Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Alpine, Texas

So our ending point on our Hwy 90 West tour was Alpine, Texas. This is the gateway to Big Bend and views of the Davis Mountains can be seen. Due to time and all the excitement of our earlier sight seeing tour, we elected to forego the beauty (and 1 -2 hr drive) into Big Bend National park. Instead, we opted for the McDonald Observatory. Night Star Gazing would be our decision. Alpine is not a city, but a busy little town. It's about 45 minutes off of the Interstate and has two main roads through downtown. Tim and Hunter visited a local museum and the girls and I did a little shopping. We enjoyed delicious Mexian food and opted for the Ramada Inn. The free fast wireless internet access was really the thing the realed us in. The indoor pool, although sounded great to Hunter, was much too cold to enjoy. The hot tub on the other hand was perfect.
Tim calls it "the Martin curse or carma", but our plans for night star gazing was dampened by, of all things, rain! It was flooding further west, so we still enjoyed the presentation. In an auditorium of about 100 plus people, my brave 8 year old raises his hand and patiently waits his turn to ask a question. Inside I'm holding my breath about what will come out of his mouth, but his unusual interest in the constellations came through. He was curious about "if all stars eventually blow up, then why doesn't that action make millions of other stars?" Great question, however, the speaker attempted to answer, but still not real clear, thus a one-on-one after the presentation. Now the Tarheel "college" girl on the other hand was ever so curious about the presentation on the prisms and different colors and blah! blah!blah! It was 10:30pm, past my bedtime and I was dozing through this portion. Overall, it was an educational trip.

I have left the best part of our stay in Alpine for last. Many of you know my husband's interest in treasure hunting. ( I recently learned that I'm to be quiet about GEO cashing sites -its a secret order of the current day pirates looking for treasures! I have to keep to the code...sshhh!)Anyway, in the middle of somewhere, see the photos above, is a flat rock. A treasure hunt ensued, but to no avail. None of us "tourist" were brave enough to stick our hands under the rock, so we went away empty handed. (According to the secret society communication log, the next pirate that ventured to this site found it immediately. Go figure!)

On a side note, off in the distance were the clouds of a storm, the sound of thunder and the smell of fresh rain. It was great! The mountains in the distance and the setting sun only added to the view.

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