Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Abilene Texas, Campgrounds and Owls

As you saw from my previous two posts, not too long ago I was in the Abilene area.

Normally I would have checked out the Abilene State Park a dozen or so miles south of town. It's a small park with a state road running right through it, but it does have a lake, a few miles worth of trails and often state roads in this area are lightly traveled, so it just might be a decent place to stay.

Never know unless I try. Right?

But there was a reason I was in the Abilene area in the first place. Jim and Jackie, fellow Sportsmobile owners and authors of the Travels of the Mercury blog were in town.

So what's that got to do with not checking out the state park??

Well I first ran into Jim at the Silver City NM KOA which they owned at the time. They have since sold the campground and retired but as KOA owner's alumni, they were baby-sitting the Abilene KOA for a month or so while the managers took a break, so of course I stayed there at the KOA to hook up with them for a few moments snatched from their demanding work schedule. (This KOA doesn't use work-campers so the managers pretty much have to take care of everything 24/7.)

This is the second time I've stayed at the Abilene KOA and though the campground gets consistently good ratings I have to give it a wobbling hand rating myself. In other words an "Ehh" rating.

Mostly because my first stay was several years ago and at the time the bathrooms were under renovation and this time two of the three shower stalls in the men's room were still under renovation. . . But all in all, it is still: A OK KOA. (Get it?! See my incredibly clever play on letters there - - - Oh never mind. . .)

Even though it sits right on the I-20 frontage road, somehow the freeway noise isn't too bad, as long as you aren't in sites  75 - 89 which are literally right on the frontage road, as in you have to drive out the campground entrance and down the frontage road a few feet to get to them. And even without the KOA Value-Kard discount the price is lower than the nearby Abilene RV park which by all accounts gets pretty bad traffic noise from I-20.

The KOA is located in an old pecan grove and if you time it right you can still collect a pail of pecans off the ground.

One of the larger pecan trees sits right outside the entrance to the laundry and Jackie told me about an owl that had been hanging around up there for the past few days, so naturally I had to go see for myself.

I'm pretty sure this is a male barn owl.

I'm also pretty sure he'd had enough of the damned paparazzi!!

Jackie asked me for copies of the owl photos I took and after slaving away at her easel for who knows how many hours, in turn sent me a photo of her painting, titled Between Night and Day, a Portrait of a Barn Owl, inspired, in part, by the photos. (By the way, this is her property and the image can not be used or reproduced without her permission.)

She will be entering this painting in the Grant County Art Guild's Southwest Birds Show running from March 24 to April 21 at Bear Mountain Lodge in Silver City, New Mexico. There will also be photography, sculpture and pottery so if you're in the area check it out.

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