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Day trip to Camp Verde…and a town named “Comfort.”

Posted by on December 22, 2014


One of the reasons we’re so enjoying our winter stay in Kerrville is that there are lots of places to see and things to do in this part of the Texas Hill Country. As you’ve already seen if you’ve been following my recent blog posts, some of these things are truly unique and many are rich in local historical significance. Things don’t get much more unique than ranches with herds of exotic African animals. And they don’t get much more historic than the Alamo in downtown San Antonio! Anyway, our Buckhorn friends, who’re real familiar with this area from their previous stays here, took us on an outing today that included historic old Camp Verde and afterwards to the little town of Comfort, Texas. As always, we’re glad we’ve got such great local tour guides to point us in the right direction during our winter stay in this area.

verde2CAMP VERDE, TEXAS.  About 10 miles from Kerrville on the road from San Antonio to El Paso  is Old Camp Verde, which was an United States Army facility established in July of 1856. The Camp was the headquarters for the U.S. Camel Corps, which experimented with using camels as pack animals in the Southwestern part of the country. Unfortunately, the camels didn’t get along well with the Army’s horses and mules, which would bolt out of fear when they smelled the camels. The soldiers didn’t much like the camels either, because they were difficult to handle and they smelled awful to boot! The Camp was abandoned in April of 1869. Ruins of the officers’ quarters remain to this day, and the site is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



The Camp Verde General Store, established to provide goods and services to the soldiers stationed at the Fort, has occupied the same little part of Texas for more than 150 years. Its old fashioned front porch invites visitors to sit and enjoy the day. The new restaurant serves country fare that makes this a popular destination in the Hill Country.


The  general store offers lots of unique gifts from the Hill Country.


Camp Verde General Store and Post Office.










Someone must have told a good joke. Annie (Roger) and Dan (Robyn).


Florence and Roger studying the menu. We had a really good lunch here. This is one of the best restaurants in the area.


Annie, Florence and Robyn.


The General Store has lots of tempting items. And, a beautiful Christmas tree.

COMFORT, TEXAS. After poking around in the Camp Verde store and enjoying a very good lunch in the restaurant, we drove to the nearby little town of Comfort, Texas. About 2,500 folks live in this historic little spot, established by German immigrants during the mid-1850’s. Most of the town’s current residents are descendants of the original pioneer families who called this place home. The downtown area is considered to be one of the most well-preserved historic business districts in Texas. Almost a hundred buildings and structures in the area date back to the nineteenth century. Dozens house seriously tempting shops full of antiques and other treasures. However, we don’t have any unused space in our motorhome at all, so today’s visit was pretty free of financial risk for us! But had the circumstances been a little different…


Shops in Comfort’s historic town center.

THIS IS INTERESTING. And here’s something interesting and unique: Comfort has its own hygieostatic bat roost. What’s that? Well, I’ll tell you. Years ago, there was a problem with malaria-bearing mosquitoes in the area. A scientist from nearby San Antonio designed and erected this highly specialized roost to attract bats in an effort to control the mosquito population by natural means. It must have been somewhat successful, because at one time there were sixteen bat roosts built in the United States and Europe. Only two remain today…one here in Comfort and the other in the Florida Keys. Neither is functional, as what was once a problem with mosquitos has long since been eliminated by other methods. We haven’t seen even one of these pesky pests during the entire six weeks we’ve been living in the area so far this winter.


Treure der Union Monument.

AND HERE’S SOME HISTORY. Near the Comfort High School campus, a monument recalls Civil War hostilities that wracked the nation. Nueces “Treur der Union” Monument. During the War, the predominantly German settlers of Comfort were openly sympathetic with the Union cause. Friction developed in town with the Confederate forces and some 65 men determined to leave the area and go to Mexico. The group was surprised and attacked by mounted Confederate soldiers on the bank of the nearby Nueces River. Nineteen settlers were killed and another nine were wounded. The wounded nine were captured and executed a few hours after the battle. The Union Monument commemorates the settlers who were killed in this tragic episode of a violent era. It is one of only six National Cemeteries in the country permitted to fly the U.S. Flag at half-staff in perpetuity.



Signpost in downtown Comfort, Texas. Any questions?


Barbershop hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 1:30 and 4:00 pm. This is really Small-town, America.


Typical shop in the historic little town of Comfort, Texas.

MORE EXOTIC ANIMALS. When I describe animals around here as being “exotic” it sounds, well…exotic! So you won’t think I’m overstating it, here’s what qualifies as an exotic animal: “One that’s imported and not indigenous to the geographic area. A non-native animal.”  So, now that you know what I’m talkin’ about, here are some we saw just today on our outing. To me it’s absolutely amazing to take a drive in the country and see all these animals lazing around in pastures on both sides of the road. I thought they all lived in the San Diego Zoo!


I’m told that Buffalo meat is very lean and tasty. That’s what my Mom told me about 50 years ago one day when she served buffalo steaks for dinner. Not!


This zebra was very skittish. I used a long lens telephoto to get this picture. It was taken from quite a distance.


Antelope. One of about 90 different species from Africa.


Aoudad Sheep. It’s actually a species of goat-antelope, native to North Africa. Here it is near Kerrville, Texas…just hangin’ out to say hello to us! Incredible!

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