"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Friday, February 28, 2014

Desert, Mountains and Sky...Big Bend

Since  I have spend several weeks parked in and traveling through deserts and I wasn't planning on spending much time in the park I spent my day enjoying the Chisos Mountains and the Chisos Basin.  I can understand that this is one National Park that might need a return trip to explore all the areas more thoroughly ut that is for another winter.  Ohio is waiting for me....I am just hoping that the last snow dump will have melted down by the time I get there.

The puppers and I stayed in a quiet (except for those evening train whistles) RV park.  It was basically a full hook up park with cable and pull through sites on a large gravel parking lot . They did have a nice grassy courtyard area.   The dogs were beginning to forget what green grass looked and felt like.

The driving in Texas on a cloudy over cast day.....

Country were windmills are still fully functioning necessities for the range.

I warned you that this trip was about rocks..... Much of the mountains and rocks in the area of Big Bend are influenced from the ancient volcanic activity.

Remi went for a ride along to explore the small town of Marathon.  A courtyard that is part of the historic Gage Hotel definitely looks like Texas....

The lobby.....

The Hotel desk resembles my idea of a period movie set.   The room keys and all......

It is safe to get back into the car.....the watch dog is still on duty.....

Okay, the Gage Hotel was famous for being built by a wealthy cattleman Mr. Gage, etc., but I like the Organic Eves Garden, Bed and Breakfast for its unique character.

I appears to be still growing and adding. I liked the lot adjacent to the building which contained orderly piles of trees trucks and old timbers that I suspect will be creatively incorporated in future construction.


Morning brought fog and haze.  There are smoky mountains in the west too, apparently....

Spring is coming to Texas....

 The Chisos Basin.  The road in was not recommend for any vehicles longer than 25 feet.  The basin is totally surrounded by a fortress of mountain and rocks.

This rig looked pretty interesting...and also home made.

Taking a hike out to look through the famous "window" between the mountains with a view of the desert mesa lands in the western part of the park.  Terlingua will have to wait for another day's/year's journey.

Moving on.....there are more Texas highways to travel down in order to make my way to San Antonio.  Texas is not a state that can be crossed  quickly.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Another Fort Tour, Texas This Time.

Fort Davis this time.   It was on the was south from I-10 on my way to check out Marfa, Alpine and Marathon.    Marfa and Alpine were both more town than I was expecting and Marathon not so much.  For years I have occasionally kept up with a blog that includes beautiful pictures of the area around Big Bend National Park and these towns......I couldn't see all of the area but I sure got to see a bunch of it.

But even if the drive hadn't been interesting the fort was worth it and I wasn't planning that part. Fort Davis is beautiful sitting there next to the Davis Mountains.

Stuart asked to be navigator on the drive but wasn't all that interested in the scenery in the beginning.


When we arrived at the fort, he got much more interested. He even started reading the small print.  But what he was really interested in was.....

"If I sit real still do you think that folks will notice that I am not as fuzzy and dusty as I was out climbing those rocks outside of Deming?" asked Stuart.

Fort Davis was built in the 1850's. The federal soldiers left during part of the Civil War but soon returned.   The fort was an important part of maintaining order in this section of Texas and protect the travel route between San Antonio and El Paso.  The first black officer to graduate from West Point was stationed here.   The building on the right is the visitors center and a restoration of one of the cavalry barracks.  Looked pretty familiar after seeing Fort Huachuca only these were not two story.

These are the row of the officers quarters.....with the mountains for their backdrop.

Working at the riding stable growing up we had two horse that wore old military saddles.   Not a lot of cush there for the rider but they were easy on the horses backbone....

A picture of the stables #10 for the cavalry.  The commandant had his own barn and corral.... 

The cavalry barracks.  

The four two story officer's quarters were added because there had been overcrowding in the original officers quarters.   

Looking up past some of the ruins of the fort.....not Indians but a rather exquisite home site.

"What do you mean, dogs didn't get to ride in the wagon? I know I saw one on an old Little House on the Praire show."  questioned Stuart. "You know what all this dust and dirt does to my coat. How did those pups manage?"

This is a view of the back of the officers quarters with one of the kitchen/servant quarters that has been rebuilt.  Each house had its own originally.

Two of the officer's houses are furnished and open to walk through.  Notice that the officer's family possessions are a bit grander than what those guys have over in the barracks.  

Stuart is wondering why all museums don't allow him.

"Nice view! Where is the ice tea?  Anybody have dog treats?"

On the drive in I noticed the sign along the road warning people to stay away from the old cottonwood trees. The signage said that the trees were very old and could fall completely or in part at any time.  Fine for the people with reading skills but the two horses and two goats that were grazing in the area are without protection.

Driving through Alpine on Monday, I noticed that I had missed the poetry gathering that weekend.  I knew that Nevada had a Cowboy Poetry Gathering but now I know that Texas cowboys don't have to head north to be included.

Love old courthouses in the town centers.

Walking back to the rig after lunch I passed the memorial to past cowboy poets. Their names are listen on the plaque on the left.

On to Marathon and Big Bend National Park next time.