Fredericksburg to Fort Stockton

Fort Stockton Travel Blog

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Clouds building prior to rain near Fredericksburg

Dinner last night at The Auslander was good - not great.  Jag and I both had German sausages.  I had a spicier one than my Indian husband did.  Hah!  The problems with the meal came with the side orders: green beans straight from the can and, in my case, potato pancakes that are no where near as flavorful as the latkes I make for Passover.  Jag had cooked red cabbage that was fairly sweet.  Between that and the beer he drank, his blood sugar reading went way high.  Since most Americans eat a lot, the servings were huge.  We had enough food for lunch today.


Last night was one of those magical ones you only see with a full moon.  The clouds were playing hide-and-seek with Luna, looking three dimensional in an eerie way.

Dramatic clouds
  There were moon bows, too, which is a fairly rare sight. 


Fredericksburg is a pleasant town and very proud of its German heritage.  Other than the LBJ Ranch, the main sight of touristic interest is theNational Museum of the Pacific War, dedicated in part to native son, Admiral Chester Nimitz.  We did not take the time to tour the museum, as I was not feeling up to par this morning.  I felt much better this afternoon.


One thing I forgot to mention yesterday: at the LBJ Ranch I was astounded by the number and variety of butterflies I saw.  The most beautiful had velvety black wings with patches of electric blue.

Clouds growing ever larger
  Sadly they never settled long enough for a photograph.


As we drove along I was mystified at the mindset of the Texas authorities that set the speed limits in this state.  The highways for the most part are four lanes.  However, the secondary roads do not have center dividers or barriers of any kind and the speed limit is 70 mph!  On I-10 it is 80 for cars and 70 for trucks.  I recognize the huge distances that need to be covered in this second-largest state, but shouldn’t safety come first?  Are there any Texans out there who would be kind enough to explain this to me?


The weather has been very changeable today.  It rained in Fredericksburg during the early morning hours, but it was warm and extremely humid (93% according to the Weather Channel) when we left for Fort Stockton.

Texas rest area picnic kiosk
  It rained fairly hard for a short distance on the I-10 and the temperature fell to 56o F!  We stopped at a rest area and had to put on our jackets.  This was perhaps the second time we have worn them during this entire journey!  Many people were shocked at the temperature drop and were definitely not dressed for it.  The rest area, like all in this friendly state, is very nicely designed.  The kiosks over the picnic tables use huge wagon wheels as supports for the roof.  Very clever.


The Texas scenery today was beautiful.  The hills and mesas are covered with live oak, juniper and, if juniper is present, probably pinyon pine.  I was not expecting this type of topography.  I thought it would be flat and almost desolate and desert-like.  The land does not, however, look particularly fertile.

Paisano Pete with buddies "Sam and Mira" and Ajja
  I saw no grazing cattle here.  The limestone used to build so many of the houses in this part of Texas is extremely close to the surface.  Near the community of Sonora are caverns in the limestone - almost duplicating California’s town of Sonora.  It, too, has caves and caverns nearby.  The scenery reminds both Jag and me of California’s Sierra foothills.


Because of all of the motels in the Choice Hotels Group we have stayed at during this journey, we are staying for free at a brand-new (as of June, 2008) Sleep Inn hotel in Fort Stockton.  It is really nice - especially since it is gratis!  The room is very comfortable with a real desk and proper executive chair making it computer-user friendly. 


The town of Fort Stockton is dependent almost entirely on the oil industry.

Bubbie and her best buddies: "Sam and Mira" and Paisano Pete
  Unfortunately, since the interstate highway went in, businesses have suffered and closed.  There are a lot of shuttered stores.  There is also a delightful and comical character in town.  His name is Paisano Pete and he is an 11-feet-tall roadrunner - probably the largest in the World.  For those reading this journal, a roadrunner is a bird that .. well .. runs!  It is found in the desert areas of this country.  It is also a very funny character in animated short movies.  I love this type of thing.  It tells me that, no matter how things are faring for this community, it has a great sense of humor.  What it does not seem to have is a good restaurant.  Our meal at a place called “Steak House” was really nothing.  They have a fairly good small salad bar, but the main course was tasteless.  The service was poor, but they apologized for that.  They were one waitress short.  In a small place serving something in addition to Mexican food one less server is a big problem. 


Tomorrow we will stay in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  Again, the points we have earned will get us a nice room at a Comfort Inn for free.  Quality Inn in the town of Kingman will also be free.  Yay!


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Clouds building prior to rain near…
Clouds building prior to rain nea…
Dramatic clouds
Dramatic clouds
Clouds growing ever larger
Clouds growing ever larger
Texas rest area picnic kiosk
Texas rest area picnic kiosk
Paisano Pete with buddies Sam and…
Paisano Pete with buddies "Sam an…
Bubbie and her best buddies: Sam …
Bubbie and her best buddies: "Sam…
Fort Stockton
photo by: furiousfowl