Friday, February 25, 2011

More Sights in Texas

We went on another day trip from Alpine Texas.  This time we saw Terlingua, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Fort Leaton Historic Site and Marfa.  It was another fairly long day but one we wanted to make while we were in the area.
It was about 100 miles to Terligua which is a touristy ghost town.  There is a lot of legend and history in the area centered around the mining of cinnabar which is the common ore of mercury.  Mercury was used in explosives and was mined in this area in the 1880s.

First we stopped at the old Terlingua cemetery.  It is still an 'active' one but has lots of old and interesting grave sites.
From there, we drove on to Lajitas which is a small tourist and resort community.  It has a golf course and airport nearby.  Some movies have been made here.
General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing established Lajitas as a U.S. Calvary outpost here in 1916 to protect the settlers from bandits and Indians.

We continued on and drove along the Rio Grande.  The views were spectacular.
We stopped for lunch at an overlook near the river.
Below we could see an outfitter leading a group of canoers down the river.

Next, we stopped at Fort Leaton which is located between Redmond and Presido.  It was one of the earliest trading posts on the Chihuahua Trail.  It stretches from Chihuahua, Mexico to Santa Fe.
We saw an early version of an ox cart used to carry supplies to the frontier post.
This state historic was impressive and definitely worth the stop.  It was in excellent shape and had been restored in a realistic way.   Sometimes I think historical sites get 'restored' to a better condition than the residents ever experienced while they lived in them.  I think life was hard back then and people didn't have the resources to make their homes much more than basically adequate.  Now they are show cases and while quite interesting, I wonder how close it is now to how it was then.

Our last stop for the day was in Marfa which is another historical town about 24 miles from Alpine, Texas.  
Driving into town, we saw the majestic Presido County Courthouse.  Then we saw the 'Ride of a Lifetime' parked along the street.  Then on the outskirts of Marfa, we saw the viewing area for the famous 'Marfa Lights' which are an unexplained phenomenon.  

We returned to our campsite at Alpine after another great day trip.  Though it was a long distance between the items of interest, it is a beautiful and interesting part of the country.  We are glad we got to see the Big Bend Ranch State Park and surrounding areas.

Thanks for viewing the Roadrunner Chronicles!  And thanks to all of you that leave comments, take time to ask questions and engage with us.  We really love that and appreciate it.


  1. When we were at Big Bend we didn't have our internet satellite yet so we drove to Lajitas practically daily as the whole town has wifi! The road from Lajitas to Presidio is supposed to be a beautiful drive. We didn't do the whole thing since it's not much fun in a 1 ton truck but the part we did drive on was beautiful!

  2. Any where we travel there is always something new to see. Isn't this life wonderful?

  3. Another great tour with photos and a bit of history thrown in as well - great blog!

    That is sure one big Ox Cart - Paulette would love that for towing around all her Quilting stuff!

  4. Beautiful pictures. I agree with you on the way some historical sites are probably made up better than they really were.

    Big Ben National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park are definitely on our list of places to visit. Maybe next fall.

    Kevin and Ruth

  5. Thanks for the tour..Before we had a camper we did the drive from Lajitas to Presidio and ended up North at Van Horn..We went through Terlingua, Marfa and Fort Davis on the way, but never stopped..We were on a schedule ...I hear they have a huge Chili Cook Off there in November..Would love to get to Alpine, too...That trip to those spots is now on my "Do It, Dammit" list..

  6. I just started a new book last night that is set in Marfa. I'd never heard of it, but then I read your blog and there is mention of it again. Twice in 24 hours! Is it a sign? Freaky!

    Looks like you're having fun exploring. Big Bend is on our list of places to visit too, so I'm enjoying following along and learning tidbits for when we visit someday. Thanks for sharing!

  7. we have read so many blogs and most say that Texas is not that scenic..thanks for proving that there is some great shots out there in the great state of Texas!!
    thanks for the great tour and the history lesson!!

  8. GREAT photos and post... BUT my favorite picture is the HUGE wagon...
    Have fun & travel safe

  9. I adore those overlook photographs! I love it when something so grand can make me feel so small. Really hits the thought home that we are such insignificant creatures when compared to the majesty around us.