Amistad National Park. Del Rio, Texas. We looked for signs. We looked for salami. We looked for corn. Snake eyes. But just when things seemed bleak there were three big reasons to stay one more night:
First ( but in no particular order) was the sunset. I mean c'mon! This is the Rio Grande reservoir and on the other side of the dam is Mexico. And this spectacular sky happens every night.
Second, we met Tommy. He and his wife—and family—own and operate the oldest vineyard in Texas, Val Verde. He's part paisan and part Irish and seriously the nicest person. And funny! He was friendly with the local deer that live here and right away that made me want to stay.
And that brings me to the third reason—the deer. On our first night we were walking down a path a giant buck lept across right in front of us, right over the whole road. Tommy had been sharing some snacks with the local fauna and I wanted in on that too so when we went to town we looked for some corn. Note: you can find deer corn everywhere. But not when you want to. Or at least I can't. So when we were driving home dejected from not finding salami, neon signs or corn and I see a truck pass us with a bed full I tell John to follow him and ask him for some. Turns out that we stop at the same gas station and this perfect stranger has no problem cutting open a bag of his corn and donating some to me. My day is looking up!
We return to camp with a bag of corn and the deer come right away. Dinner is on the grill and the sun is setting. On a walk to the bluff and back Tommy and his wife give us a bottle of their wine. We drink, we eat, we feed the deer. I am glad we stayed another day.