Fire!

Balmorhea Travel Blog

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6.6.08

  

7am and we race out of Big Bend as the desert sun peeked over the mountain range.  What a fabulous place!  I was so disappointed that we couldn’t see and do more, but the heat was oppressive and unrelenting.  There would be another time for the magnificence of Big Bend- hopefully at less than 117 degrees.  We had slept with wet bandanas on our skin, fans blowing, as the air conditioner tried to keep up with the heat.  Some in our group were convinced that the bag of popcorn we placed on the asphalt outside the RV actually popped a bit.  A vulture circled and I wondered if he thought we wouldn’t make it.  We did and we raced north to Marathon in the morning.

 

I loved Marathon- what a historic, quiet, unassuming small town.

Marfa Mystery Lights observation center
  Reading Hallie Stillwell’s book gives me such appreciation for its significance on the railway line.  Towns in the west were settled around the rail line and water.

 

Light pollution- a photo in the Panther Junction Visitor’s Center showed the light in the U.S.  The area around Big Bend was one of the few dark locations.  No wonder the stars were so magnificent.  The only other place I’ve seen so many stars was on Haleakala volcano in Maui.  We were fortunate to not have moonlight too.  Amazing!

 

After Marathon, we headed to Marfa and saw the Marfa Lights Observation Station.  Of course, in the middle of the day we could not see the famous lights, but I’m convinced of the alien theory- oh yes!

 

Marfa is a historic town with a magnificent, pink courthouse in the square.

Marfa Mystery Lights observation center
  Hallie’s book talks about the scandal surrounding the building of that courthouse and how the records from the county seat in Ft. Davis were stolen until the Marfa courthouse was done and then they reappeared in the Marfa Courthouse when it was declared the county seat.  Scandalous! 

 

We climbed to the cupola in the courthouse and could see the fires not far away.  We’d been told of the grass fire by the Presidio Hotel staff, who said that 10,000 acres burned overnight, including 4-5 residences and all the livestock.  Very sad!  The Forest Service had rented out the hotel in an effort to fight this 20-foot high wall of fire.  Wind blew our direction at probably 40 mph.  We had eaten our margarita pizza, bought Charles a book at the art gallery/ bookstore, and so we scrammed.

 

We drove through smoke past the McDonald Observatory, through Ft. Davis, and went straight for the fresh springs pool (70 degrees) at Balmorhea State Park!  

 

Morning sunrise over the desert was beautiful with a cool breeze blowing- but when the sun blazed forth, we hit the road by 7:00 am, headed north for Carlsbad Caverns!

 

 

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Marfa Mystery Lights observation c…
Marfa Mystery Lights observation …
Marfa Mystery Lights observation c…
Marfa Mystery Lights observation …
Marfa Mystery Lights observation c…
Marfa Mystery Lights observation …
Marfa Mystery Lights observation c…
Marfa Mystery Lights observation …
Charles at Marfa Mystery Lights ob…
Charles at Marfa Mystery Lights o…
Ciao Baby at Marfa Mystery Lights …
Ciao Baby at Marfa Mystery Lights…
Marfa Courthouse
Marfa Courthouse
Marfa Chamber of Commerce
Marfa Chamber of Commerce
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
El Paisano Hotel in Marfa
Fire Service at El Paisano Hotel f…
Fire Service at El Paisano Hotel …
Waiting for the best pizza in Marf…
Waiting for the best pizza in Mar…
Owner of Marfa Bookstore signing C…
Owner of Marfa Bookstore signing …
Marfa, TX
Marfa, TX
Marfa
Marfa
Marfa Courthouse
Marfa Courthouse
Marfa Courthouse
Marfa Courthouse
Marfa Courthouse view
Marfa Courthouse view
Marfa Courthouse cupola
Marfa Courthouse cupola
Marfa Courthouse view
Marfa Courthouse view
Fires in the distance - Marfa Cour…
Fires in the distance - Marfa Cou…
Fires in the distance - Marfa Cour…
Fires in the distance - Marfa Cou…
Fires in the distance - Marfa Cour…
Fires in the distance - Marfa Cou…
Beautiful wooden stairs in Marfa C…
Beautiful wooden stairs in Marfa …
Beautiful wooden stairs in Marfa C…
Beautiful wooden stairs in Marfa …
Balmorhea
photo by: photomistic