Local Museum and Regional Insights

Trip Start Jan 09, 2009
Trip End Jun 01, 2009

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Where I stayed
TREPark RV Park

Flag of United States  , Texas
Friday, February 27, 2009

During the night we were awakened to flapping canvases and wind whistling around the coach.  Fortunately it passed quickly.  The land here is absolutely flat and lacks vegetation to break the winds.  This region has experienced 10-12 years of severe drought and there is not a drop of water anywhere.  Did I mention yesterday that we passed signs indicating directions to a lake and all that was in evidence was the different color of sand that had previously formed beaches along the shore line?   
This morning Don spoke briefly with another couple who had tried to drive I-10 after dark and who had spent much of the night in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel because there were so many deer on the highway that they did not feel comfortable.  They rolled into the park about 9:30 this morning and headed off to visit the museum.  Our morning was spent doing housekeeping things and in the afternoon we ventured into town also.
Pecos is a town that has seen better times.  Stores are empty and many buildings are showing signs of neglect and disrepair.  The museum however was a treat!  Located in an old hotel, and reflecting the pride of longtime families of the region, it provides a wonderful insight to the culture and people of this area.  The main floor portrays the saloon, lobby and dining room of years past, complete with a 'talking' bartender and a volunteer to provide personal insight into the history of the building.   Exhibits tell the story of the railway, cattle ranching and mining in the area.  Upstairs it seems that local families and organizations have assumed responsibility for one or more of the bedrooms and have dug into attics and homes for family memorabilia to provide everything from barbwire, saddle and arrowhead collections to exhibits of former offices (doctors, lawyers, etc), award winning local cow girls, veterans, and black history.
Discussions with the volunteer revealed that the major employers of the region are the schools and the federal penitentiaries.  There are three federal institutions in the immediate area and I believe that two of them have had riots since Christmas.  Hearing this left us with a less comfortable feeling about staying in the area!
The park we are in is simple - gravel parking spots with hydro waste disposal and water.  it emptied quickly this morning as it seems that many people returning north from 'the valley' use it as a stopover rather than a destination.  The gal at the desk was so happy when Don told her we would stay two nights so that we could visit the museum!
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