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SWIMMING TO MEXICO
Part IV

by John Troesser

WATER: Fort Clark and San Felipe Springs,
Lake Amistad and Devilís River
TOWNS: Brackettville, Del Rio and Ciudad Acuna

FROM DALLAS
:
Glen Rose

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Swimming to Mexico, Part III

FORT CLARK SPRINGS
is a former Cavalry Post, which has been turned into a private resort, owned by its members. Berms have been added to the old parade ground, which is now a golf course, but the main attraction continues to be the spacious spring-fed pool. (Las Moras Springs). Rooms are available at the 38-room hotel which was formerly a barracks. Guests are allowed the use of the pool for the length of their stay. 210-563-2493. Rates are comparable to hotels in Del Rio and Uvalde. The pool is not comparable to pools in Del Rio or Uvalde. When you go, just remember that the pool closes Thursdays for cleaning. A museum and many well preserved buildings make it easy to imagine life here in the 1860s. The Post Theater remains as it was in 1946, the year the Post was decommissioned.
Fort Clark Springs The pool at Fort Clark (Las Moras Springs)
TE photo
BRACKETTVILLE is named after Oscar Brackett who was a sutler to the Fort. This is the county seat of Kinney County and the 1910 beaux-arts Courthouse will be seen at the intersection of James and Ann streets.


ALAMO VILLAGE - Now Closed.

If you follow the signs north on Hwy 674 youíll find Alamo Village, the movie set built for the 1959 John Wayne movie.

In addition to the Alamo replica (which most tourists prefer to the real item), thereís a complete western town circa 1880s on one side and a Mexican village on the other. Lonesome Dove was one of the more recent productions filmed here. This is the largest movie set built outside of Hollywood.



As you leave town, follow the signs to the Seminole Scout Cemetery, just west of town on 90, then south on 693. Continue west on 90 to Del Rio.

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SAN FELIPE SPRINGS
DEL RIO


Besides Ciudad Acuna, Del Rio will be the last city on this particular tour. As you enter Del Rio youíll notice a golf course on your right. The road through the course is San Felipe Springs Road and will take you to the source of San Felipe Creek. The springs release 90 million gallons of pure water daily eventually reaching the Gulf of Mexico via the Rio Grande. Moore City Park with its stone banks offers a safe and shallow place for kids to play in San Felipe Creek.

The Del Rio Chamber of Commerce is at 1915 Avenue F. 830-775-3551. Check with them for walking and driving tours of Del Rio, and information on crossing the border to Ciudad Acuna. The bridge to Acuna is nearly 3 miles from Del Rio, but all day parking is available at reasonable rates on the U.S. side.

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LAKE AMISTAD

CIUDAD ACUNA
has a population of nearly 120,000 but is surprisingly clean and tranquil compared to other border towns. The Dam at Lake Amistad is a good photo opportunity for the magnificent twin eagle statues (fraternal not identical). If one is there at dusk, a flag lowering ceremony takes place on the Mexican side with the Mexican national anthem provided by a tape on a cassette recorder.

The big attraction of course is Lake Amistad. With 1000 miles of shoreline and 65,000 acres, this is one lake in Texas (and Mexico) that is not over-fished. Besides fishing, Lake Amistad offers swimming, boating and even scuba diving. Managed by the National Park Service, the headquarters is on Hwy 90 just west of the city limits. The U.S. side has 3 marinas with one reserved for Air Force personnel. The Mexican side has a marina and a Mexican fishing license is required if you fish that side, but it is sold at the U.S. marinas as well.

Every October the two cities have a month long Celebration of Friendship, with races, beauty pageants and all sorts of festivities, which proves that U.S.Ė Mexican relations would fare better without politicians.

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For The Adventurous:

DEVILíS RIVER
Devils River State Natural Area
: 830/395-2133

From Del Rio take Hwy 277 north for about 40 miles to Loma Alta. Continue north for three and a half miles, left on Dolan Creek Road for 22 miles. The Devilís River State Natural Area has a 12-mile hiking trail. Here the springs feed the river which empties into Lake Amistad. The Devilís River would be river # 10 but due to its remoteness we only mention it briefly.

Texas' least-known Lover's Leap is a cliff on the Devil's River... more

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We hope youíve enjoyed traveling with us and look forward to serving you in the future. Please remain in your car until it comes to a complete stop. Look for next Julyís feature "Swimming back from
Mexico".

"Now, go take on the road."
BACK TO

SWIMMING TO MEXICO - Part III
Water: Medina, Sabinal, Nueces and Leona Rivers and Rio Frio
Towns: Utopia and Uvalde

SWIMMING TO MEXICO - Part II
Water: Guadalupe River
Towns: Boerne, Comfort, Center Point and Kerrville

SWIMMING TO MEXICO - Part I
Water: McKinney Falls, Aquarena Springs, San Marcos, Blanco and Pedernales Rivers
Towns: San Marcos, Wimberley and Blanco

SWIMMING TO MEXICO - Introduction

Rivers Included in This Trip
Their Lengths, Sources, and Termination Points


See Mexico
GETTING THERE FROM DALLAS:

For our Dallas / Ft. Worth readers:

If swimming to Mexico doesnít fit your schedule, get out your compass and draw a 50-mile radius on your map, using Arlington as a center. See all those lakes? You can explore on your own or wait for next summerís "Swimming around in Circles" article.

In addition to all these lakes, the Brazos and Paluxy Rivers provide excellent tubing and canoeing.

The two rivers converge just south of Glen Rose in Somervell County, a charming county seat that hosts both the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant (Tours Mon. Ė Sat. 9-4) and Dinosaur Valley State Park (254-897-4588). Split atoms and dinosaurs is a combination second only to alcohol and firearms, as far as we're concerned.
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

Dinosaur footprints are visible in the rock, under the water.

Glen Rose Chamber of Commerce: 254-897-2286.

To pick up the Swimming to Mexico trail, go south on I-35 to San Marcos and Aquarena Springs.

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