Thursday, May 12, 2016

Texas Part 2 - El Paso, Big Bend, Del Rio

I-10, US-90, US-385, US-90

Today was a long driving day, and I got a late start. It was after 11 when I finally hit the road. I got on I-10 first. 
I put El Paso a few hours behind us before I got hungry. I knew today's drive was through wasteland, so I wasn't picky. I stopped at the junction of I-10 and US-90 in Van Horn. 
I tried to fill up my tank, but the pump nozzle kept automatically shutting off like the tank was full. I could only get $4 in. 
There was a restaurant in the same building as the gas station market. They were closed, but they had some burritos for sale in warming dishes by the register. As I said, I wasn't going to be picky. And these were very basic, simple foods. They were handmade, too. I could tell because they were all different shapes and sizes. I grabbed to of the fattest ones and took them back to the car. 
At Van Horn, I switched to US-90. We drove a little bit down the road and River started getting all antsy and tried to climb on top of my ice chest and into the boot of the car. 
video
When we found a historical marker along US 90, we stopped. I laid out a blanket in the dirt for River, thinking it might be hot from the sun. I ate my burrito while he laid down as far from me, and the blanket, as his leash would allow. I guess he needed some alone time. 
We got back in the car after lunch and drove and drove and drove....and there's just a whole lot of nothing on US-90. I passed maybe three towns in two hours. Marfa was one of them. I didn't stop to see the lights, though. Because it was midday. And I'd seen them before; at dusk, which is the ideal viewing time.

My goal was to reach Big Bend National Park. Which I did. 
It was breathtaking in its vastness and silence. I pulled over to the side of the road in the midst of it all. It looked like there had recently been a fire. And yet it was lightly raining. 

The harsh desert seems so unwelcoming to me; like it could support no life. And yet I saw some jackrabbits, a few wild boar, some cows hanging out by the road, and as I was feeding River, I few deer hopped by. I video'd them as they leapt across the road, but they may not have been picked up, being so far away. 
video
After eating, we found a trail that led to another historic marker. This one was a grave. One of the earliest settlers died here and requested she be buried on the hill, under the tree where she used to tell stories to the children. 

video
There were quite a few out of the way places to hang out, but not much going on except cactus and sand. 





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