San Angelo State Park, San Angelo, Texas

Texas has an extensive collection of historical markers along its state highways, with helpful roadside signs pointing them out. Many are numbered, and there’s a web site where travelers not inclined to stop can enter the number and read the text. Check out Mr Smathers for some interesting trivia. The marker below made a convenient lunch spot. If anyone knows what a bugscuffle is, please enlighten us!

Lunch Stop at Historical Marker in Valley Spring
Lunch Stop at Historical Marker in Valley Spring

The San Angelo region has extensive cotton fields.

Miles of Cotton East of San Angelo
Miles of Cotton East of San Angelo

We arrived in town as the weather was going down hill pretty fast. Heavy rains and 36 hours of winds (40mph gusting to 60) were in the forecast with snow and ice just to the north and east of town. As is often the case, we were treated to a beautiful sunset. In the morning, the walks to the showers were timed with lulls in the light rain. All in all, we were feeling pretty good. We had to go into town for groceries and treats for the boys and by the time we came out of the grocery store the full force of the storm had arrived. We headed back to the campground and watched and felt the storm for the next 24 hours.

Beautiful West Texas Sunset
Beautiful West Texas Sunset

 

San Angelo itself is a pretty little town. We stopped at the visitor center, where an enthusiastic volunteer provided an extensive list of must-sees. The visitor center itself is certainly worth a stop. The architecture is beautiful and the building backs up to a lovely river walk. It was festooned with Christmas lights, set up so cars could drive along one side of the river and view them.

Your Travelers at the San Angelo Visitors Center
Your Travelers at the San Angelo Visitors Center
Behind the San Angelo Visitors Center
Behind the San Angelo Visitors Center
Along the San Angelo River Walk
Along the San Angelo River Walk. Visitors center is across the river.

We walked through the downtown and had lunch at Miss Hattie’s restaurant, located in a former bank. The bank had a tunnel to Miss Hattie’s bordello just across the street, thereby providing respectable cover to gentlemen visitors. While we were walking, the birds were napping.

Elmo Playing Peek-a-Boo
Elmo Playing Peek-a-Boo

Historic Fort Concho is located in San Angelo. We didn’t tour the fort, but we did visit the telephone museum housed in one of its officers quarters. The prize in the museum’s collection is one of Alexander Graham Bell’s original models for his Gallows Frame Telephones.

Bell's First Attempt at a Telephone
Bell’s First Attempt at a Telephone

 

The Gray Telephone Pay Station (Pay Phone)
The Gray Telephone Pay Station (Pay Phone). Note the slots for coins in front of the speaking tube.

The lady in the visitor center said “If you have time, you must visit our art museum. You’ll recognize it right away – it looks like a saddle.” Well, yeah.

San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts