We only had a 53 mile day today, so I spent a little time alone checking out Fort Clark before I started my ride. The fort was established in 1852 as a strategic base for defending frontier settlements and controlling the Mexican-American border. Many Infantry Regiments and almost all Cavalry Regiments were at one time stationed there, back in its day. It even housed Confederate troops during the Civil War. Through its inactivation after World War II, it was an active Horse Cavalry installation
The most interesting thing about the post is how military it still seems after all these years. Most of the buildings are now privately owned homes, but many of the commercial buildings still serve the purpose they served back when the post was active. And it seems like the people that live there behave like a tight knit military community. I like that.
Once I left the fort and started riding through Bracketville, the town felt like it was an extension of the fort. People were friendly, drivers were polite, and many of the buildings in town looked like they dated back to when the fort was built.
The day’s ride was almost all on a bumpy chip seal road, the survival of which required several stops to add to the layer of ointment on my saddle zone.
The scenery changed from rangeland to trees as we navigated non-stop hilly, winding roads with a few water crossings. The good thing about the hills was that for every bit of climbing we did, we got back an equivalent downhill run.
And for another entire day, there was no food or water available between our start and end points, so I had to ration my food and water to make it last through the day.
The most beautiful stop of the day was a crossing of the Nueces River near its headwaters. The river is entirely spring fed, so the water was crystal clear and looked like water you would see in the Caribbean.
Arriving Camp Wood, which, by the way, has no military connection, I was in the mood for chocolate. Even though it is a very small town with a population of only 706, there was a chocolate shop with an old fashioned soda fountain to boot. I scored a huge chunk of milk chocolate and a chocolate malt, making my day complete.
Well actually, our dinner completed my day. Tom C and I had dinner duty, and since he arrived the RV park 90 minutes before me, he emptied his bag and headed back into town to round up the food for dinner, breakfast and lunch. For dinner, he bought 5 pounds of super delicious barbecued pork, canned baked beans, and ingredients for both a tossed salad and–get this–potato salad. When I arrived, I found him busy chopping up potatoes to boil. Pretty ambitious fella, if you ask me. I helped him chop all kinds of veggies for the 2 salads, then made a run to town for salad dressing and beverages. Got back just in time for one of the best meals we’ve had on this trip.
We camped at Three Sisters RV Park and occupied a huge grassy area and a pavilion with a full kitchen. Tents were set up everywhere, with 7 on the grass and 4 under the pavilion. I went for the concrete floor of the pavilion to avoid having to deal with morning dew on my tent and footprint.