Davis Mountains State Park

Monday, December 26 through Saturday, December 31, 2005

To see all of the pictures taken in and around Davis Mountains State Park, click here. This is our fourth trip to this park. The first time we came to this park was over Christmas 2002. We came again for Christmas 2003. Then Linda had to be out here on business and I tagged along in April 2003. Of all of the parks we have visited, this one is our favorite.

We arrived here early Monday afternoon after a short drive from Monahans Sandhills State Park. We setup camp, at lunch and then sat outside in the sun. What a beautiful day. Monday night I went outside to watch over the dogs as they went about their business. I took the large four D-cell Maglight flashlight hoping to catch some deer hanging around. Was I ever surprised when I caught a mountain lion staring back through the darkness. He was close enough to light up his eyes. Far enough away that I couldn't tell for certain what kind of cat he was until he turned and showed me his side profile.

The picture above was taken from our campsite.

There are new wildlife warning signs all over the park. Warnings are printed on the park map as well. Bears, mountain lions, and javalinas. These are all animals that will eat your pet. Yummie.

Hoping to catch some wildlife pictures (for example - mountain lions), I've put up an automatic game camera pointed from our campsite back toward the hill behind us.

I probably haven't figured out how to work this camera yet. No pictures of wildlife found. I moved the camera down to the base of the tree on Wednesday. Wednesday evening I saw skunks foraging back behind our campsite. Skunks are bad. The camera did get pictures of javalinas around midnight.

Javalinas out looking for a good time. Animals close to the infrared flash end up being over-exposed. They look like white blobs.

Wednesday morning we got up at 5:30 to drive up Skyline Drive to one of the overlooks to take pictures. We caught a gray fox on the road. Unable to safely get off of the road, he ran up the road with us slowly following him in the truck for about 1/2 mile. At one of the turnouts, he got off the road and disappeared into the night.

At the end of Skyline Drive is a trail head leading to a series of trails overlooking and leading to the Fort Davis National Historic Site. These aren't the greatest trails to walk in the dark. But the sunrise and views were spectacular.

Our truck parked at the trail head found at the end of Skyline Drive.

The trail winds through the Texas version of an alpine meadow. It is like being on top of the world.

The hospital at the Fort Davis National Historic Site.

Predawn picture of Fort Davis showing the historic site in the foreground.

As you cross the boundary from the State Park to the National Historic Site, there is a gate and sign.

The above hiking trail map is available on trails within the National Historic Site grounds.

Deer roam through the campsites without a care in the world. It is rutting season and the bucks we see with the big racks spend their time trying to mount the doe. It must be tough to be a young buck - unable to make any dough.

We drove back up Skyline Drive late Thursday afternoon and parked at a popular Scenic Overlook to wait for the sunset. The sunset was wonderful. The scenic overlook is at the top of one of the mountains. By walking around the crown, you get a 360° view of the park and surrounding areas.


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