Comfort Castle Location: Davis Mountains State Park, Texas
Adventure Location: Davis Mountains State Park, Texas
Another easy day was required. Perhaps the weakness in my body is the result of a week at elevations over 5000 feet. Back in Washington my hiking buddies knew not to let me go much above 5000 feet and at 6000 feet I was good for about two hours before it was nearly crawling time.
As a coincidence back in May of 1979 this very park was the location of the first time my body showed that it does not like much in the way of altitudes. At that time my fitness was pretty good. Five or six times a week I ran five to seven miles after work. My run that special day in May only made it about ¾ mile before my lungs and legs just flat quit. It took me a couple of weeks to recover from that bout with the thinner air.
So tonight we get the results of two easy days. A gentle walk up skyline drive which goes up from 5100 feet at the campground to the 5600 feet elevation turned into an interesting meandering. Every morning the rangers drive the skyline road to move fresh fallen rocks to the side of the roadway. Now to digress for a story. About six years ago while on a trip near Stanley Idaho in a Camry a rock a little larger than a soft ball came flying off the cliff next to the road and attacked the Camry at the lower rearward edge of the right front fender. That is a whack that will be remembered the rest of my life.
Back to skyline drive and the rocks in the road. It was noticed during the walk that a lot of rocks seemed to be getting ready to attack a vehicle or two. My walk only covered 10% of the skyline drive, but many photographs were taken of rocks getting ready to fly. Tonight there are three examples.
The first picture is of a rock that has already lost one piece.
Here is my size 10 EEEE shoe on the little chunk that is lying next to the roadway.
This is a section where a tree above has roots breaking away chunks of the cliff face. Notice the tree root system is visible along the exposed parts of the cliff. Also notice that the tree is getting close to learning to fly. This might be an exciting event to watch when it happens.
This picture is of a rock that let go not too long ago and was just pushed over to the side of the road. Look right above the lower rock and you can see where it used to live for a few hundred years.
Notice the repaired asphalt road where the rock made a hole in the road.
Back in Washington it was not frequent but definitely not uncommon for a few folks to get killed each year by boulders falling from the cliffs above the roadway and smashing their vehicle.
A comfortable walk to one of the overlooks of Fort Davis NHS gave me a chance to take this picture from the State Park overlook where the Team goes to get aircard signal to publish this blog. The in park wifi does not like the pictures that go with my blog. The rock structure in the picture is where the parking lot is located. Notice the trail below and left of the rock structure. That is part of an excellent hiking trail of several miles. Ad far as I am concerned it is an excellent example of how a dedicated hiking trail should be done.
Just to the right in the lower right of the above picture is where the old park road came through a notch that was opened through the ridge.
It has always been a favorite view for me. It certainly gives me great feelings that this is a perfect place to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.