Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Well, what can I say - here is another long post filled with a ton of photos coming your way. 

It was a long day.

6 hours to travel 122 miles!

We stopped - quite a few times. It was a beautiful - and hot - day.

So - here we go. Our trip from Terlingua to Marfa along the Rio Grande River to the town of Presidio up the 67 to Marfa. 

We just climbed our way out of the bowl that Terlingua sits in. Derek stopped so that I could run out and take a look back.

This route has some of the best scenery in the USA - most don't know that.

We briefly stopped in at the Barton Warnock Visitor Center. Due to the $5 charge for each of us we didn't stay. Derek and I did the tour back in 2008 anyway. Frugal - yup - that's us.

Just up the road is Lajitas. Have you ever heard of Lajitas

An interesting place. Derek and I spent quite a bit of time here back in 2008 looking around. It wasn't much busier today then it was then. A modern day ghost town.

Pretty neat - very un Lajitas like.

Very Lajitas like - a few higher end stores.

Lajitas is very beautiful and nicely designed from the buildings to the landscaping. Sad that it is priced for the rich and seems to go from Owner to Owner without catching on. 

Too bad the Bakery wasn't open……the one place we would have dropped some of our money.

Cassia with her face in her shrub - the Green Feathery Cassia - the flowers smell amazing.

Definitely an oasis.

LOVE all the grasses - have I mentioned lately that Derek and I used to own and operate an Ornamental Grass Nursery - yup - we did. LOVE them.

It was hot - and we had enough - back on the road.

A really bad photo but the second sign since Terlingua to notify the traveller of the steep grades ahead. Good thing it is down - but my stomach is in knots already.

Much of this lower area of Texas is occupied by the Big Bend Ranch State Park. Passes must be purchased to use the trails etc. Tempting but all the roads into the park are gravel. No thanks.

Next stop: The Contrabando (as well as others) movie set. Our stops are a bit like clock work as we retrace our steps from 2008.

Amazing spot - you can see why they chose this area, especially with the red rock.

Just a quick look around for us today - you are actually supposed to have a Park permit to park in the small road side parking lot - a bit strange - but we didn't' want to push our luck. Maybe we'll have to watch a movie or two to see how is looks on film.

All the river shots are the Rio Grande. That means that on the other side of the river is Mexico!

One our most favourite and memorable rest areas. 
The terrain, river and teepees make it neat place to stop.

We were going to have our lunch at the picnic table under the teepee and told Cassia as much but it was way too windy.

It sure would be nice if the teepees got some more paint.

Cassia and I had fun walking around and climbing on the rocks.

Hmmmm - so this is UP for sure. Strange - but when I remember the steep grade on this road I recalled the steep DOWN - not up. But WOW - had I remember this I would have directed us back up the 118. This is CRAZY. 

Not a fan. Poor Hraefn - again. Down to about 15 miles per hour at this point. Chug chug.

Derek stopped at the top and ran out to take a picture down. Not sure if it really shows exactly how steep the climb is. Don't do it if you have any kind of power issues.

The summit. They are just playing with all of us when they say 'hill'. Are you kidding?! Here we go - down - straight down. Shouldn't roads at this grade be against the law?

At least it is a short trip. The main problem for me with this part is that it's just like a roller coaster where you get to the top and can't see over! 

That behind us and back to the beautiful - jaw dropping scenery.

Up - down - side to side - I'm now calling this the roller coaster road. Not my favourite - how about you. While I was holding my breath through all the dips, Cassia was screaming for more from the back. Kids.

Just as we came upon this sign we looked left. Wow - the river  - right there. How inviting on this hot day - we decided to pull over.

So glad we did. We spent an hour or so walking the rocks and soaking in the sun - and breeze along the Rio Grande. Once again - Mexico is just right there on the other side. A sign threatened a $1,500 fine for crossing the river.

Derek took most of the pictures here - here's his selfie. Lookin' good for an old man of 49.

A very nice family from Odessa stopped in they had just come from a funeral in Presidio - stopping in on their way home.

Continuing on …..

Like driving through the Grand Canyon - maybe not quite - but almost. 

Just before Presidio - an RV Park. Derek and I scratch our heads now as to why we stopped here for the night back in 2008. We were such green horns then. Quite a few RVs though - seems like a strange place to winter.

No pictures of Presidio - just not inspired to take any. It's a fairly USA/Mexico typical border town. 

Now on the 67 heading north. We had forgotten how hilly and curvy this road was. We definitely liked the 118 better. This is the elephant rock - well named I think.

Eventually it straightens out.

A long end to a long day - we were starting to wonder where Marfa was - it seemed to take forever.

We eventually pulled into town at about 6:00 pm. A quick dinner - parked by the tracks - a little internet time with a slow connection and to bed.

Here's the map:

What a fun, scary, exhilarating, refreshing, inspiring, frustrating, stomach wrenching, busy, hot, tiring, awesome day.

I think I'll need another five years before agreeing to take that route again - just enough time to forget about all of the ups and down and side to sides. Or until I have a snappy little sports car to do it in.

All for me tonight.

We are nicely situated here on the edge of western Texas. Tomorrow we leave Texas for another year. We love you Texas - see you again in the fall. I'll have one more post of our last day in this fine state - today - it was a good day. We stopped in somewhere I never thought we would see - it was a last minute decision - love those too!

New Mexico here comes the Wood Clan!


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  1. Another fun interesting day touring the back roads, and sure is nice that you are getting warmer weather.

  2. Thank you for sharing your exhilarating day!! What fun I bet Cassia had.

  3. Just beautiful!! My kind of drive, but better have a full tank!! Lajitas looked deserted......did you see anybody there?? New Mexico will give you plenty of great photo ops.....I loved New Mexico....I-40 to Grants has some gorgeous scenery!!

    Safe Travels..............

  4. Loma Paloma RV Park in Presidio is a wonderful place to spend the winter -- especially for people from Canada! I can't believe you completely dismissed the charming town of Presidio. Guess you are interested in touristy places. Your loss.

  5. We drove this route in reverse just after Easter weekend 2015. The wildflowers were absolutely out of control! Lupines (bluebonnets), desert marigolds, daisies, poppies, yuccas, ocotillos and more. Whole valleys and mountainsides covered in flowers. An amazing and unforgettable sight.

    1. I'm super jealous Creigh! We love it in the winter I can't imagine the over the top beauty in the spring with all those blooms. Maybe one day...... What a stellar area! I can't wait until we can return one day except for the crazy road of course!


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