The next day, May 6, Stanley and I got in the car and headed west.
Stopping every 40 or 50 miles for the required short walk made the trip a little longer than usual, but we enjoyed the stops – especially the one just before Brackettville (vermilion fly catchers were giving the babies lessons in bug catching) and the one at High Pecos Bridge – always a treat!
Amistad Lake Report: The lake is still almost full in spite of the drought conditions that prevail across Texas. Interesting, huh? After being caught with full reservoirs during the big flood last year, perhaps our Mexican friends have learned that it’s best to keep the water flowing. Actually, I have no idea why the lake still has so much water, but it does.
Just west of Sanderson, storm clouds started brewing up. It was fairly dramatic! Black clouds rolled on and off the horizon and obviously somebody was going to get some rain.
Turned out to be us! We got drenched! For several miles we drove through pounding rain and machine-gun-fire hail. . . and then, as quickly as it came it was over. Blue skies, picnic clouds – even a rainbow that I wasn’t quite quick enough to capture.
When we arrived in Alpine, it was as dry as a bleached bone. Our only evidence of the rain was a very clean car.
Panchi took the next day off to play tour guide for us. We spent Saturday morning browsing through some of Alpine’s funky little shops.
By noon, we knew the train was going to be late and by the time lunch was over we realized it was going to be very late. We needed a plan.
Stanley, Panchi, and I drove to Ft. Davis to see the fire damage. All that blackened earth made for a very sad sight, but it will quickly recover if there is just a little rain. Knowing about all the animals that were destroyed by the smoke and fire was the very saddest part.
We toured around Ft. Davis for a bit and then drove back to Alpine. After determining that the train was just minutes away, Panchi dropped us off at the depot and took the car back to her house where it will live until we return. All in all, I was pretty happy with the late train. It made for some quality time with Panchi which doesn't happen nearly often enough!
On the train, we settled into our little compartment as if we had only been away a few days rather than months. I do love a good train ride!