Day 25(Friday, May 13):Del Rio,TX to Fort Clark Springs,TX –33 miles
May 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
We are in Fort Clark Springs, Texas overnighting in the old fort barracks, renovated as an inn. The fort, established in 1852, was decommissioned in 1946. Since 1971, the 2,700 acre parcel,with all the original buildings, is now a private recreational and retirement community. In 1979 the Fort District was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Needless to say, this was a surprise; I was expecting a 70’s era ramshackle motel, complete with peeling paint combined with the obligatory pink and blue coordinating bathroom tiles and fixtures. In fact, Joe passed the entrance; it looks like park, not a motel entrance Instead we are in the middle of a living museum, once an integral part of the border wars between Texas and Mexico.
Speaking of borders, on the way here we saw a huge gas guzzling SUV, with two border patrol agents in it, traveling very slowly on the gravel road parallel to the main highway. One agent drove; the other had the window down and kept his eyes peeled on the gravel road for signs of disturbance. We quickly overtook and passed them. I am not sure how much has changed along the border in 160 years!
We ate lunch at a restored vintage gas station; now the Fillin’ Station Restaurant. We received a warm Texan welcome from the owners, the Simmons family. Barbara Simmons referred to this area as Nirvana; we definitely agree. We’ll be back at her restaurant later for the Friday night dinner special.
Before then we will do some exploring around the historic buildings and perhaps a quick dip in the third largest spring fed swimming pool in the state. Tennis or golf anyone! They are also available; the original cavalry parade ground, in front of our barracks home, is now a par three golf hole. Ingenious!
Thus we greet you from inside this gorgeous, historic community surrounded by century old pecan trees– forgetting the miserable, bumpy road of the morning(no rumble strips necessary in this part of Texas!), the heat, the headwinds and the humidity. The shoulders were so rough that during the occasional smooth sections our speed increased 2 mph, simply from the tires rolling without obstructions.
Tomorrow we continue on Highway 90, a diversion from the ACA route.
Our new chosen route is a bit more direct and definitely less hilly. The profile graphics of the original ACA route show literally straight up vertical hills. No wonder it is where seven time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong trained!
Wish us smooth shoulders and agreeable winds.
Until tomorrow….we are off to our Friday Night Ribeye Steak Dinner Special!