Saturday, February 19, 2011

Busy Days near Del Rio

We have been pretty busy during our six days here at Fort Clark.  The other night we went over to the RV park building for a presentation by a resident who spent the summer as a volunteer workamper.  Here is a shot of the rowdy crowd before the presenter started.
Our presenter and her husband spent time at Pipe Spring National Monument and did a very good job of keeping us interested and entertained for 45 minutes.
She spoke of the importance of the Paiute, Kaibab and Mormons in the history of the area.  Pipe Springs is located in the northern part of Arizona just south of Utah.  It is not far from the Grand Canyon.
The Winsor family, who were Mormons, built a tithing ranch in the area which originally belonged to the Indians.  I had never heard of a tithing ranch.  Most people in the 1870's didn't have a lot of money so they tithed with animals.  An official in the church saw the area and decided it was a good place to keep the animals and the 'tithing ranch' was built in the 1870's.

It was an interesting time and it fired some more interest in going to Utah.  Utah has quite a number of famous National Parks including Zion, Bryce Canyon, the Arches and Mesa Verde.  Our presenter well prepared and well spoken.  It was as if we were at the visitor center at Pipe Springs hearing the volunteer interpretation of the history and importance of the area.  Fun evening!

The next day we decided to go see Del Rio.  It is a fairly good size border town of about 36,000 and 30 miles to the west of Brackettville.  Pam and I have friends who lived in Del Rio during the 1970's while going through pilot training at Laughlin AFB which is outside of town.  We needed to get finger prints for our gate guard application so we drove to the base and then had lunch in town at Manuel's.

Manuel's was well know for its great food in Cuidad Acuna, Mexico across the border from Del Rio.  We were thinking of going across the border if it was safe, but sad to say it is not.  Violence erupted last summer with shootings and drug cartel activity which makes the crossing unsafe.  Many businesses which had catered to the American tourists are now virtually closed.  One of those affected was Manuel's.

Because of the trouble Manuel's opened a restaurant in Del Rio in addition to the original in Acuna.  Joe, Fran and I had a great lunch and it lived up to its reputation for good Mexican food!

After we got our fingerprints done at the base, we drove by the golf course.  It looked like it was in very good shape, so we returned yesterday to play.  They have a deal going on Fridays:  $20 for 2 people for 18 holes with the golf cart included.   Now that is a great deal!  
Before we teed off we met Liz who runs the pro shop.  She and her husband live in town and he also works at the base.  After we talked for a minute, she indicated they have a 5th wheel, are retiring in 2014 and will be traveling.   Who knows, maybe we will see them down the road...
It was nice to meet her and we had a good time on the course.  The rain never materialized although it was cloudy for most of the day.  It was warm and a great day for golf.

After we returned to Fort Clark, I emptied the car and rearranged a lot of items in the basement.  Our time here is coming to a close and we will be leaving later this morning for Alpine, Texas, not far from Big Bend National Park.

Frances fixed a terrific dinner of fried chicken, green beans and homemade potato salad.  It was fantastic!
We got to spend some time relaxing at their place before we had dinner.  We enjoy their company and they made our stay at Fort Clark wonderful!  We had a really good time and loved being with them.

I wish we'd have gotten to see Jerry and Kit more, but we are grateful to have been able to go to their gate guard location and see them earlier in the week.  They have been more than generous to let us park in their driveway and use their golf cart.  Jerry also let me borrow his router to get back online.

It will be time to raise the jacks and head out later this morning.  That is it for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles.  Thank you for joining us!


  1. Terrific post! I have never heard of a “tithing ranch”. I wonder if there were more?


  2. Great post. Be sure to check out the NP in Utah. They are spectacular. Bryce took my brat away. Great hiking.

  3. I hope you're stopping by Big Bend while you're in the area. The wild flowers should soon be coming out in the desert and the whole area is a sight to see!

  4. Ok... Utah National & State parks are a must see... We've been there 3 times or more to some areas and LOVE it!!! Have fun & travel safe

  5. Great post...I was the court reporter for a court at Laughlin in January '08 before I retired in June of that year. While there, I ate at a Mexican Restaurant but cannot remember the name, but it was the place to go on a Friday night. Be safe in your travels.

  6. Interesting story about the 'tithing ranch'. You and Pam always seem to find great places to eat no matter where you end up. Manuel's looked pretty good too.

  7. Too bad you can't swing by Seminole Canyon State Park and tour the cliff paintings..unbelievable!! We always end up near Big Bend and Alpine in December..not a good time to go to those altitudes with an RV..Have fun!!