Fort Davis State Park in West Texas
The lodge sits northwest of Fort Davis, TX inside Davis Mountains State Park. The pueblo style structure was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's.
In May of 2012, we finally had our chance to stay at the lodge. We'd attempted a stay months earlier, but while making the 8-hour drive to the lodge we were notified that wildfires had closed the place down. Luckily the lodge suffered no damage.
One More Obstacle
Luckily this fella didn't hit our car and thwart our second attempt at enjoying the lodge. The poor guy just came out of nowhere and raced across the road in front of us. It took him a while to make it over the fence, but eventually he was safe and out of sight.
Our Little Village
The multi-leveled adobe structure looked very much like Native American pueblo villages of the southwest. I loved all the little nooks and crannies on each level... a porch swing here, a wood burning fireplace there, tables and chairs and covered porches.
The Original Part
Originally there were only 16 rooms. Each had 18-inch adobe walls, made onsite with a mixutre of water, straw and soil. Later on these walls were plastered and sealed.
An Old Room
We were able to peek at an old room with cooling adobe and pine floors. The ceilings were impressive with pine viga (beams) and latilla, which is river cane, but looks like bamboo sticks, to me. Spanish style, cedar furniture was made by CCC workers at another Texas location
Don and I always try to stay in the older sections of historic hotels, but we ended up in a room which was part of an expansion in 1967.
Now, Indian Lodge has 39 rooms and they've done a pretty good job of blending the old and new. They have some nice desert landscaping as well. Nothing fancy, but it was fun seeing blooming flowers in a desert world.
Our lower level room, #315 was at the back of the property. This meant we had a decent covered area and a great spot for viewing the mountains and the every changing clouds. I would have preferred some 1930's style patio or lodge chairs, but the 1980's gliders were good enough.
Spacious and Clean
This was our room, with the more modern beams and floors. You have to give the place credit, though. I've seen some really obnoxious updates on beautiful CCC buildings. They kept the western style with thunderbird headboards and decorated trunks at the foot of each bed.
There were chairs and a desk and I can't really recall, but there might have been a fridge. I wasn't blogging hotels then, so I have no notes!
But! We had a great view from our window (which had wonderful wooden shutters) And the sky was getting interesting that afternoon!
We decided to read by the pool for a while instead of jumping into the water, where we might have become lightening rods.
And when skies got too dark, we moved inside to wander. What an incredible meeting/game room! We saw the same viga and latilla ceiling, but there were also humongous, polished tree trunk pillars and more cedar furniture, made by the CCC. The white adobe was a good balance for all the dark wood. And there were a few wrought iron light fixtures and a fireplace to brighten things... if it had gotten colder.
We took the advice of a fellow guest and took the drive up Skyline Drive, into the park before dusk.
This might have been the best and eeriest part of our stay, seeing the amazing view through the charred branches of fire damaged trees. It's lucky there had been no damage to the lodge... in fact our reservations had been cancelled the first time because the firefighters were housed at the lodge.
Good and Bad Signs
Seeing the remains of a stone structure up on the hill, was a reminder of the powers of fire. But seeing a tiny flower, growing up between charred rocks was a reminder of the power of nature! Hope the trees had the same stubborn attitude!
Sunset and Night
We enjoyed a beautiful sunset before heading down to catch dinner at the lodge's Black Bear Restaurant. The food was so, so and the atmosphere was boring compared to the lodge. Don and I were not thrilled with our waiter and we pondered about whether he might be suffering from a hangover. He seemed to wince when we spoke our order and he carried our food so gingerly, as if the vibrations of his own footsteps were shocking his system. It was tempting to shout "Have a great evening!" on our way out. But being mostly kind travelers, we chose to sympathize, in case he was having a migraine.
The white adobe will be the image that comes to mind when I recall our stay. (Even if it has been plastered over and sealed for preservation purposes!
I've always had a thing for adobe, since Mrs. Mullen in third grade had her students pour a mud and grass mix into our square milk cartons. Our classroom stunk for many days, while our little bricks dried and hardened on the windowsill! I have always been fascinated by pueblos and the adobe bricks that make them. So for adobe lovers, this is your place!
Visit in May 2019
Don and I finally made it back to Indian Lodge and managed to book one of the original 1938 CCC rooms. The white stucco buildings were looking lovely after a recent renovation.
Our Cozy Room
Our upstairs room was nice and quiet. Our fireplace wasn't useable, but it looked fun. We certainly didn't need that TV, but we enjoy an old Turner Classic movie for a bit.
Our room had 5 windows, facing 3 directions! I love a bathroom window, for a little light!
The wind was crazy. We watched a few people stumbling to their rooms, while carrying bags. One poor man actually fell. But we found a wind-free space on the porch and enjoyed the evening.
We drove up Skyline Drive in the morning to catch sunrise. We had a very speedy and windy, picnic breakfast. What a good ending for our second visit to Indian Springs Lodge!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!