Monday, November 29, 2010

West Texas and Big Bend

We spent our Thanksgiving in Fort Stockton, and I'll never make that mistake again, not the part about the holiday just spending anytime in Fort Stockton. We picked it because it looked like a decent size town and we wanted off the road for the holiday so we booked 5 nights, there is nothing in this town, they do have a Walmart but it is the smallest, oldest one I've ever seen and it had nothing. There were two grocery store, both owned by the same person so prices were right through the roof, we figured that we would spend a day visiting the Fort but that only took about 45 minutes and of course the Wi-Fi was down and they couldn't get it fixed until after the holiday.

Oh well on to Marathon, after setting up we drove into town and found a nice little garden park and the old city cemetery with real cowboy style graves.

Small Park in Marathon

Pond at the park

Water Tower

These Ruins hide the electrical system

West Texas style graves

It was still early so we drove over to Alpine to see if we could find a place for a late lunch, it was a good size town and had just about anything you would want. We found these two murals downtown and then down the block the Three Amigos.

Look for Hoss

The bottom is all the different Cattle Brands for the area

The Three Amigos

A new sunny day and we came her to tour the Big Bend National Park so we're off, it's just a 60 mile drive south to the gate of the park, our first stop was at the visitors center and that was a big waste of time. They didn't really care if you were there or not, so we took of looking for the Hot Springs, about thirty miles SW and we found the dirt road that lead us back to the old Hot Springs. These were started as a resort and the hot springs had healing powers, I can't imagine what the roads where like 
Hot Springs
Trail to the Hot Springs

back in the 30's and 40's but the place is reported to have stayed busy. After a pretty wild drive back the dirt road we came to the trail head, it was just a short easy walk back to where the resort was,(still there just a ruins now) there was a store and about a seven room motel. The trail back to the springs follows a cliff which had some Petroglyphs, I would thought that they were graffiti if they didn't have the sign there. When we reached the Hot Springs there were a couple of girls there enjoying the hot water (105 degrees). The old foundation of the bath house is the only thing that keeps the springs from becoming part of the Rio Grand River as you will see in the pictures.

Damaged Petroglyphs


Resort Store

The girls had told us about a ghost town outside the West Gate of the park so we started heading that way. The Ghost town is named Ghost Town, Texas it was an old mining town but when the mine closed up every one just up and left. There are ruins of old homes scattered all over the hillsides and it looks like people are reclaiming them and making them livable again, don't know if they are squatting or if they are buying the lots. We took a few pictures them stopped at the old town cemetery, I can't describe this cemetery so I'll just post a few pictures, we've never run across anything like this before.

Strange Cemetry

Some of the Ruins and Homes

And then we found this

Then it was just a long drive home, driving into the north gate it was just flat dessert for about 60 miles, we did see a few mule deer and a road runner but other then that nothing but horizon. The ride home up Texas Hwy 118 was through and around the mountains, it was a fantastic drive with a different view around every turn.

I could post another 50 pictures but I think you get the idea, there's a lot to do around here.

1 comment:

Jim and Sandie said...

Spent a long long night in Fort Stockton and hopefully never again.

Love your last picture. It's absolutely gorgeous.