New Mexico to Big Bend

After a few days of spending too much time at the border, we were ready for some tourist attractions. This area does not disappoint!

We used iOverlander  www.ioverlander.com (great app for finding camping and other resources while on the road) to locate Pancho Villa State Park.   pancho villa state parkThis is the location of a battle that never happened between the US military and the Pancho Villistas. The park offers ramadas, picnic tables, clean bathrooms and hot showers for just $10 per night. And a visit to the museum is included in the camping fee! Of note on the park grounds is the first grease rack installed by the Army at this location. (Tongue in cheek humor here- look closely at the photos) and some other, old military items. Pancho Villa clearly left his mark on the town of Columbus, New Mexico and they are still working it for all it’s worth!  first grease rackfirst grease rack2

While we were near the border, we decided to walk across. Yes, we cannot get enough quality time with the US Border Patrol.  Plus we wanted some antibiotics and tacos! It was a simple crossing, using our passport cards, at the Palomas border check point. Then we were on the highway towards the mountains.

We spent many hours on small side roads and byways as we headed for Guadalupe National Park for the night. This was another bargain of a campground and a great location for backcountry hiking and camping. guadalupe natl park camping But we were headed for Carlsbad Caverns National Park. We had time to explore one part of the cavern, so we chose to walk down, down, down through the natural entrance. The walk took us a little over an hour and was quite enjoyable. carlsbad caverns1carlsbad caverns 2carlsbad caverns 3carlsbad caverns

The nice ranger at the counter seemed to know we were not inquiring about a typical campsite or RV park, as he told us about nearby BLM land where we could find a camping spot. camped near carlsbad new mexico The spot we selected was secluded, windy and beautiful. Although the natural gas burn-offs that dotted the horizon were a bit spooky through the night.

The next morning we toured Carlsbad Caverns again. The admission fee covers three days! And then stopped at the restaurant in White’s City for a meal. There we encountered the rudest, most awful batch of customer service ever! And the food was pretty bad, too.   But we enjoyed the caverns and felt glad that we had stopped at this National Park.  Did you know there are only 58 National Parks. We only have 56 more to see on this trip!

So it’s on to Marfa, Texas for an overnight at the Marfa Mystery Lights Viewing Area. This is actually a fancy, roadside rest area with restrooms and some basic info on the phenomenon. The state of Texas allows overnight parking at the rest areas, so we found a flat spot and set up camp. We played some backgammon and watched for the lights out the windows.

Mango.  And yes, those are dice balancing on her nose while she is asleep!

Mango. And yes, those are dice balancing on her nose while she is asleep!

Throughout the night Geneva woke up and looked outside to compare the lights on the horizon. Sure enough, there were varying brightness of lights in different locations. At 2:00AM there was one that seemed bright enough to be a strobe or spotlight in a direction where nothing exists. Truly a mystery, look it up!

After a breakfast stop in Marfa. And a romp with the dogs at the Marfa Shorthorns high school football field. playing with seri in marfa (yes they are really called the Shorthorns, I can just imagine the cheers and chants from the other team!)  and a photo op in front of a beautiful and ornate government building in Marfa marfa city hall we were pretty much finished with this interestingly odd little Texas town.

Marfa is the gateway to Big Bend State Park and a beautiful drive along the Rio Grande. We stopped along the river to look over the edge. dogs at rio grande1dogs at rio grande2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and also at one of the fancy teepee style picnic areas for a photo rio grande road rest

The hour long drive led to the quirky city of Terlingua, which is the gateway to Big Bend National Park. It is warm, sunny and dusty here. We found a great camping spot at BJs RV Park BJs RV park terlinguaand will stay the night. Then tomorrow we will drive into Big Bend and poke around for a few days. We are hoping for hikes, hot springs and more great weather.

4 responses to “New Mexico to Big Bend

  1. Looks like you guys are having a good time, really going to do all the national parks? wow that will be something. Have you been to the Karchner caverns, beautiful. I was at Carlsbad but I was so young I don’t remember them. Love the doggie with the dice so strange that she would actually sleep through that.
    Strange things in Texas that’s for sure.
    Keep enjoying your trip

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s