Davis Mountain foothills

We overnight in the Balmorhea State Park in Texas.

The park is small (46 acres), located in the foothills of the Davis Mountains.

The park’s main attractions are created by the San Solomon Springs. The springs fill a ‘cienega’ (desert wetland) and the canals of a refugium (a protected aquatic refuge), home to an endangered species of fish, assorted invertebrates, and turtles.

The springs also feed a large pool differs from most public pools in several respects: the 1 3/4-acre size, the 25-foot depth and the 72 to 76 degree constant temperature. It also has a variety of aquatic life in its clear waters, and ducks fishing from the surface. With a capacity of more than 3 1/2 million gallons, the pool has plenty of room for swimmers, while offering a unique setting for scuba and skin diving.

As we walked around the rim of the natural bottom pool, we spotted large catfish, multitudes of tiny fish, and an occasional turtle. Wonder if a turtle ever tries to dine on a bare swimmer’s toe?

Another unusual feature of the park is it’s observation windows to the underwater life. The endangered Comanche Springs Pupfish live nowhere else except in the refugium here. Another protected species is the Pecos Gambusia, which are excellent mosquito population reducers. This tiny fish is found only in a few places in Texas and New Mexico. Click HERE for our photos of the refugium, pool, and the aquatic life.

Although the small park does not hold enough attraction to warrant a future visit, it is an interesting overnight stop.

The next morning, we were on the road again, headed for Kerrville, TX and a visit with good friends, Donna and Glenn. The drive is scenic, even though we are on the interstate.

It is interesting to note that only in this small area of the country is the speed limit 80 m.p.h.

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