Monday, May 23, 2011

WATER & SAND - Balmorhea and Monahan Sandhills State Parks

Roger here.... Ahhhhh!   Four days at the beach! Water, Sun, Sand... What else could you ask for?
Actually, we are still in West Texas, and nowhere near the ocean. As we continue to meander in a northern direction (ultimately to North Dakota before heading east), we discovered two very different Texas State Parks within a hundred miles of each other.  We spent two nights in each one.

Balmorhea State Park... Sun and Water.... Why is there a swamp in the middle of the oil fields in such a dry area? An active artesian spring!

Years ago, the water from the spring was captured (by concrete) into a gigantic swimming area. The floor of the pool remains natural, in some places 25 feet deep. A local business actively conducts scuba diving lessons at the pool.  Look closely, and you can see one of the divers.  

It seems to be a local attraction.  The campground filled when the weekend arrived, and so did the pool.

The overflow from the pool is channeled throughout the park in a series of streams and waterfalls that eventually reach Balmorhea Lake, several miles away.

Look at the clarity of the water.

The camping area was very private and under constant shade.

Monahans Sandhills State Park...  Sun and Sand....  After a drive past innumerable oil derricks, we arrived at the other half of the beach -- the sand dunes.

At the visitor center, we learned that the sand dunes here are composed of tiny particles of quartz.

Driving to the campsite, we knew this place would be special.

What a great site, and what a great place to play...

We rented a sand saucer for the day and soon found a steep dune for some fun.

The walk back up the dune was not the fun part, but it was great exercise :-)  Two retirees playing in the sand.

It was never difficult to figure out where we had been.  

The pet picture of the day shows Bandido in his daily, helpful attempts to assist me as I put on my socks.

Stay tuned as we discover other new things as we travel north.  Next up... a winery and a canyon in the panhandle of Texas.

1 comment:

Nancy and Bill said...

Love the beautiful clear water!!

Boy was that sand sledding fun!! You guys sure fine some great stuff ;o))

Keep up the good work, we are having a blast and our "TODOS LIST" is getting longer and longer!