Seminole and Choke Canyons

It was a somber day when we left Big Bend, both because the weather was grey and rainy and because it was the day after the election. We had been cutoff at Big Bend and at Fort Davis before that, with cell service only when we drove through certain spots in the parks so we missed most of the news leading up to the election. We’re not usually music or radio people when we drive, but we found our XM satellite radio trial was in effect so we listened to Today Show Radio to hear the election coverage.

Our next destination is Padre Island National Seashore, but we’ve learned that long days of driving do not bode well for us, so we planned a couple of stops to get us there. The first was Seminole Canyon State Park. We planned to stay in the primitive camping area because we had read some favorable reviews, but with the rain and clouds forecast to stick around we opted for electric hook-ups. We could have made it with our solar, but we didn’t want to have to worry about it. So we got set up then dried off and settled in for the rest of the rainy night.

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The next day we went into Del Rio to do laundry and grocery shopping. The laundromat was inside a gas station/convenience store and was busy even on a Thursday morning. As we folded our clothes we discovered that their old machines had ruined some of our clothing, fading darks in a splotchy pattern. This is the first time we’ve had a problem, but I’m guessing we’ll go through more clothes this year.

After a yummy Mexican lunch at a local joint (thanks yelp) we headed back out into the heavy mist. This is the type of rain we get in Seattle so fittingly we ended up in Starbucks for some hot beverages. Then off to Walmart to do our grocery shopping. Back home I never shopped at Walmart but often it is the only choice in small towns, and it worked out well especially since Chuck needed a few items from automotive and I needed buttons for a project and we needed toiletries and groceries. I could hardly believe all the Christmas items already appearing. Just doesn’t seem like it’s time yet.

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Mostly Seminole Canyon didn’t impress us much. You’re in the middle of scrubland and although the birds were great to watch and the sunsets were pretty, you don’t have much a view from the campground. The visitor’s center was more than we expected though. It had nice displays about the history of the canyon, including the early inhabitants who painted on the walls of the caves in the canyon. Saturday was finally decent weatherwise so we hiked to the rim of the canyon and the views were pretty cool.

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We saw lots of fossils on the rocky trail.

We needed one more stop to make our driving days manageable so we ended up at Choke Canyon State Park. I’m not sure where the canyon comes into play, but there is a large reservoir. The ranger offered to let us drive down to the campground to pick our site, but since we were only spending one night we told her to pick out a good one for us and I think she gave us the best campsite in the whole park. We had great views of the lake, the deer in the campground, and another spectacular sunset. Choke Canyon made a great stop-over, but we really can’t wait to get to the beach!

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