Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Texas

We spent three nights at Southwinds Marina at Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Texas.  The campground is a military recreation area associate with nearby Laughlin Air Force Base. 

We hiked a couple of short trails, took the kayaks out on the lake for about two hours, went to the Lake Amistad National Recreation Area Visitors Center and watched the movie, explored part of the park, and wandered around Del Rio.

Like every other body of water in this part of the country, Lake Amistad is low.  So low in fact that there were no boats in any of the slips.  But the boat ramp at the marina was usable and lots of people were backing speed boats and fishing boats into the water. Apparently the lake is well known for its bass fishing.

On the way here we drove through several very nice Texas towns and stopped at a beautiful rest area, so I was looking forward to seeing Del Rio.  It was kind of a disappointment.  US 90 skirts the town and is full of car dealerships, big box stores and fast food joints. As you leave town, you see RV and boat storage, closed gas stations, and closed restaurants. Del Rio also has its original downtown, but most of the shops are also closed.  We want to say something nice, but...well, there’s not much in that vein to say about Del Rio, other than that one section had some cool old homes.

(And Happy Birthday, Paul.  We love you.)
The name of the campground on a big propane tank kind of sums up the ambiance here at Southwinds Marina.  But our camping spot had a great view of the lake.
Southwinds Marina campground neighbors.  We also met actual people from Alaska who have been full timing since 1998 and another couple from Florida who just started full timing in January.  The Florida couple was practically giddy about being on the road. When we were pulling our boats out of the water we met a young airman from Laughlin Air Force Base who graduated from Oregon State, as did Jim, daughter Season and SIL Lee.
Southwinds Marina has 20 spots with full hook ups, plus another section that just had water.  The water-only section was really full over the weekend.  It must have been a family reunion because Saturday night there were 21 cars at the five camping spots.  They were having fun and not especially noisy, but sure left a lot of trash behind.  Come on people, pick up a few of your plastic grocery bags.
Jim and Lake Amistad.  The many inlets remind me a bit of Lake Powell in Utah and Arizona. 
The cactus are beginning to flower and we saw three different colors of prickly pear blooms.

Train trestle over Lake Amistad.
A bright spot among the sad-looking buildings in Del Rio was this beautiful Methodist Church.  When Jim first saw it he said ”Methodists don’t build churches like that.”  Well, these guys did back in 1931.