2012-04-16 - TX, Fort Davis (8)   

   2012-04-16 - TX, Fort Davis (7)

From 1854 to 1891, Fort Davis afforded protection from the Comanche and Apaches to mail coaches, travelers and freight wagons on the San Antonio – El Paso Road.  Many of the structures still stand today as one of the best examples of an Indian Wars frontier military post in the Southwest.

2012-04-16 - TX, Fort Davis (2)

There are several officer residences that are fully furnished.

2012-04-16 - TX, Fort Davis (9)      2012-04-16 - TX, Fort Davis (24)

2012-04-16 - TX, Fort Davis (26)

Of course the accommodations for enlisted men were much more spartan.

 2012-04-16 - TX, Fort Davis (28)             2012-04-16 - TX, Fort Davis (29)

Fort Davis stands at the base of Davis Mountain.

The Davis Mountain Scenic Loop is perhaps as well known as Fort Davis.  This 75 mile loop traverses the mountain, changing 2,000 feet in elevation with scenery ranging from grasslands to Ponderosa forests.

2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain Scenic Drive (16)

We took our time on the Loop, stopping about half way for a picnic lunch.

2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain Scenic Drive (20)      2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain Scenic Drive (40)

2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain Scenic Drive (29)

As we continued on our drive, the Davis Observatories came into view long before we reached them.

2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain Scenic Drive (34)

2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain, -2- McDonald Observatory (27) 

2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain, -2- McDonald Observatory (1)

     2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain, -2- McDonald Observatory (26)

We drove up the steep incline to the first of the large facilities.

2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain, -2- McDonald Observatory (5) 

   2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain, -2- McDonald Observatory (6)

We walked the grounds, marveling at the size of the huge telescope.

2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain, -2- McDonald Observatory (10)

The road to the second observatory culminates at the highest point on a highway in Texas, at 6,791 feet.

2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain, -2- McDonald Observatory (14)

 2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain, -2- McDonald Observatory (22)

 2012-04-16 - TX, Davis Mountain, -2- McDonald Observatory (24)

Having spent most of the day on the drive, there was not time to participate in the Observatory Visitor Program available, but we promised ourselves to return at a later date.