A Last Minute Road Trip Pays Off!

Oh my god! Where do I begin here?  I went to a couple of places this past week that totally blew me away!  Before I go into this bit of adventure, I need to thank LaurenVasil for inspiring me to get off of my butt and just freaking go, Go, GO!!!  I was reading her blog on her recent road trip from Brooklyn, NY to Los Angeles, CA…You can read about it here: www.fizgiggery.com

These posts inspired me to come out of my cave long enough to find out about some things in W. Texas I never took the opportunity to go see.  I found two places that blew me away.  One was Monahans, TX and the other was Balmorhea, TX.  I am putting the pics here as proof of how amazing these places are–despite their size.  These places are writer’s havens to me.  I can camp out under the stars by the sand dunes of Monahans, or I can stay at the motel at the State Park outside of Balmorhea.  Both places are so unique, and they posses a beauty all their own. The people in both places are very friendly and I had a couple of people already ask about my metamorphosis necklace this week, and it seems that when I go elsewhere–people are curious about it!  I got it from www.flaurena.com   folks.

I will also go into some info about both places, starting with my adventure in Monahans.  On a hot, miserable day in West Texas, I decided that while hanging out in Midland, I would go to the visitor’s center off of I-20 and see what they had to show me.  The two women working there were so sweet, and explained a bit of the History of each place they told me about.

Did you know that one of the authors of the James Bond books is from Midland, TX?  Well, if you didn’t, look up Raymond Benson.  Woody Harrelson also was from the area, as well as Carolyn McCormick (who played Dr. Olivet on Law and Order).  Little known trivia:  When Mother Nature isn’t on crack, like she’s been all year this year, Tommy Lee Jones also comes to Midland quite a bit–sometimes to play polo, but he has property that he owns in San Saba, TX. Kathy Baker (from “Edward Scissorhands”) was also from Midland.

Mezzo-Soprano  Susan Graham also hails from Midland, TX.  Those of you who live in San Francisco and frequent the opera will know who she is.

Now for my adventure!  It began last Friday when I got thoroughly bored to death in Big Spring.  I really got tired of the 111 degree weather (in the shade) and decided to take advantage of some time off–which I will do again next week!  Since I can’t seem to get to White Sands, or the Apache reservation to check it out in New Mexico, I decided that I was going to see if there is anything that strikes my fancy near here. My first stop was Monahans…It is not the White Sands Missile Range, but it’s cool!   Here are a few pics:

These look like regular bushes, but they are not. They are the tops of oak trees, which help to hold the dunes together. They come up about knee-high, but their trunks and roots can extend far into the ground–the roots sometimes going underground for miles.

Like I said, it is not the White Sands Missile Range, but the kiddies love sliding down these in a saucer. Some even bring snowboards!

This is one of the street signs in Monahans (5 miles up the road from the park)! I’ve never been to a town that had these toppers on them!  Other streets have different metal art on them, but they are cool!

Now for the second leg of my journey, I went to Balmorhea, TX.  This park has a HUGE spring fed pool.  It also has a hotel on the premises.  There are two hotels in town and a restaurant called “The Bear’s Den”.  This town is small–a smudge on the map, but the people are very, very friendly and it’s beauty lies in that it is a small, quiet place for a writer to hide out in, if he or she chooses to do so.  It definitely appeals that reclusive side of myself that I have kicked to the curb more than once in the past two years.   The spring runs parallel to the street on the south side.  There are little walking bridges that cross it as well as the street crossings.

As I said before, this water is so clear it is truly amazing.  If there is an oasis in the desert around here–this is definitely it!  Here are some pics from this leg of my trip also.  I fully intend to go back either tonight or tomorrow.

Hey! If you decide to check this place out–there are phone #’s on here!

The spring on the roadside--view 1

Those big, black fish are catfish…I thought these were nocturnal. I guess not. Anyway, these are HUGE! They are actually about 15 ft. down. I am standing on the edge here. Just to give you an idea of what this is like, even at the 35 ft. end, you can see the bottom of the spring. It reminds me of the films I’ve seen of the reefs…One can snorkel and such in here. I didn’t know this prior to my departure, though.

Just another shot of the spring…I can’t believe how clear the water is!

Reed shot…This is a close up of the spring behind the motel that is at the State Park…

This would make an interesting screen saver, I think…What do you think? I decided to use my telephoto lens on the 2nd reed shot.

This is a shot of the motel by the state park.

This is a shot showing how the spring runs behind the motel rooms…It is prettier than it looks.You can get directions to this place and it is worth going to~! The food here rocks!

I knew there was something special….I thought of Margaritaville when I saw the parrot! LOL

This is the front of the Bear’s Den!

I am including a couple of shots of this simply because of the way this sits in the water…The spring flows around it. There is a church out behind it, but I thought this was simply “art”. I am not Catholic, but this moved me…It is simply beautiful. It is on the side of the road as you enter or leave Balmorhea–depending on the direction you take.

Another shot of beauty.

I found the people here to be so friendly, and the area itself to be so tranquil that I must return to this place.  It is every bit as sacred to me as my mountain now.  I truly hope you enjoyed this, and if you decide to go there, let me know!  The town may be small, but if one is looking for peace and quiet–then this is the place to visit!

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