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A perfect place to end the day: Lake Colorado City State Park ... Photo by Pat Bean

A perfect place to end the day: Lake Colorado City State Park ... Photo by Pat Bean

Stand still. The trees ahead and bush beside you are not lost.” — Albert Einstein.

Day Five

 I needed to stock up on supplies, including chemicals to keep my RV holding tank smelling like honeysuckle or the close approximation, so before leaving San Angelo I needed a Wal-Mart. I looked up the nearest one on my computer mapping program and wrote down the directions. Somewhere between the park and the store, however, my missing sense of direction had me zigging instead of zagging.

My planned 10-minute side trip into town ended up taking over an hour. The up side – I always try to find one when horse pucky happens — was that I now had a more personalized feel for San Angelo.

This Central Texas city of 100,000 is dissected by the Concho River, a fact that made itself known as I crossed it several times in my efforts to get unlost. The twisting river flows between O.C. Fisher Lake to the north of town and Lake Nasworthy to the south, where I had spent the night.

Depending on the section of town in which I was lost, I could describe San Angelo as a progressive town or a decaying one, a place of manicured lawns or junky shacks, and its residents as rich or poor. Actually most of it looked pretty middle class, which gave it a distinction of being just about like any other city of its size I’ve explored. ations. The flat see-for-miles landscape was dotted with sagebrush, cactus and clunky mesquite and cedar trees. Adding color to the otherwise dull landscape were the roadside wildflowers Texas is known for: purple verbena, bluebonnets, pink primroses, and yellow blossoms too numerous (and difficult) to identify. Oil rigs, cattle, spring-plowed fields and huge windmills completed the picture. The latter was a recent addition to a landscape that was etched on my Texas memory.

The oil rigs pumping on one side and windmills turning on the other spoke of this country’s over-weight dependency on energy. I was glad to see the cleaner fuel source addition, but wondered if it would be enough. I, however, couldn’t cast stones. My RV was my glass house. My holding tank deodorizer, however, was organic and non-toxic.

 
 

Red-winged blackbird

A red-winged blackbird with shoulder epaulettes as bright as a shiny fire engine brought my attention back to nature. It stayed there until I drove into Lake Colorado City State Park, where I would spend the next two nights in a campground full of mesquite trees just coming into bloom. Both the trees and the ground beneath them was atwitter with birds. Life is good.

Photos and prose copyrighted by Pat Bean. Do not use without permission.

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