Small towns of West Texas

Trip Start May 01, 2013
Trip End May 01, 2014

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, April 6, 2014

Day 341 - Today we have a 240 mile drive to Marathon, Texas.  We have gotten off the main highway and are taking a nice route, good road, no trucks (yea), but not much to look at.  West Texas is pretty barren.  We do pass some towns, but how they make it is a mystery...some didn't! We pass another Pecan Grove of several acres.  Water is a real problem in this area (as in all of the West) so who knows if they will even have a crop this year.  One of the towns we pass is called Valentine - population 215!!  It looks pretty much like a ghost town - several vacant buildings and who knows how far they have to go for a grocery store.  NOT my cup of tea!  Along the way we stop along the road at a picnic area.  The train track runs next to the road, but no trains in this area.  We are surprisingly next to a tethered Drone Blimp - the kind we saw in Yuma. They are used to photograph the border.  The wind has been very strong for the last week or so, and that is probably why it was not up.  Another town we come by is Marfa - established in 1883, population 2,000.  Named by the wife of the West Texas Railroad after a character in a Russian novel she was reading.  This town is trying to re-invent itself.  It is famous for some mysterious lights that appear at night.  We were there in the day, so no idea if it was worth it or not.  Also many award-winning movies were made here. In the 1930's silver mining was very prosperous here, and now there is a thriving art community.  Good for them!!  After going through town, we come up to a bridge that has a sign 13 '7" - we are 13' 6" - that was a scary moment!  But we made it by the skin of our teeth and we were on our way.

Marathon is on the edge of Big Bend National Park.  There is a lovely hotel, the Gage,  that dates back to the early 1900's.  Beautifully done.  The elevation here is 4,000 feet.  Looking forward to sea level and humidity - can you believe it?

Day 342 - Off to Del Rio, Texas.  On the way we stop to see the Judge Roy Bean Museum in the town of Langtry.  The town was named by Bean after the English actress Lilly Langtry.  Bean was enamored by Langtry and wrote her many letters inviting her to visit.  Sadly he had died just months before she did visit.  Bean was the only "judge" in the area, but in fact he was the Justice of the Peace, however, performed whatever duties were needed at the time.  He is known as the "hanging" judge, but in fact there is no evidence to that myth.  He seemed to be a fair judge and it was enough for the area to remain fairly safe for the times.  All the buildings on the site are actually authentic and original to the day.  Fun place to see.

Off to our next destination.... 
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Claudia on

Scott was in Del Rio for his first pilot training. Fun little winery to visit there! Lots of planes to watch! TX is one "Big" state! Have fun!

Kimber on

I love west Texas!!!!!!! Looked for the Marta lights one night w no luck. Gage hotel is cool. Judge Roy Bean rest stop so fun w great birding and awesome scenery so close.

Pamela on

Must be something wrong with me....have never been a fan of W. Texas. As a child we used to travel to my parents home state of Arkansas either by car or train. I have no fond memories of any states between Washington and Arkansas!!! There's just a whole lot of nothing.

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