Day 1 photos

Day 2 photos

Day 3 photos

Touring Big Bend

April 2014

In early April 2014, Kathy and I took a trip to the Big Bend area of Texas, including Big Bend National Park and the towns in the region. We went with a group from our UT continuing education classes. We left the house at 7:00 AM to meet the bus. It took all day to get there. We arrived at the Chisos Mountains Lodge in the center of the park at 8:00 PM. For the next 3 days we would tour the park and the surrounding area. And, yes, it mostly looked like what you see in Kathy’s picture below.


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The next day we headed out for a full day of touring the park. We followed the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive (see the photo below) to Sotol Vista Overlook, Mule Ears Overlook and Santa Elela Canyon. We had lunch at the new Lajitas Resort. We visited the Barton Warnock Education Center, which serves as the Visitor’s Center for the Big Bend Ranch State Park. We explored the park. Later we went to Terlingua and had dinner at the Starlight Theatre and Cafe. After dinner we returned to the Lodge.

Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

Here are some pictures from that day.

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The next day we checked out of the lodge and took the River Road beside the Rio Grande. We stopped for views a few times. When we got to Presidio, we had lunch at Mi Casita. We continued on to Marfa and stopped at the El Paisano Hotel (courtyard below). Then it was on to Alpine for a visit to the Museum of the Big Bend, which is on the campus of Sul Ross University. Finally we checked in to the Alpine Ramada Inn for the night. After dinner at the Reata, Kathy went with the group to see the “Marfa Lights”, but they didn’t see them.

El Paisano Hotel

Here are some pictures from day 2.

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The next morning (our last day of sightseeing) we boarded the bus and headed toward Fort Davis. Our first stop was the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Gardens. There we saw hundreds of types of cactus and succulents in a greenhouse. Next we went to the Fort Davis National Historic Site for a tour. We had a picnic lunch there and then drove up the mountain to the McDonald Observatory, the highlight of the day (see Kathy's picture below). We had dinner in town at the Blue Mountain Bistro and then listened to live music outside on the patio. Our "star party" at the observatory was cancelled because it was cloudy.

McDonald Observatory

Here are some pictures from day 3.

C. Brandon Jones
email: Brandon "at"
updated May 15, 2014