderson Texas...this town intrigued me...a small hamlet, no stop lights, yet it had 4 or 5 motels, an RV park...and a number of watering holes to dine at...and its called the "Cactus capital of Texas"...I had to learn more...I know this to couldn't have more than 700-1000 residents,,,so this evening I goggled it and I give the following info: The seat of Terrell County, Sanderson is located south of Fort Stockton between Marathon and Del Rio on US 90 and US 285.

In early days, Sanderson was an unruly frontier town: Roy Bean operated a saloon there for a short time; Charlie Wilson's Cottage Bar was a favorite spot for railroad workers, cowboys, and local ranchers.

On June 11, 1965, Sanderson was devastated by a flash flood. A wall of water roared down Sanderson Canyon into Sanderson, destroying numerous homes and businesses. Twenty-four people died in the flood. Eleven flood-control dams were constructed to protect Sanderson against another such catastrophe. The region is devoted to the raising of livestock, including cattle, horses, polo ponies, burros, sheep, and Angora goats. In 1970 over one million pounds of wool and mohair were shipped out of Sanderson. I found out the population is 861 and its famous as it is the town that Llewellyn moss lived in, in the movie "No country for Old men"...He lived in the RV park in town....so there you have it, another town makes the Big Time, though the movie is pure fiction and most of it was filmed in New Mexico....between Sanderson and Seminole Canyon there are only 3 towns....and I use the word "town" in a very generous way....try to buy a six pack of diet cokes in any of those 3 towns...NOT....so I opted for a six pack of Bud, and a bag of shelled peanuts..... hey a mans got to do, what a mans got to do...got to the Canyon little after 1200, set up Ms Casita and did a bit of reading......they do have wifi here...but my Sprint has no clue about service....this afternoon I took a 7 mile hike....first time I could do this since I started this trip...due to weather/wind...felt good....will do another hike tomorrow before I leave...this evening had a can of beef soup...tomorrow I have the Bud Lite and peanuts.....its my version of "Breakfast of Champions"...I should have my photo's posted on my website in the next 10 days.....the site is www.texasreflectionsphotography.com 

Again I thank you folks that have stuck with this long and somewhat boring journal.....but I enjoy it....Horst sends

Postscript....Ancient Texans
Since returning from my trip, I had the opportunity to sit down with a friend and review my adventure...He’s a true Texan with a vast knowledge of all things “Texan”...Listening to him is akin to spending hours at the Library doing research on various subjects ....except he is more interesting and provides you with good company and a glass of wine...

He started talking about the History of  Seminole Canyon and what is known as the “Lower Pecos Region” where the Pecos and Devils rivers flow into the Rio Grands.....and then proceeded to loan me a book titled Ancient Texans, by Harry Shafer...For those of you that are into ancient history, ‘Rock Art”, Texas, Ice Age, etc, this is a very interesting and easy reading(a plus for me) book....even has pictures...another big plus for me!!!

What surprised me is that Seminole Canyon is only one of the venues that has a history of prehistoric, archeological and paleontological sites, etc...this whole area has numerous sites....Needless to say I am going back to rediscover this area.....though I suggest anyone that has the same interest read the book first....it provides you great insight as to where the sites are and what is at each site, along with the history....More to come

 Trip to Larry the Casita Wizard.... 2011......near Lake Fork Texas

Owning a Casita comes with numerous perks.....First and foremost is that it is one large  friendly family...Everyone will always try to help each other.....Larry is no exception...he and his wife Debbie are long time Casita owners and in fact he now has set up a website and shop to do modifications and/or send out kits if your ability allows you do a DIY project....something I am NOT capable of doing....Soooo, a quick email to Larry to set up a date to do some Mods.  Started my journey early on 9 April for a trip about 325 miles north......great day for traveling..my destination was a RV and fish camp on Lake Fork...which is northeast of Dallas...I was on interstate 35 until I took texas 31 NE at Waco and then north on 19 at Athens until Emory.....very relaxing trip ....some neat country...numerous lakes and then Piney Woods area of Texas, which reminds me of the Carolina’s.....one footnote...if driving through Austin on Interstate 35, try the 45/130 toll road....though it’s about 10 dollars or so from one end to the other....  it sure is more relaxing then trying to drive through Austin, Start/finish are Buda and Georgetown.
Train station At Campground

