Thursday, July 30, 2009

Big Bend Ranch Paintings in London: Leo Sotelo

Artwork created by Presidio High School art students will be on display at the Saatchi Art Gallery in London, England this summer, including the work of Leo Sotelo, pictured here.

Presidio High School was chosen from other schools around the world for the honor to show at the Saatchi Art Gallery. These 11 student works were inspired by the beauty of the Big Bend region, focusing on the Big Bend Ranch State Park and Fort Leaton State Historic Site, both close to the town of Presidio.

For more information on Big Bend Ranch State Park, click here and here.

For more information on Fort Leaton State Historic Site, click here and here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hallie's Hall of Fame

One of the most famous Far West Texans is ranchwoman, Hallie Stillwell. The museum dedicated to telling the story of her life--and it is a GOOD story--is located just north of Big Bend National Park on her family's ranch. She came to ranching as a young bride and persevered, taking over the family business when her husband passed away.

Her autobiography is a regional best-seller. You can learn more about her books on our Texas Mountain Trail reading page of women's memoirs, here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hiking in Hueco Tanks

El Paso County's Hueco Tanks State Historic Site provides hiking tours, bouldering tours, rock art tours, and birding tours. Fragile rock art dating back 1,500 years limits the public's use of the park, so planning your visit ahead of time is essential. It is one of our very favorite places in the region, so make your reservation and enjoy a truly special experience.

Read more about the park here and here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A West Texas Homebase for Group Travel--Davis Mountains Education Center

Groups wanting to experience the Southwest, West Texas, or Mexico have a comfortable homebase in Fort Davis, at the Davis Mountains Education Center. The Center builds custom trips for groups interested in history, nature, birding, astronomy, hiking, cycling, and have a solid record providing highly rated trips for Elderhostel. Interested in group travel, reunions, or church gatherings and want an educational experience? The Davis Mountains Education Center might be for you.

Over 50? Click here to see their current Elderhostel offerings.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Holy Ocotillo!

When the summer rains arrive, the ocotillo plant sports small green leaves all over!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Keystone Heritage Park butterfly

El Paso's Keystone Heritage Park and Botanical Gardens is a surprising place. In the middle of the city, the park sits in the shadow of the Franklin Mountains. Its wetlands provide the visitor with excellent birding opportunities, and the garden is simply lovely for a stroll.

You can read more about it here and here.

For a list of other nature centers in the region, click here.

Keystone is a great place for birdwatching. For information on birdwatching within the Texas Mountain Trail region, visit: www.texasmountaintrail.com/bird

Friday, July 24, 2009

One of the best views and hikes in Texas

A favorite hike in Big Bend National Park is the Lost Mine Trail...and the view is spectacular at many points along the trail. The 4.8 mile hike starts at 5,600 feet and climbs to 6,850. This is a great introduction to the plants and animals of the park.

More information on hiking in Big Bend National Park is here.

Regional hiking information is here.



Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big Bend Ranch Paintings in London: Erick Zuniga

Presidio High School art student, Erick Juniga, is one of eleven students showing artwork inspired by Big Bend Ranch State Park in London at the Saatchi Art Gallery this summer. The paintings were selected in a worldwide competition, and can be seen online, here.

Laurie Holman is the art teacher at Presidio High School. “I am an artist as well as an art teacher. I have lived in the Big Bend for 15 years and my love of the rugged beauty is often reflected in my artwork. So often in my class, the students want to paint beach scenes, cityscapes and snow covered mountains…places that most of them had never seen or been before. I tell them to paint what they know, to see their surroundings in a new and different way. So, this is what they did and with great success.

For more information about Big Bend Ranch State Park, click here and here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Big Bend Saddlery




One of our favorite shopping places with true West Texas flavor is Big Bend Saddlery in Alpine. A great stop for individual travelers or large groups, this is a great place to buy hats, ranch supplies, leatherwork, books, and even some gifts for kids. It has been serving local ranches and cowboys since 1905.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Portal to Texas History

Our friends at the Portal to Texas History online archive at the University of North Texas Libraries recently launched their new web presence. We love it!. This is a great way for students, researchers, geneologists and travelers to learn more about our history.

Van Horn's Clark Hotel Museum's photography collection was scanned and uploaded to the Portal a few years ago, with the help of a grant from the Summerlee Foundation and with the assistance of the Texas Mountain Trail organization. This image comes from that collection; it shows Van Horn's 1962 Homecoming Court!

Monday, July 20, 2009

One More from the Marfa{trip} Ladies

We thank the lady photographers of this excellent blog, Marfa{trip} Blog (www.marfatrip.com) for the use of their excellent, excellent images. Check out their blog to see more great photos.

We've featured their work for three days running, but we are especially enamored by this image of a speeding truck heading down one of our remote highways.

For information on visiting Marfa, click here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Marfa Trip


Our series of three photographs by the Ladies of Marfa{trip} continues. Check out their images at: www.marfatrip.com (We love their work!)

