OK, this post is out of sequence, but as an afternoon stop-over it pretty much stands on its own anyway.
I'll get back to my drama-filled (At least in my mind) trip to Caprock Canyons the week before this next time, but for now come along as I check out San Angelo State Park.
|Yep, not the sunniest of days. In fact a pretty decent, and welcome, wet-spell was rolling in while I was here on the last day of April.|
So I decided the only way I was going to figure this place out was to go see for myself.
I got an early start on this Friday morning since the park was 250 miles away from where I was in Caprock Canyons and I wanted enough time left in the day to check things out properly once I got there.
From Caprock I headed straight, more or less anyway, south on State Route 70. And for those that can't stand to dawdle and smell the roses for even a few seconds, the speed limit on much of this little two-lane road is 75 MPH, the same as the US Highways and Freeways in this part of the State. And I'll have to apologize in advance to those anti-dawdlers that, by the way, usually just end up sitting at the stop-light right in front of me anyways, because I won't be doing a lick over 65 so you will just have to go around.
The road does briefly slow down as it threads through several little hamlets and towns along the way, but the surprise was the town of Spur, pop 1300.
Allsups is a little gas station/convenience store that can be found all over this region, even the smallest of towns has one. But, probably as a result of being the only game in town, most of them are cramped, crusty, and rundown looking, so it was a bit of a surprise to roll by this spacious one in Spur which was clean and bright with a parking lot noticeably lacking in the usual open potholes and weed-filled cracks.
Unlike the other SR-70 towns of Matador, Dickens, and Jayton, Spur does not sit on an intersection between the state road and a US highway, it's just a spot along the road in the middle of a lot of white space on the map, but in addition to that sparkling Allsups Spur also has a brand new Dollar General.
Oh, and for those so inclined, there's an equally fresh looking Dairy Queen right next to the Dollar General.
I made note of this since Spur is only about 80 miles from Caprock so it makes for a good spot to top up the fuel and supplies before heading into the Canyons when approaching along this route.
I also made note of this official state picnic area about 11 miles north of the intersection of 70 and US277 (About 22 miles south of Sweetawater which has a Walmar for those that prefer that overnighting option) and not quite 200 miles south of Caprock Canyons.
In fact I pulled in for a short break and to look it over.
It looks well maintained though doesn't seem like it's heavily used, and sits below the level of the highway with a decent buffer of vegetation and shrubbery between it and the lightly used road above.
Caprock Canyons is just a little too far from home for me to make the trip comfortably in a day and still get to the park while the office is open for check-in (Otherwise I have to come back up about 6 miles of winding and steep park road to officially check in by 0900 the next morning, right in the middle of prime hiking time!) so this is another stopover option which puts me within easy striking distance of the park the next day.