The Diving Rebels will trek to the west Texas high desert for our May outing on May 19–21. Our destination will be Balmorhea State Park (http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/balmorhea), 30 miles south of Pecos and about 6 1/2 hours west of Arlington. Each person attending is responsible for his/her own transportation, but information to facilitate ride sharing will be provided at the May membership meeting and via social media. For Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, we have reserved three campsites that have water and electricity and can accommodate a total of 24 persons (8 per campsite).
Balmorhea State Park is literally an oasis in the high desert of west Texas. Entrance to the park costs $7 per person per day, but diving in the world’s largest outdoor spring-fed swimming pool does not cost any extra. And you can dive as often and as long as you like—the pool is open from 8:00 am to 7:30 pm or sunset, whichever comes first. Due to the depth of the pool (less than 20 feet deep), you basically have unlimited bottom time—you should be able to exhaust the air in your tank long before you would have any decompression issues. Some of the fish in this pool are found nowhere else in the world, e.g., the Comanche Springs pupfish, other than the subsurface and surface aquifer system to which the pool is connected, and that is pretty cool. Hundreds of Mexican tetras in the pool will swarm you if you bring some frozen peas or dry dog food to feed them during your dive. There are also many big catfish and some bass and turtles for you to observe. Sometime during our diving, we will hold our usual underwater checkers tournament that puts a premium on proper buoyancy. If you go to the surface or the bottom, you’re out!
For Sunday night’s dinner, we will conduct our traditional meal share in which some participants in the outing volunteer to be meal coordinators, plan the menu for the meals, and buy and/or prepare the food, the cost of which will be reimbursed.
Although the area can get very hot during the day (100+oF), because Balmorhea is in the desert, the temperature will drop during the night into the 60s, making for very comfortable sleeping in a tent. If you do not want to camp, the area does boast some hotels, but you should try to make your reservations as soon as possible since they tend to fill up over the weekend.
Come join us, and dive in this unique environment!