Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Red Flag Warnings and Mountain Biking Festival!

Photo by Luke Stewart Billingsley
Our friends at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center is flying a new red flag at their entrance on Hwy 118 just outside Fort Davis. The red flag denotes that we are in a Red Flag Warning. 

So what is a Red Flag Warning? The National Weather Service issues Red Flag Warnings to help alert people to the potential danger of critical weather and low fuel moisture conditions that could lead to wildfire. This could be due to low humidity, high winds, dry fuels, or any combination of these. CDRI hopes that flying the red flag will help remind people that Jeff Davis County remains under a Red Flag Warning.   And they thank friend, Stewart Billingsley, CDRI member and Jeff Davis County Fire Marshall, for the photo and for all you do for the area!

#30DaysofBiking

Save the date for one of the best mountain biking festivals just about anywhere, the Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest, February 12-14, 2015 in Big Bend Ranch State Park, and West Texas trails.  This festival is a benefit for trail development in Big Bend.  There's always something for everyone, experienced riders, beginners, even kids!  Click here for more information!



 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sunset in Marfa, Cycle-friendly Hotels in El Paso

Marfa's sunset over pickup trucks
#30DaysofBiking

Today, for our #30DaysofBiking feature, we're showcasing our cycle-friendly hotels in El Paso:

Hyatt Place El Paso Airport, 6030 Gateway Blvd. E., El Paso, TX 79905
Phone 915-771-0022  Fax 915-771-0599, hyattplaceelpasoairport.com
Cycle-friendly features include: oversized guest rooms for safe storage of bikes, purchase freshly made breakfasts/lunches/snacks packs for cycling adventures , complimentary shuttle to airport and within 3 mile radius, 24 hour fitness center, outdoor pool, laundry/valet services, and more.

Holiday Inn Express-Central, 400 E. Missouri, El Paso, TX 79901 Phone 915-544-3333  http://hiexpress.com/elpasocentral
Cycle friendly features include: In-room storage for bikes, deluxe express start breakfast buffet, outdoor heated pool, 24 hr fitness center, on site laundry facility and dry cleaning services, business center, free high speed internet, located in the heart of downtown El Paso near bike routes.

For a complete list of our region's cycle-friendly hotels, visit: www.texasmountaintrail.com/bike

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tumbleweeds, bird songs, and biking to the farmstand!

The spring winds help tumbleweeds (Russian Thistle) gather at the fence line.  From a ranch north of Marfa, we heard birds....
the video is a bit shaky, but we're sharing this because we wanted you to hear the birds sing! video
#30DaysofBiking
To continue our series of cycling in the Texas Mountain Trail region, during this challenge month of #30DaysofBiking, our Executive Director rode her bike to the Saturday morning, Marfa Farmstand for some spinach!  Marfa, like many of our communities, have low vehicular traffic and increasingly more cyclists--both locals on bikes and visitors!  Bikes are fun, and they're transportation!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

There's yet ANOTHER great event happening next weekend, the First Thanksgiving Celebration in San Elizario along the El Paso Mission Trail.  From our events calendar:

"The El Paso Mission Trail Association will present the 25th Annual First Thanksgiving Celebration from Friday, April 25 through Sunday, April 27.

Highlights include a Zarzuela concert featuring Opera UTEP, a performance by Rosa Guerrero, three historical reenactments of the First Thanksgiving featuring Opera UTEP, a Mass celebrated by Bishop Mark Seitz, an 1877 Salt War Reenactment performed by the Pistoleros de San Elizario, haunted tours led by the El Paso Paranormal Society, and musical performances by Tejas, Los Alegres del Valle, Chapter 13, Moon Dogs and Los Bohemios. Food, art, historians, informational booths and entertainment for all ages will abound throughout the weekend.


The celebration will take place at the San Elizario’s historic placita (Veterans Memorial Plaza) in front of the San Elceario Mission-Chapel in the heart of San Elizario, Texas, near where historians believe the Mass, feast and celebration of Don Juan de Oñate’s expedition took place on April 30, 1598.

The El Paso Mission Trail Association was founded in 1989 by philanthropist and historian Sheldon Hall. His vision was to highlight the historic value of the Mission Valley, and he worked tirelessly to increase tourism in the area. His efforts lead to El Paso’s missions, Oñate’s expedition and the First Thanksgiving on the banks of the Rio Grande here being taught in history classrooms all across Texas, putting El Paso County on the map as a heritage tourism destination.