Pictured here is one of our favorite places to eat in Marfa--the shelter near the railroad tracks in the center of town. Most days, the FoodShark offers terrific lunches to a huge crowd (by Marfa standards anyway!) and on Saturdays the shelter is the home of Marfa Farmstand, a wonderful farmers market.

For more information on visiting Marfa, click here.

Visit our new heritage food section to learn more about farmers markets in the region, www.texasmountaintrail.com/food

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A fresh look at Marfa

We are thoroughly enchanted by the photographs created by the 13 lady photographers on Marfa{trip} Blog. http://www.marfatrip.com/, so we're featuring their photographs for three days straight. This is one of our favorites. (Who doesn't want to do cartwheels in the middle of a deserted road?)

Their blog says it best,

"We are 13 lady photographers from all over the US who decided to get together, form relationships, support one another and create some incredible bonds of friendship. We created this blog to serve as a way to share our adventures with one another and with you. We are excited to share the adventure of our travels. Come join us to see 13 photographers gather together. Some exciting adventures await! Here's to MARFA!"

Be sure to visit their blog, http://www.marfatrip.com/ to see more images. And come right back here tomorrow and Monday!

Here's a couple of links to help you plan your visit to Marfa. Here and here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rodeo Boys waiting their turn

Another shot of Van Horn's American Junior Rodeo this year! To see a slideshow of all our photos from the rodeo, click here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Big Bend Ranch Paintings in London: Alan Pando

Eighteen year old, Alan Pando, is one of eleven Presidio High School artists invited to exhibit in London's Saatchi Art Gallery this summer. The artwork is inspired by nearby Big Bend Ranch State Park and Fort Leaton State Historic Site. Click here to read more about the show.

Laurie Holman is the art teacher at Presidio High School. “I am an artist as well as an art teacher. I have lived in the Big Bend for 15 years and my love of the rugged beauty is often reflected in my artwork. So often in my class, the students want to paint beach scenes, cityscapes and snow covered mountains…places that most of them had never seen or been before. I tell them to paint what they know, to see their surroundings in a new and different way. So, this is what they did and with great success."

Alan says his "inspiration for, 'Ft. Leaton,' was the structure and color of the old trading post and the history behind it as well." He has been studying for a year, and says "I like to try all different kinds of media. I also like experimenting with different kinds of media."

To learn more about Fort Leaton State Historic Site, click here and here.

To learn more about Big Bend Ranch State Park, click here and here.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

'The Disappeared' exhibition at UTEP

The Disappeared is an exhibition so ambitious in scope that it encompasses three exhibition spaces of The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP): Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, Centennial Museum, and Union Exhibition Gallery. We visited the exhibition at the Centennial Museum and were moved by the works on display.

From the exhibition publication:

"The word 'disappeared' was refined during the military dictatorships that ruled many Latin American countries during the mid-to-late twentieth century, when it came to describe members of the resistance, their sympathizers and everyday citizens who were kidnapped, tortured, and killed by the regime. The exhibition contains work by thirteen contemporary artists and one artists' collective in a variety of media from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Uruguay, and Venezuela, who over the course of the last thirty years have made art about the disappeared. Some worked in the resistance; some had parents or siblings who were disappeared; others were forced into exile. The younger artists were born into the aftermath of those dictatorships. Others have lived in countries maimed by endless civil war."

Plan to visit the Centennial Museum and the other exhibition locations on the UTEP campus now through September 11.



Monday, July 13, 2009

I can see for miles

One of Texas' premier hikes: A view of the Chihuahuan Desert floor and in the distance, Mexico, from the summit of the South Rim trail in Big Bend National Park.



For information on hiking in the Texas Mountain Trail region, visit: www.texasmountaintrail.com/hike

Sunday, July 12, 2009

El Paso eateries profiled in Saveur magazine

The recent Texas issue of Saveur magazine has a feature article on El Paso's cuisine....and rightly so! There are great places to experience in the city. This is one, Jaime's Hut. Take a look at the article yourself, and plan to visit one of these special places soon.

We are building a new heritage food section on our website, check it out at: www.texasmountaintrail.com/food Visit it often for new culinary adventures!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Leaving the shoot

Taken at Van Horn's American Junior Rodeo this summer. To see all our photos from this year's rodeo, click here. (and click on this photo to get a closer view!)


Friday, July 10, 2009

Sunrise Run/Bike/Drive

Early morning is one of the best times to take a bike ride, a run, or just a leisurely drive. The treat is watching the sun come up and the light playing on the mountains. This was taken on Hwy 54 just north of Van Horn.

For other favorite runs in the region, visit: www.texasmountaintrail.com/run

For favorite bike rides in the region, visit: www.texasmountaintrail.com/bike

For favorite motorcycle rides in the region, visit: www.texasmountaintrail.com/motorcycle

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Big Bend Ranch Paintings in London: Mayra Moreno

Sixteen year old, Mayra Moreno, is one of eleven Presidio High School artists invited to exhibit in London's Saatchi Art Gallery this summer.

