Trans-Pecos or Far West Texas

Trans-Pecos or Far West Texas

January 27th to February 1st, 2024

Our original intention was to stay two weeks in Las Cruces, New Mexico, one night in Fort Stockton, Texas, and then on to San Antonio. At the last minute (for us, anyway), we decided to cut our Las Cruces stay short so we could stay a bit south of Fort Stockton in Alpine, Texas for a week. It ended up being a fantastic idea. We really loved our stay at the Lost Alaskan RV Park.

On our way, we drove through the town of Van Horn, Texas. It has a "special" meaning for us, that town, because it's where our previous coach ended up after it blew over a year ago. It was bittersweet, and we kept moving.

There were a few reasons we decided we needed a week in Alpine. First, it looked gorgeous in pictures and then in real life. The Trans-Pecos area of Texas (also known as Far West Texas) is hilly, with lots of brush. It's also in a great location, close to Big Bend National Park, Fort Davis National Historical Site, and the Blackwell School National Historical Site in Marfa, Texas. We spent our first day of touring at Big Bend.

It's called the Big Bend because the Rio Grande cuts through the land in a giant curve, separating Texas and Mexico. It was a bit of a drive to get to the park on the border, and we did a huge loop through it. We managed to go to all of the visitor centers in the park, too, which was a fun goal. We feel like we saw everything -- well, almost. At the end of our day as the last visitor center was closing, we had the opportunity to drive farther into the park to look at the river, but we decided to head home instead. No regrets.

We found a restaurant in town (Sazzon Baja-Mex Culinary) that introduced us to pinto bean soup, or frijoles de la olla. It's a simple recipe but oh so good! We have made it at home since then, adding pico de gallo and slices of avocado. Yum! We ate there a few times.

Our next day of touring was spent at Fort Davis, and we really enjoyed it. We really love national parks, and our favorites are the ones where we learn something and the park is big enough to walk around in for a while. Fort Davis is one of those parks, and just strolling around with Lacey on her leash ended up being a lovely two miles of walking. Lacey even met some horses!

Yes, a 1998 version of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar narrates the national park video at Fort Davis. That was so weird! It was a lovely day out, and we were smiling the entire day, as anyone would when the day starts with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The park had a lot of history, and it was cool to learn more about the "buffalo soldiers" who were there before us.

We went to the newest national park when we drove to Marfa to see the Blackwell School. So far, it's just a building with a volunteer, some photos and memories, and a need for NPS attention. We were really glad we took the time to learn more about the school and the town's history.

The Blackwell School in Marfa, Texas

We listened to a podcast a few months before about Marfa and how artsy-cool it was. When we saw it in person, it wasn't much to write home about. We were glad we stayed in Alpine instead of Marfa, and we'd stay in Alpine again. It was a great, last-minute trip.

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