Bead-Balmorhea Amber Glass Oval TB
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Texas, United States
This is not collectible.
Use TB5HVEK to reference this item.
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Please drop this item in rural OR Premium Member Only caches. Do not place it in an urban cache or abandon it at a caching event. Transport the bug in the original plastic bag for as long as the bag lasts; the bag keeps the trackable clean and prevents tangling with other items. Otherwise, take the travel bug anywhere you wish. No permission is needed to leave the U.S.
Photos in the travel bug logs are appreciated. I will be re-post them here, where they can be seen by other cachers.
About This Item
While the TB owner lives on the Southern High Plains in the Panhandle of northwest Texas, he has spent considerable time in what many Texans would call Far West Texas. It remains a favorite part of the state. Much of it is the Chihuahuan Desert. In the desert are remotes outposts of civilization and even mountains that rise high enough to harbor junipers and pines. This travel bug commemorates a favorite place in the region, partly because the history and partly because of memories.
The town of Balmorhea, in Reeves County, dates from 1904 when it was determined that the water from San Solomon Springs was sufficient for large scale irrigation. The unusual name for the town is a contraction of letters from the names of the land developers Balcome, Moore and Rhea. The town itself is a nice place to pull off the highway and rest. The water flowing literally at the tree-lined roadside comes as a pleasant surprise. In the 1960s the writer made monthly trips past this site in summers and it was common to see children playing in the ditches. There were usually some inverted gallon jugs bobbing along in the canals as well. It was assumed there were baited hooks below.
The spring is artesian and historically poured water out into the desert to create a marsh or cienega. For a desert region the spring was huge, flowing at an estimated rate of 24 million gallons per day. The water was used by the Mescalero Apache and Comanche indians, early Mexican farmers (who were the first to build irrigation ditches), and the U.S. Cavalry.
Today the water flows directly from San Solomon Springs Balmorhea into the pool in Balmorhea State Park in Toyavale. The pool was built by the CCC in 1937 to 1941. It is one of the largest spring-fed pools in the world. The main circular region of the pool is 65 meters (214 feet ) in diameter and two wings (21 by 73 meters, 70 by 240 feet). A shallow portion of the pool has a concrete bottom whereas the deeper portions of the pool have a natural bottom. Currently the maximum depth is 6.5 meters (21 feet), . Today the pool is a popular location for scuba divers because the shallow depth, warm water, and good visibility makes it an ideal location for teaching introductory scuba courses. The area is also used for camping, and bird watching.
The water leaves the pool through a series of channels into a restored wetland/cienega system in within the park boundary. From there the water runs through a series of ditches until it reaches Balmorhea Lake. The movement of water from the pool through the canals to the cienega is managed to ensure the survival of two endangered fish species.
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