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Old 7 Sep 15, 05:07 PM  
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CrispyA
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Join Date: Oct 11
Howdy Texas! Day 4 Balmorhea State Park & Fort Stockton

We all slept okay and the Inn of the Conchos was redeemed somewhat by the breakfast. We had fairly low expectations but it was really good - biscuits and gravy, bacon, 2 types of potatoes, 2 types of eggs, plus all the other usual stuff - including Texas shaped waffles! Texans love Texas and you can get so many things in the shape of Texas - why not waffles?

We set off fairly early as it was another long drive to Fort Stockton. On the way we saw hunting birds circling over the mesquite, oil wells a-plenty, and some fairly desolate looking towns. Big Lake, for example, has no lake at all.

With it being a Saturday, we saw quite a few High School Football practices on the way as the season would be starting soon. It was another roasting hot day so the students must have been boiling out there in full kit. We clocked more football signs and stadiums - Football is most definitely a BIG THING in Texas.

When we landed at Fort Stockton, we headed straight to Dairy Queen, which had ice cream. Hurrah! We all laughed at Paul trying to order his moolatte by asking for an iced mocha coffee. The woman looked confused until she finally said "Do you want a Moolatte?" and he sheepishly admitted he did! It may be a silly name, but you have to ask for it!

Moolattes and blizzards consumed (love the way they turn the blizzards upside down for you), we went to the hotel. We were early for check-in at the Deluxe Inn, but they let us check in anyway.

We picked this motel because of Tripadvisor reviews and fortunately, they weren't wrong. It looks nothing from the outside, and there isn't a pool, but the rooms have been recently remodelled and were very nice.

As we were there in plenty of time, we decided to go to Balmorhea State Park which has a huge natural spring-fed swimming pool. It was about an hour's drive away, but that distance is nothing in Texas, so we went. The park was lovely, as was the small town of Balmorhea just outside.

We did smile at the instructions from the Rangers - don't eat any of the animals in the water or the park. I assume they have had previous issues with people catching and eating them? There were fish in the pool but we resisted the urge to snack on them.

We had a lovely swim and I even let the kids dare me to jump off the big diving board. I was sorely tempted to chicken out but I would never have heard the end of it, so I closed my eyes and jumped! Once was enough though.

After our swim, the thunderstorm we could see in the distance started to get a bit too close for comfort, so we got dressed and headed back to Fort Stockton with intermittant rain.

On the way back, we managed this picture of the huge iron sculptures outside the town.



We didn't have last night's issue of disappearing restaurants, but we did struggle again to eat. I had found a couple of places on Tripadvisor, but the one by the hotel was closed - on a Saturday night! Another turned out to be lunchtimes only and a further place was shut for the owner's vacation.

We had hoped to walk for something to eat, being as Fort Stockton is pretty small, but due to the rain and the way the town is spread out, we ended up having to drive. We did stop for a picture with one of the main attractions - a giant statue of a Road Runner - Paisano Pete!



We finally found somewhere to eat and had a very nice meal at the Sagebrush Cafe - mmm, country fried chicken!

Then it was back to the motel to watch baseball (sensing a pattern here?) before bed.

Edited at 02:49 PM.
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Old 7 Sep 15, 05:53 PM  
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Melbatb
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The swimming sounds lovely!

Are you a baseball fan by any chance 😜?
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Old 8 Sep 15, 05:21 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
The swimming sounds lovely!

Are you a baseball fan by any chance 😜?
just a little bit! Mr Crispy is the biggest fan but we all like the game. American sport always seems so much more interesting than the boring old football and cricket we get here.
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Old 8 Sep 15, 08:05 PM  
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Melbatb
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I think it is the fact that it is so sociable with the food, the coming and goings and the fact there are a lot of stoppages 😜
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Old 12 Sep 15, 05:45 PM  
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orlandosgr8
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orlandosgr8's Reviews
Hotel Reviews: 1
Restaurant Reviews: 1
Another great day
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Old 1 May 17, 08:08 AM  
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WileyCoyote
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Ah, nice day, look at those storm clouds building!
Sounds lovely at the state park pool.. Really, people consume the wildlife!?

Moo latte, that has me laughing. How can you order with a straight face.
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