Got to Lake Fork Marina and Motel, which also includes a RV  Park of sorts and a Restaurant...man was it loaded with fishermen...a Saturday night.....free flowing beer and a lot of tall fishin tails on that days catch... and  “bets” on the next day’s monster catch! I took an electric only space, cost 15.00 dollars on a grassy knoll...ok for one night but something I wouldn’t do for a week or so.....next morning I was rousted up about 4 AM....all the “Weekend Fishin Warriors” where lined up to put their Pride and Joy in the Lake...
  ....the bad news is they where blocking any exit opportunities I had....The office didn’t open ‘till 5 AM ....so time for some coffee and a helping of sunrise...Office folks indicated I had a 30 minute window of opportunity to leave before the trucks came back to park them for the day....ok then.....another first, you don’t pay until you get ready to leave.....there is no gate, etc...so its on the honor system...
Rusk, Tx

Arrived at Larry’s about 0830....what a great piece of property, 2 story cabin, 10 acres, wooded,  hilly on large pond.....the work area is a large 2 story structure, to include not only a work area(the size of a Walmart Distribution center), but also kitchen, full bath, lounge, and other assorted rooms ....with every “man toy” a person could ever want....We spent the entire day on the Casita.....I had 4 modifications and while he worked on each one he talked me through his procedures...very professional, but more important, friendly, positive attitude with a great sense of humor....It was a super day and that evening he, Debbie and a fellow Casita owner known as Mmoe went o to a Mexican place in the town of Quitman, a town of about 2000, and most notable for being the birth place of Sissy Spacek......the  restaurant served large portions with a reasonable prices...my kind of place...I spent the night in his work area and left the next morning about 0730...Larry and I went over some future Mods....so I know I’ll be back there sometime this summer...Thanks Larry and Debbie for a VERY nice visit...
Headed south through Tyler,  Jacksonville,and down to Rusk....turned west for a few miles until I came to Texas State Railroad RV Park and Campground...it use to be  a State Park until a couple years ago. It has 32 full hook-up sites all  pull  through, cost $27 less 10% for Good Sams...all sites are wooded, it also has a 15 acre lake and an old railroad station...in summer a tourist train runs from Rusk to  Palestine and stops at the campground...campground is very rustic, clean, and has some hiking trails and bird watching areas...set up camp, decided to stay 2 nights....did some hiking and touring of the lake...train station and watched the sun set...the only other folks that where here was the camp host and a person that is working at the old Rail road station.....I’m sure the place fills up in the summer...
Rusk, tx

The next day I decided to visit Rusk...what a great town...time has stood still for most of it...they even have a working Rexall Drug Store...something I hadn’t seen in many moons....I worked at one close to 50 years ago in my youth...so I had to go in and just pretend...Rusk has a great historic section, lot of old restored homes, movie theaters, etc....spent most of the day roaming around the town...

Train station at the RV Park

That evening I grilled a Salmon Fillet, spinach salad, french bread and some melon...started a campfire, listened to Bob Seger and Eric Clapton and called it a day....The next day hitched up the horse to the wagon about 0700am and headed back home...Great trip, met super folks.....another memorable moment of life......remember, don’t turn on the light to see the solitude and beauty of  the night.....
Lake at the Park

I haven’t taken a trip since going to have the Casita “Modifications” done at Larry Gamble’s Spread....woe is me...My Knee had gotten progressively worse for the past 9 months and Mr Bones, MD and I decided it was time to get the Jack-hammer out and do a scope and cut and clean the left knee......Something I didn’t want to do as I was all set to venture off to Alaska and Canada for the better part of 4 months....another woe is me..I went under the 13 of July and all went very well...3 holes the size of a ”Magnum 44” projectile entry...ha....I  see the Doc next week, get the stitches removed and start  with my rehab. ...so I guess I won’t be going on any trips for a while....I’m really getting Photo/camping Hitch-itch !!!!...Hopefully the later part of August or early  September I’ll be able to hitch up the Wagon and meander somewhere.....find a nice spot of solitude....and meet the  “ghost of Red Ryder or Tom Mix”

This ends the Blogs from the past......

Why I never Tire of Camping/Photo Trips...Happy Trails

Hopefully not too boring.....I have not been doing much of late...still working on the camper, will need to take it to an RV place for some maintenance...hoping for a trip in early December....we'll see...thanks for stopping by...Horst sends


  1. Long post? Are you kidding me? LOL

    A keeper and Ill have to chk it out more later...just perfect. ft Davis for sure...wow! Were back bedside...this time I'm thinking won't be but a few more days but he continues to surprise us. Thx Horst for sharing such lovelys!

    1. Appreciate you taking the time to read the post....especially with all the "stuff" you and Jerry...and family are going through at the present time...take care of yourselves. Thoughts and Prayers are being sent...Horst sends

  2. Horst, I just got a chance to read this. I loved every mile of it.

    And I am SO glad that you decided to chase sunsets instead of dollars. :)

    1. Thanks for taking the time.....glad you enjoyed it...hope you are feeling better.....I'm sure itching to take a trip...but still have some work to do on the Casita....oh bother...take care.. Horst sends