Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Labor Day Weekend: Fort Davis National Historic Site (62)

N 30° 35.640 W 103° 56.707 

We woke up early and had a great breakfast at the Indian Lodge restaurant. I chose eggs cooked to order and bacon, while my wife braved the enormous "short stack" of homemade buttermilk pancakes. I think she maybe ate half of it, they filled her plate! Afterwards we decided to take an early morning hike up the trail that starts just behind the Lodge and goes up to the bluffs above. We didn't see any javelina this morning, and with no breeze in the canyon we were eager to get to higher elevations.

A rest at the top of the bluff

I was eager to make my way up to the bluffs that rise behind the Lodge as there was a geocache there that had not been found in over a year since it had been hidden. I also knew another geocacher, grumpyoldtexan, was planning to attempt this cache again today. Even though it was still early the temperature was quickly rising and you are almost in a box canyon at the trail head so there was little to no breeze. Luckily, once we reached the ridgeline a fair breeze was blowing which made the hike much more enjoyable. About half way up we ran into grumpy and his wife as I seached for another tough geocache and from there on we teamed up to finally find this elusive hide. With four sets of eyes, a leap of faith, and determination we did indeed find the cache after a fifteen minute search of ground zero.

View of the Indian Lodge from the bluffs above
N 30° 36.006 W 103° 53.496 

Returning from our hike we checked out of the Lodge and drove down to Fort Davis NHS. This is the 62nd National Park Unit that we have visited. It is not a very large park but it isn't near the smallest one we have been to before. (That would be Minuteman Missle which is only a single Cold War era nuclear missile bunker and silo.) We were greeted right away by a very friendly Ranger asking if we would like our picture taken together. This is a rare thing for us, most of our photos are of one or the other at the places we visit, because we travel alone mostly. We took her up on her generous offer and got an excellent shot with the large special occasion parade flag in the background. We then went to the theater and watched a short film on the history of the fort narrated by Kareem Abdul Jabar of all people. My wife had no idea who he was but I cracked up when he walked on screen in full regalia. We then stamped out National Parks Passport in the visitor center and walked around the grounds. I really enjoyed our short stop here, and hope to return in cooler weather.

Fort Davis National Historic Site

One last thing I wanted to mention was Murphy's Pizzeria at 107 Musquiz Dr. in Fort Davis. They came heavily recommended to us by grumpyoldtexan earlier in the day so we decided to stop for a bit. It is very tasty pizza with a super thin cracker-like crust. The toppings are all fresh and they have all you could think to had to a pizza. Although we did not order a salad I saw several brought to other customers and those looked amazing too, loaded with all kinds of toppings in very large bowls.

Tree in the patio at Murphy's Pizzeria