Thursday, April 28, 2011


Thursday, April 28 – We headed west again this morning, again on Texas State Highways rather than the interstate. Another very nice road(s) using TX 87 and TX 67. We arrived in San Angelo State Park after about 4 1/2 hours of travel.

This is what the terrain looked like in Waco, TX.


This is what the San Angelo looks like. Not so GREEN.


San Angelo State Park is comprised of 7000 acres. The park is around the O.C.Fisher Reservoir which is only 1% filled due to the extensive draught in Texas. Paul asked the ranger about the boat ramps. One hasn't been able to be used for about a year and the other for about 4 years.....dry, dry, dry!

Marsha is standing at the top of the boat ramp. Can you see the dam and water waaaaaay out there?


The other boat ramp hasn’t been used for the last year.


Other than the invisible lake, the park is amazingly beautiful. Abundant wildlife, including being home to the official Texas Longhorn Steer Herd, beautiful blooming cactus and large Mesquite trees to shade our campsite.


We are totally secluded, being the only campers in this section of the campground. Haven't heard a train, interstate noise, or loud cars since arriving. I think only two cars have driven by all afternoon. I think it's going to be REALLY DARK tonight!

The weather is perfect too! No humidity, no wind, with a high of 80 degrees and a low of 55 degrees. Don't get much better than this. Oh yeah, no tornado warning either....YEAH!


I am standing at the one end of our pull-thru. So much room.


Looking down the road from our site.


As soon as we got here, we were greeted by this little guy.


Marsha calls this a “Jackalope”. And I am not going to correct her.

FLASHBACK TO YESTERDAY.  Waco has the best directional signs. We have never seen such clear signage as these.  Chambers of Commerce – take note!


Besides visiting the Heritage homes, we also visited the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum today.



The 12,000 irreplaceable artifacts include badges, firearms, tack and personal gear as well as weapons  The Hall of Fame consists of 30 Texas Rangers who gave their lives in the line of duty or served with great distinction.

We started with a short film explaining the long history of the Texas Rangers. Interestingly, it began when this area was part of Mexico. The region was known as Tejas, meaning “friends” in Spanish. The region was so large that Mexico was unable to maintain order. A local named Stephen Austin hired 10 men to patrol the range area of Tejas and bring order to the region. This group soon was expanded and became known as the “Texas Rangers.” They have played a major role in Texas history ever since. Today, they serve as a state special investigative body much like the FBI with only 120 “top-notch” officers.

1880 picture.


The earliest know Texas Ranger badge was a circle-star made in the late 1880s from a Mexican coin.


They had a Colt Walker Repeating Pistol that we could actually pick up. It weighs 4 lbs. 9 oz. Image holding and aiming a gun that weighs about the same as a 5 lb bag of sugar or flour.


Marsha really was intrigued with the horsehair ropes. It was woven from the mane and tail hair of horses. These ropes are strong and long lasting but costly and difficult to make.


The Rangers were responsible for shooting of the notorious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde.


There were tons of awesome paintings.


Smith & Wesson .44 Caliber firearms gained international popularity in the1860s with the first, full self-contained cartridge revolver in the world. In 1871, the Grand Duke of Russian was so impressed he purchased 20,000 and paid in advance in gold.


There was a section for Hollywood. It is amazing how many movies, books, puzzles, etc. were made about the Texas Rangers. Do you remember these two?




The image of the ranger has moved beyond the historic and contemporary image into the future. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are a group of teens that protect earth from space invaders.


The Hollywood section had a place where visitors could dress up and read scripts from famous movies. We just couldn’t resist.

This hat might be just a bit too small for Paul’s head.


Marsha wanted to be a Marshall but came a little short…no pun intended.


We learned so much about these brave men and women. If you are passing through Waco, this is an excellent museum to see!

Next stop was the Dr. Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute.



Dr Pepper Company is the oldest major manufacturer of soft drink concentrates and syrups in the United States. It is America's unique flavor and was created, manufactured and sold beginning in 1885 in the Central Texas town of Waco. Charles Alderton, a young pharmacist working at Morrison's store, is believed to be the inventor of the now famous drink. Alderton spent most of his time mixing up medicine for the people of Waco, but in his spare time he liked to serve carbonated drinks at the soda fountain. He decided to to create a drink that tasted like that smell. He kept a journal, and after numerous experiments he finally hit upon a mixture of fruit syrups that he liked.

After talking to the gal in the office at the campground, we decided not to spend the money on the museum but to visit the the museum's gift store, lobby and soda fountain for a root beer float. It was a delicious visit....yuummy!

The original Malt shop.



Paul had a Coke float, and Marsha had the original Dr. Pepper float.


Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all real soon. Have a great day!