West Texas -November 2016

My daughter and I hit the road this week for West Texas and it was a glorious trip.  We spent most of our time in and around Gudalupe Mountains National Park, with some jaunts into New Mexico ranch lands at the foothills of the mountains.

Having spent a few years of my younger life living in this part of Texas, it left an impression on me that calls me back from time to time.  I think at a deeper level it sings in my heart because of the vastness of this space, it forces me into a state of the insignificance of self and an awareness of the entirity of creation.

On our trip, we met up with professional photographer Melanie Gentry who guided us to some spectacular photo locations and she shared with us tips and advice.  I can’t praise her enough for what she did for us and highly recommend her if you are ever interested in learning more about photography or commisioning her to photograph an event.


You can checkout some of my images from the trip at : https://goo.gl/awynlv

If you are into vlogs and would like to watch mine from the trip, check out my YouTube playlist : https://goo.gl/s1Qdx5

My daughter, Meridith, is becoming quite a photographer in her own right and you can see some of her images from the trip at : https://goo.gl/xpkkTH

-Peace, ck

Tacos OJ – Ft. Stockton, Tx. 

1303 N. Main Street / (432) 336-3066

On our way out west, we pulled into this place for a lunch break. I have been wanting to get back out west for some hiking and photo shooting, but to be honest I have also been jonesing for some real Mexican Food.

Google showed they had red enchiladas and I was ecstatic! This is one of my favorite dishes (along with chilie reños – which they also had) and have always preferred the red sauce over the brown gravy version they have in South Texas.

The enchiladas were indeed fantastic and the service was great. Highly recommend if your motoring down I-10 and decide you have a hankering for some Mexican food!

Lost Maples Winery 

I’ve enjoyed watching this vineyard grow since the early 2000 on trips to my favorite state park – Lost Maples SNA.  I had noticed the past several times to the park that their gates were open and a sign propped up on the fence said “tasting room open”. However, with my eye on getting to the park I had been passing it on by and of course it was closed by the time I headed back home.

Yesterday however was crying out for a Hill Country cruise so I took my mother along for one of our favorite drives across FM 337 to look at the canyons to see effects of our recent rains.  Along the way my mom asked me about the vineyard and winery, to which I exclaimed yes it is open and we should most definitely stop and boy am I glad we did.

Lost Maples Winery and Polvadeau Vineyards, nestled in a canyon along the crystal clear waters of the Sabinal River in Bandera County, is blessed with abundant natural resources and natural beauty. We believe that if you honor respect the land, it will reward you with its bounty. If you honor and respect the grapes, they will render wine that is to be celebrated as much as it is to be celebrated with. Originally brought to Texas by Spanish missionaries, the hearty and robust Black Spanish/Lenoir grapes were originally used to make communion wine. Today, they form the basis of our deliciously distinctive wines.

“Lost Maples Winery | Vanderpool, TX.” Lost Maples Winery | Vanderpool, TX. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2016.

For a mere $10 a piece, Tom Slaughter and his wife Glenda will give you a sampling of their current selection and walk you through an explanation of each of their creations.  Afterwards, you are welcomed to purchase a glass of your favorite (or a bottle) and introduced to their resident chef Chris Chisum to partake in some truly mouth watering appetizers.

When next you are driving up North of Utopia or staying at the park, I highly recommend a pause on your itinerary and pull in to enjoy this wonderful place.  I know it will become one of our favorite stops from now on.


If you’re driving through Alpine, I highly recommend making a pit stop here. Order you up a La Frontera IPA and a bowl of their Epic Fries. You won’t be disappointed!