For 25 years, the El Paso Mission Trail Association has worked to educate, promote, preserve and celebrate the Mission Valley and the historic trail between the San Elizario, Socorro and Ysleta missions –Texas’ portion of the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. Through events, tours, activism, volunteerism and fundraising, the El Paso Mission Trail Association has raised millions of dollars and welcomed thousands of guests to the Mission Valley.

Event Schedule--Events are free unless otherwise noted
Events take place at Veterans Memorial Plaza, (near 1500 Main Street, San Elizario, Texas)
Friday, April 25th
7:00 pm Preview Night at the Adobe Horseshoe Theatre featuring Opera UTEP performing Zarzuela arias.  Tickets are $25 per person (purchase tickets here.)
Advance sales only

Saturday, April 26th
Noon Event begins with arts, crafts, food, entertainment and education exhibits featuring the El Paso Heritage Alliance, El Paso History Museum, Concordia Cemetery and Magoffin Home State Historic Site
Noon – 5pm “Ask the Historian” informational booth
1:00 pm Performance by Rosa Guerrero, “History of Dance in the America’s”
4:00 pm Historical Reenactment of the 1598 First Thanksgiving presented by Opera UTEP
6:00 pm Mass celebrated at the San Elceario Mission-Chapel by Bishop Mark Seitz
7:00 pm Historical Reenactment of the 1598 First Thanksgiving presented by Opera UTEP
9:00 pm Performances by Tejas, Los Alegres del Valle and Chapter 13
10 pm Haunted Tour led by the El Paso County Paranormal Society ($10 per person)
Midnight Programming ends
Sunday, April 27th
Noon Event begins with arts, crafts, food, entertainment and education exhibits
Noon – 4pm Car show presented by Street Memories
Noon – 5pm “Ask the Historian” informational booth
4:00 pm Historical Reenactment of the 1598 First Thanksgiving presented by Opera UTEP
5:00 pm Reenactment of the 1877 Salt War presented by the Pistoleros de San Elizario
7:00 pm Performances by Moon Dogs and Los Bohemios
9:00 pm Programming ends

The El Paso Mission Trail Association will present the 25th Annual First Thanksgiving Celebration from Friday, April 25 through Sunday, April 27. Highlights include a Zarzuela concert featuring Opera UTEP, a performance by Rosa Guerrero, three historical reenactments of the First Thanksgiving featuring Opera UTEP, a Mass celebrated by Bishop Mark Seitz, an 1877 Salt War Reenactment performed by the Pistoleros de San Elizario, haunted tours led by the El Paso Paranormal Society, and musical performances by Tejas, Los Alegres del Valle, Chapter 13, Moon Dogs and Los Bohemios. Food, art, historians, informational booths and entertainment for all ages will abound throughout the weekend.
The celebration will take place at the San Elizario’s historic placita (Veterans Memorial Plaza) in front of the San Elceario Mission-Chapel in the heart of San Elizario, Texas, near where historians believe the Mass, feast and celebration of Don Juan de Oñate’s expedition took place on April 30, 1598.
The El Paso Mission Trail Association was founded in 1989 by philanthropist and historian Sheldon Hall. His vision was to highlight the historic value of the Mission Valley, and he worked tirelessly to increase tourism in the area. His efforts lead to El Paso’s missions, Oñate’s expedition and the First Thanksgiving on the banks of the Rio Grande here being taught in history classrooms all across Texas, putting El Paso County on the map as a heritage tourism destination.
For 25 years, the El Paso Mission Trail Association has worked to educate, promote, preserve and celebrate the Mission Valley and the historic trail between the San Elizario, Socorro and Ysleta missions –Texas’ portion of the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. Through events, tours, activism, volunteerism and fundraising, the El Paso Mission Trail Association has raised millions of dollars and welcomed thousands of guests to the Mission Valley.
Event Schedule
Events are free unless otherwise noted
Events take place at Veterans Memorial Plaza
(near 1500 Main Street, San Elizario, Texas)
Friday, April 25th
7:00 pm Preview Night at the Adobe Horseshoe Theatre featuring Opera UTEP performing Zarzuela arias
Tickets are $25 per person (purchase tickets: bit.ly/EPFirstThanks)
Advance sales only
Saturday, April 26th
Noon Event begins with arts, crafts, food, entertainment and education exhibits featuring the El Paso Heritage Alliance, El Paso History Museum, Concordia Cemetery and Magoffin Home State Historic Site
Noon – 5pm “Ask the Historian” informational booth
1:00 pm Performance by Rosa Guerrero, “History of Dance in the America’s”
4:00 pm Historical Reenactment of the 1598 First Thanksgiving presented by Opera UTEP
6:00 pm Mass celebrated at the San Elceario Mission-Chapel by Bishop Mark Seitz
7:00 pm Historical Reenactment of the 1598 First Thanksgiving presented by Opera UTEP
9:00 pm Performances by Tejas, Los Alegres del Valle and Chapter 13
10 pm Haunted Tour led by the El Paso County Paranormal Society ($10 per person)
Midnight Programming ends
Sunday, April 27th
Noon Event begins with arts, crafts, food, entertainment and education exhibits
Noon – 4pm Car show presented by Street Memories
Noon – 5pm “Ask the Historian” informational booth
4:00 pm Historical Reenactment of the 1598 First Thanksgiving presented by Opera UTEP
5:00 pm Reenactment of the 1877 Salt War presented by the Pistoleros de San Elizario
7:00 pm Performances by Moon Dogs and Los Bohemios
9:00 pm Programming ends
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrail.com/events/san-elizario-first-thanksgiving-celebration-presented-el-paso-mission-trail-association#sthash.olxZ295i.dpuf

