Thursday, May 10, 2007

Top Ten 15-Minute Rest Stops

Because, sometimes you just want a few interesting moments away from the road, we're announcing a new travel resource on the Texas Mountain Trail website, the "TOP TEN 15-Minute Rest Stops in the Texas Mountain Trail Region!"
Each location was nominated by a resident of the region, and they're all over--from Marathon to Shafter to El Paso.
Pictured above: The Pile of Rocks Picnic Area near Fort Davis; the Presidio County Courthouse (with its spectacular view from the top) in Marfa; and Prada Marfa near Valentine. Check them all out, here!
To access the Texas Mountain Trail homepage, click to:

The Prickly Pear are in Bloom!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Pictographs at Hueco Tanks near El Paso

Saturday I joined a women's hiking group on their trip to Hueco Tanks State Historical Site, an archaeological and outdoor treasure in El Paso County. We climbed and shimmied over and under rocks and had incredible views--of rock art, long-range vistas and beautiful wildflowers. Because of the site's valuable prehistoric and historic pictographs, visitation is limited and regulated. While this may seem unusual to some, the need to make reservations for your visit and view a 15 minute video is well worth the effort, especially since it is all designed to help preserve this important cultural resource. There are incredible opportunities for hiking, bouldering and rock-climbing, and seeing the rock art is a moving experience.

We took advantage of both kinds of hiking opportunities at the park--an excellent guided tour and independent hiking--both great experiences. One of the highlights of our trip was climbing to Kiva Canyon, and finding pictograph "masks" from the Jordana Mogollon people, who had built a small cluster of structures on the site by 1150. We also saw images painted on the rocks by archaic hunters and gatherers, and travelers from the Butterfield Overland Trail.