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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Coffee Creek RV Resort, Mineral Wells and Natty Flats

The first week of October, we and three other couples from our RV group descended on the Coffee Creek RV Resort, located just north of I-20 on US 281. This is roughly 20 miles west of Weatherford and about 12 miles south of Mineral Wells.
Coffee Creek RV Resort is relatively new and has a well thought out design. The RV sites are laid out in a manner so that your door opens to the west. This allows you to put out the awning and have an enjoyable evening sitting outside watching the sun set.
The roads and pads are oil rock and give a firm surface, but not a hard surface. It would have been wise to have put pads underneath the jacks, as we did leave a little indentation in our pad. The Park has a pretty well stocked store and they have incredibly nice people. They also have cabins, so those in your party without an RV can stay at the same place.
If you need major shopping, you are not far from Mineral Wells, and within an easy 30 minute drive to Weatherford.

One of the things I look forward to on these outings is playing golf with Larry. This was no exception. We drove about 20 miles to SugarTree Golf Club at Lipan, TX.  This is a very beautiful, well maintained course. You will get the idea in this series of pictures.

Green Fees and cart rental are reasonable, but, bring a lot of golf balls. Between the water hazards and the rough, it becomes an expensive course. After the third hole, we quit keeping score.

We made a trip to Strawn, TX while we were in the area to visit Mary's Cafe and have the best chicken fried steak in Texas (according to us and the viewers of Texas Country Reporter). If you go, order the small, or the medium if you are really hungry. Order the large if you want to take some home or you want to share it.

A visit to Mineral Wells was also part of our trip. It is a quick trip from Coffee Creek RV Resort, just 12 miles. Mineral Wells is a historic town with lots of little shops and the Famous Water Company, also known as Crazy Water Company. Probably more historic for the town is the Old Baker Hotel, built under the guidance of T.B Baker a legendary hotel operator. From the website Baker Hotel " The Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, opened it's doors November 9, 1929 and it's grand opening was November 22, 1929 just two weeks after the great stock market crash. Even though this was a dark time in history the hotel opened with great fanfare with Tal Henry and his North Carolina's-Victor Recording Orchestra, cabaret acts, a big dinner and dancing in the ballroom. The hotel continued to do well throughout the great depression bringing cattlemen to regain their health and widows to marry them. The Baker Hotel cost $1.2 million to build and employed a good deal of the population of Mineral Wells."

Sadly, the Baker hotel closed it doors the first time in 1963, it reopened in 1965 and finally closed for good in 1972. Today it stands abandon and deteriorating. A once grand Texas hotel awaiting it's final death. There of course are numerous ghost stories attached to the hotel. If you are interested in the history of this hotel and other great hotels also constructed by T.B. Baker, follow the link above. it is very interesting.

Of course the other thing that plays into the history of the Baker Hotel is the Crazy Water (Famous Water) company. Also from the Baker Hotel web site " In 1877 James A. Lynch and his family settle in a Valley 48 miles west of Fort Worth. Tired of hauling water from the nearby Brazos River, Mr. Lynch had a well dug on his property. The water had a funny taste and at first was believed to be poison. Mrs. Lynch continued to drink the water and found it did not harm her, in fact, the water seemed to cure her rheumatism. The word spread and many came to see if they could also receive a cure.
The third well dug was made famous from the fact that a woman who suffered epilepsy drank the water daily. Legend says that after she drank the water she was cured and they named the well the Crazy Woman Well, later just the Crazy Well.
The town was originally named Ednaville but after the waters began to draw people, the town was renamed Mineral Wells. Many pavillions and hotels were built so that the thousands who came there had a place to stay. The Damion, Fairfield Inn, the Hexagon, the Oxford, the Period, and the Piedmont Hotel are just to name a few.
The Crazy Water Hotel was built where the Crazy Well is. After the first hotel burnt down, the Collins brothers from Fort Worth, Texas rebuilt the Crazy Hotel and planned to market the water."
The water is still bottled in Mineral Wells.

I liken the water to that from a mineral well at the Government Mineral Springs campground in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington State. I knew a lot of peole that used to drink the water, but most people, like my family used it to make Kool-Aid and pancakes.

Of course a trip to this part of Texas would not be complete with out a trip to the Natty Flat Smokehouse for some great smokehouse barbeque.

As you pull into the parking lot, you see the other famous attraction in the area - the World's Largest Cedar Rocking Chair.

This chair comes complete with the seal of the Guinness Book of World Records.

For more information, you can visit here - Texas Twisted. You also need to go into the Texas Hill Country Furniture and Mercantile and check out everything made from wood. Including this bathtub.

Don't you just love that "claw foot" design.

Of course no trip is complete with out seeing some wildlife. Like this big buck we saw around Lake Possum Kingdom.

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