#30DaysofBiking
Our month long feature of cycling assets in the region continues...how about a ride down this road, that looks just about the same it did in 1910? 
The El Capitan to El Capitan Heritage Bike route is 55 miles from the historic Hotel El Capitan in Van Horn to the base of El Capitan in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Read more about this adventure, here!



Friday, April 18, 2014

Next weekend: Davis Mountains State Park Open House!



Davis Mountains State Park Open House Agenda

Friday, April 25

All Day:
Art Show at the Indian Lodge Assembly Room
Submit your entry for the Art Contest in the Assembly Room.  It will be displayed in the Indian Lodge Lobby
Local Area Organization Booths in Playground Area
o   Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute
o   Sul Ross State University-  Pollinators of the Desert – Insect Display
o   Sul Ross State University – Range and Wildlife Club: Wildlife Displays, Washers Game
o   Natural Resources Conservation Service – Helping Landowners Manage Land
           
Grand Companions Animal Shelter staff will be in the campground with adoptable dogs to play with, or of course, adopt!

Friday Schedule:
8:00     Sign up for Trail Races begins at the Park Headquarters
9:00     Art show starts at Indian Lodge Assembly Room
9:00     Bird ID Contest starts.  Please meet at the Montezuma Quail Bird Blind to participate
10:00   Program:  “Challenges and Success of Desert Bighorn Sheep Recovery in Texas”
            At the Interpretive Center
11:00   Program: “Taking the Mystery out of Nature Photography!” – at the Interpretive Center
12:00  Camping 101!  Learn how to use common camping gear:  Campsite# 94
3:00     Bat House Building Workshop at the Interpretive Center
4:00     Turn in list for Bird ID Contest to Park Headquarters – winner announced Saturday 5pm (winner need not be present)
5:00     “Step In Time: A Look at Men and Women of Frontier Army Forts” – program by Fort Davis National Historic Site -----at the Amphitheater
7-9       Live Band: MOONDOGS TRIO  in the courtyard of the Indian Lodge!


Saturday, April 26th
All Day:
Dutch Oven Cook-Off in the Playground Area
Art Show at the Indian Lodge Assembly Room
Submit your entry for the Art Contest in the Assembly Room.  All visitors may vote for winners in the Indian Lodge Lobby.
Local Area Organization Booths in Playground Area
o   Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute
o   Sul Ross State University-  Pollinators Give Life to the Desert – Insect Display
o   Sul Ross State University – Range and Wildlife Club: Wildlife Displays, Washers Game!
o   Natural Resources Conservation Service – Helping Landowners Manage Land

Grand Companions Animal Shelter staff will be in the campground with adorable dogs to play with, or of course, adopt!
Saturday Schedule
8-8:30  Trail race packet pick-up
9:00     Adult Trail Race Start
9:00     Bird ID Contest – Participants meet at the Montezuma Quail Bird Blind to sign up
10:00   Youth Trail Race Start
10:00   Wildlife Tracking Workshop – LIMIT 10 People, sign up at Park Headquarters
1:00     Bat House Building Workshop at the Interpretive Center
2:00     Tricks of the Trade Plant Identification Workshop – Interpretive Center
3:00     Dutch Oven Cook-Off Judging -  Playground Area
5:00     Announce winner of Art Contest – Indian Lodge Lobby

#30DaysofBiking

A cycle-friendly business in Marathon is the French Co. Grocer.  They stock basic cycling supplies, and snacks for the road!
 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chinati Community Day, April 27th

From the Chinati Foundation website:

"The Chinati Foundation and Judd Foundation warmly invite everyone to their annual Community Day celebration on Sunday, April 27, 2014. Festivities will take place throughout the day, from 1 – 7:00 PM. All events are free and open to the public and everyone is welcome.