The Presidio students' works were selected in a worldwide competition. They are inspired by the beauty of the Big Bend region, focusing on the Big Bend Ranch State Park and Fort Leaton State Historic Site.

Laurie Holman is the art teacher at Presidio High School. “I am an artist as well as an art teacher. I have lived in the Big Bend for 15 years and my love of the rugged beauty is often reflected in my artwork. So often in my class, the students want to paint beach scenes, cityscapes and snow covered mountains…places that most of them had never seen or been before. I tell them to paint what they know, to see their surroundings in a new and different way. So, this is what they did and with great success."

When asked about the inspiration for her work, "Caballo Pinto," Mayra said, "My inspiration is where I live…Presidio!" Mayra also says she most enjoys working in paints and pastels. She has been practicing art for a year.

To learn more about Big Bend Ranch State Park, click here and here.

To learn more about Fort Leaton National Historic Site, click here and here.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

El Paso Museum of History

One of the newest additions to the downtown El Paso cultural campus, is the new El Paso Museum of History. While you're in the area, check out the Insights science museum, the Museum of Art, the Holocaust Museum, and the Plaza Theatre!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Old Adobe Ruin

A detail of a rock and adobe ruin of a cafe and rock shop, near McNary, Texas, on the very eastern edge of Hwy 20. This old place is on Adventure Cycling Association's cross-country bike Southern Tier route, through the Texas Mountain Trail region.

For more information on cycling in the region, visit: www.texasmountaintrail.com/bike

Monday, July 06, 2009

Movie Set, Poor Farm: You never know what you'll see at a historic marker











Sometimes you're rewarded richly for detouring for a historic marker. Take our experience on North Loop Road in El Paso County, as we followed Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route (runs from California to Florida and cuts through the Texas Mountain Trail region) from Sierra Blanca to El Paso.


We were looking for easy rest spots for cyclists, and wen we saw the sign in Socorro, we decided to take a break from the road. We could not believe our good luck, for not only was there a shady place to enjoy a picnic lunch, but an interesting "campus" of old adobe buildings. We learned this was the site of El Paso's second poor farm, named Rio Vista Farm. It housed the indigent, CCC and Mexican laborers, and was a location for the film, 'Traffic.' (see archway constructed for filming.) Rio Vista Farm is currently a center for social programs in the area, and there are hopes for full restoration of its buildings.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Visiting El Paso?

In the heart of downtown El Paso, in the center of the Museum District is the Visitor Convention Center of the El Paso Convention and Visitor Bureau. Stop in there for information and brochures of fun things to see and do in the area. Visit their website: www.elpasocvb.com/

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Celebrating America

Today we celebrate our country's independence, and there are few activities more American the the Junior Rodeo. This was taken at last month's American Junior Rodeo, a 4H event, in Van Horn.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Down in the Valley

The backroads between El Paso and Sierra Blanca take you through agricultural fields very close to the international border. (The mountains you see are in Mexico!) Travelers can see chile, pecans, alfalfa, corn, cotton and other crops growing in irrigated fields. This was taken on Hwy 192 near Esperanza, on Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route.

For more information on cycling in the region, visit: www.texasmountaintrail.com/bike




Thursday, July 02, 2009

Big Bend Ranch Paintings in London: Karime Baeza

Eleven Presidio High School students will have their artwork displayed at London's Saatchi Art Gallery this summer. Among the works displayed is, "Chilis and Ajo," by 18 year old, Karime Baeza. "I really did not know what to draw when we were given the assignment by Ms. Holman. I chose the red chiles because of my cultural influence. I chose to use pastels because I really like working with them."

Presidio High School was selected from other schools around the world in a competition that is overseen by the Saatchi Art Gallery. The 11 student works are centered around the beauty of the Big Bend region, focusing in on the Big Bend Ranch State Park and Fort Leaton.
Laurie Holman is the art teacher at Presidio High School. More about the exhibition is here.

For more information on Big Bend Ranch State Park, click here and here.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Guadalupe Mountains from the Salt Flats

This lovely shot on a rare cloudy day, was taken by Val Provencio of El Paso. In the background, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, a great place to hike!

The National Park Service website says this about the Salt Flat (in the foreground):

"Upon approaching the Guadalupe Mountains from the west, visitors traveling from the El Paso area will pass through a landscape of barren beauty. The Salt Flats are a remnant of an ancient, shallow lake that once occupied this area during the Pleistocene Epoch, approximately 1.8 million years ago."

To read more about the Salt Flat, click here. It has an incredible history, including a regional war over its resources.

For more information on Guadalupe Mountains National Park, visit: www.nps.gov/gumo

For information on hiking in the park and across the region, visit: www.texasmountaintrail.com/hike

Thanks, Val, for sharing your beautiful photo!