Thursday, March 10, 2016

Davis Mountains State Park + Marfa

On Tuesday, we had a relaxing morning in our casita and ate sandwiches here before heading to the Davis Mountains State Park in Fort Davis. Our plan was to find a nice day hike, and the park ranger suggested we take the Skyline Hike which would connect with the CCC trail and form a 5 mile loop. We thought that sounded like a good idea, and we got started a little after 1:00PM.

The hike begins by walking uphill, but because of all the turns, it really does not feel that difficult, even though the elevation was rapidly increasing. We were treated to stunning views of Fort Davis below.

Brendan really enjoyed taking photos, and we took a lot of photos of each other taking photos. That's meta!

It was cloudy and a little windy, but overall, it was a beautiful day to be outside.

One really nice part of this hike is that, halfway through, you have access to a bathroom, which is always nice in my opinion. At this point, you have to make a choice whether to do the full Skyline Trail or take the access point shortcut. We choose the full trail, and though it was quite windy on the other side of the mountain, our reward was tons of fragrant Texas Mountain Laurels.

Gosh they smelled so good! The CCC trail at the end of the hike gets really, really rocky. I was wearing tennis shoes, not hiking shoes, because I still had blisters from Big Bend on Sunday, and I thought different shoes may be better. That was true until the CCC trail. I had to go a little slower since my shoes did not protect my ankles as much, and stepping in the wrong place may have meant a twisted one. I made it through!

The hike took us a little over three hours (including time spent getting back to the car), and then we headed back to our place in Alpine. I enjoyed another luxurious soak in the claw foot tub, and then we started a nice warm fire.

Tuesday night, we ate the rest of the leftover hummus with veggies, cheese, chips, and salsa (and, of course, wine), and had a quiet night in.

Wednesday was cloudy and cold. When we woke up, we started the fireplace and made breakfast tacos. We needed to do some grading anyway, so we did that from mid morning until mid afternoon. Then, we played another game of Scrabble and enjoyed some reading and relaxing time. Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for our dinner reservations at Cochineal in Marfa. The drive from here to Marfa is just half an hour, and it's a beautiful drive. Our dinner was really delicious. I especially recommend the Gimlet, fried artichoke, and date pudding; however, I must add that what you see most of the reviewers say about the less than stellar service/atmosphere is also true. One thing you must keep in mind is that the population of Marfa is 2,021, so you really have to go in without expectations that you would apply in a larger city and just enjoy it for what it is. If you decide to give Cochineal a try, definitely make reservations.

On the way back to Alpine, we stopped at the Marfa lights viewing center. I didn't see anything that could not have been explained by headlights or a radio tower, but I was in a dress and heels, and it was cold, so we didn't stick around for very long!

Once home, I changed into jeans and a sweatshirt, and we headed to the Rangra Theatre in Alpine to catch The Witch. The movie was really excellent. It was terrifying, but not in the traditional horror way. We would both recommend it. We stayed up until almost one in the morning, and then we slept in this morning and made grits and eggs for breakfast.

Today, we have a brewery tour to look forward to, and who knows what else. Here's to that!


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