Exhibition spaces at Judd Foundation and Chinati will be open from 1 – 5:00 pm. La Mansana de Chinati/The Block, Donald Judd’s former residence and studios with permanent installations of his early works, will be open for self-guided visits.

Visitors may explore selections from Chinati’s permanent collection including the John Chamberlain building, Dan Flavin’s Untitled (Marfa Project), Donald Judd’s 100 works in mill aluminum and 15 works in concrete, Richard Long’s Sea Lava Circles, and Claus Oldenburg and Coosje von Bruggen’s Monument to the Last HorseDonald Judd: Prints, Chinati’s 2013-14 special exhibition curated by Director Emerita Marianne Stockebrand, features 70 works on paper as well as a wall work and various pieces of Judd’s furniture. Zoe Leonard’s 100 North Nevill Street, Chinati’s special exhibition at the Ice Plant, will also be open for self-guided visits throughout the afternoon.

A special student exhibition of pinhole photographs by sixty Marfa and Ft. Davis junior high and high school artists will open at Chinati, in the Arena, at 1:30 pm. The photographs were created during studio classes led by Chinati’s education staff as part of each school’s fine arts curriculum.

A nature walk on the Chinati grounds and discussion of Donald Judd’s outdoor works in concrete will be co-presented by Monte Riggs, Tierra Grande Texas Master Naturalist, and Jenny Moore, Chinati Foundation Executive Director, beginning at 2:30 pm in the Chinati courtyard. Participants will be introduced to examples of native grasses and provided with field guides, notebooks, and other tools for exploring the grounds and artworks.

A community dinner with barbeque by Juan and David Martinez and family and beverages by Big Bend Brewing will be served in the Arena, at Chinati, from 5 – 7:00 pm with live music by Mariachi Alegre, of El Paso.

Remnant of Fort D.A. Russell still visible in Marfa
The Chinati Foundation is located at 1 Cavalry Row, on the former Ft DA Russell grounds. La Mansana de Chinati/The Block, The John Chamberlain Building, and Zoe Leonard’s 100 North Nevill Street are located in downtown Marfa. Maps of exhibition spaces and a full schedule of events will be available at the Chinati front office and at all downtown locations on the day of the event.

Community Day is supported with generous grants from Elke and Wilhelm Hoppe Endowment, Texas Commission on the Arts, The Charles Englehard Foundation, The George & Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, The Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation, and The Trull Foundation. Chinati also acknowledges the generous financial and in-kind contributions of Laura Belkin, Joey Benton, Big Bend Brewing, Big Bend Sentinel, exhibitions 2d, Pueblo Market, Beth Nobles, Monte Riggs, Tierra Grande Texas Master Naturalists, and Victoria J. Welsh.

For more information, contact Chinati at 432 729 4362 or information@chinati.org.

#30DaysofBiking
Our Texas Mountain Trail region is a terrific place for bike touring.  Here's an itinerary we created and posted on Adventure Cycling Association's Bike Overnights blog! 

Click here to read the itinerary which includes visits to Marfa, Fort Davis, Alpine and Marathon!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Historic Holland Hotel



 
Alpine's historic Holland Hotel (1928) sits across from the train station, which made it convenient for travelers in the early days, and for Amtrak passengers today!

Designed by the Trost and Trost firm, which was responsible for other hotels in the area (Gage Hotel in Marathon, 1927; Hotel Paisano in Marfa, 1930; Hotel El Capitan in Van Horn, 1930), the property is now completely and lovingly restored and open for visitors.
Click here for a list of historic hotels and related sites in the Texas Mountain Trail region. 

#30DaysofBiking

A great, but little known, mountain biking route is waiting for adventurous riders in Guadalupe Mountains National Park on the Williams Ranch road.  The rugged 4x4 road is open to just two vehicles at a time through locked gates, and keys can be secured by the park rangers at the visitors center.  The road is 7.3 miles one way, and is rugged enough that it takes a vehicle about an hour to get to the ranch house.

The road even follows the historic route taken by stagecoach on the Butterfield Overland Trail and overlooks the salt flat, the source of the historic 1877 Salt War of El Paso.

Click here for a historic overview of Williams Ranch.