We really enjoyed the serenity and solitude that South Llano River State Park in Junction, Texas offered but we were also looking forward to having some WIFI, cell service and some over the air TV channels. I guess we really didn't realize how much we used this stuff until it was all inaccessible…
Anyway, we made the 115 mile drive a little further north and a little further west to land at San Angelo State Park. Interesting to note that San Angelo State Park was once a Corps of Engineers Park but was turned over to the State. Shortly thereafter O.C. Fisher Lake, the major feature of this park, dried up and by 2011 nary a drop was left in the lake. The lake has been dry so long due to the extended drought in this area as also evidenced by the thousands of mesquite trees dead from inability to find any water below the ground. As a result San Angelo State Park is a somewhat barren and waterless park. It may give us insight as to what will eventually happen in much of the southwest unless better water conservation measures are taken.
Nonetheless we have still enjoyed the mountain biking trails in the park as well as the hiking along the Concho River in downtown San Angelo. San Angelo has spent a lot of money at their Visitor’s Center and have spruced up all along the Concho River making this area very inviting to the casual traveler as well as the local walkers and joggers. There is a lot of art along the river and some interesting pieces under the bridges such as a mosaic Volkswagen. Also scattered all over town are artistic symbolic pieces similar to what is found in many other towns all over the USA, in this case they are rams.
We enjoyed some great Tex Mex cuisine at one of the oldest restaurants in town called Henry’s Diner. We also had some nice draught beers at the Zone One Bar. There is even a small Craft Beer Bar in downtown called Sam’s Draft House which has the best assortment of craft beers in town. Near the center of town is the Old Fort Concho, a National Landmark open to the public as well.
The old downtown on Conch Street has the historical remnants of what was once a vibrant San Angelo as can still be seen as life has been infused in several murals onto the old buildings which now house shops of all kinds.Sharon particularly enjoyed browsing the General Store with its unique Texas trinkets and candies. As we strolled we also admired the old monarch in the sky, the old Hilton Tower, which has a Spanish look inside its newly restored lobby. It is now home to the Cactus Hotel, a fitting name for this area. While we likely won’t revisit this area anytime too soon we have enjoyed our short stay here and we always believe every town has its own story to tell… as does San Angelo!
What I enjoyed best of all were the sunsets we enjoyed from our vast site in this arid patch of land… After some route planning we decided next we will move the short distance west to check out the town of Midland, Texas.