Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Terlingua View

Captured by this week's featured photographer, Ted Bell of Little Rock, Arkansas, from near Terlingua Ghost Town.

You can see more of Ted's photographs at his flickr stream, here. Thanks, Ted!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lightning Tree

Taken on the Smith Spring Trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, by this week's featured photographer, Ted Bell of Little Rock, Arkansas.  Thanks, Ted!  To learn more about rain and lightning in the park, click here.

To view a slideshow of other images from Smith Spring Trail, click here.

For information on hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, click here.  For regional hiking information, visit our Texas Mountain Trail hiking page:  www.texasmountaintrail.com/hike

Monday, March 29, 2010

Looking towards Boquillas in Big Bend National Park

Another shot taken by Ted Bell of Little Rock, Arkansas...this time a lovely view from the road from Panther Junction looking towards Boquillas in Big Bend National Park. 

Check out Ted's flickr page to view more of his photos, here.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cafe in Sierra Blanca

This week we feature the photographs of Ted Bell from Little Rock, Arkansas.  Here's his shot of a cafe sign in Sierra Blanca.  Check out Ted's Flickr stream here.  Thanks, Ted!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Redtail Hawks


From contributor, Larry Francell:  "On the road from Alpine to Fort Davis (Highway 118) before it drops down into the canyon, every morning there are several redtail hawks sitting on the power poles waiting for breakfast."  Thanks, Larry!

Friday, March 26, 2010

New! Coffee! Cornerstone in Van Horn

There's a new place in Van Horn to get coffee, tea, latte and hot chocolate--the Cornerstone at 102 W. Broadway, just across from the newly renovated Hotel El Capitan.  Both are located RIGHT on the crossroads of the original driving route, the Texas Mountain Trail!

The Cornerstone is a most comfortable, friendly place with a great potential to be a fun community spot to visit with friends and fellow travelers.  There are couches, books and game boards set up to enjoy a restful morning.  Check them out Monday through Saturday until 6 pm.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Evening at El Capitan


"El Cap" can be seen for miles, and is the most prominent feature of this wonderful, seldom visited national park.  It is also the ending point for the history-filled "El Cap to El Cap" bike ride and driving route on Hwy 54 from Van Horn.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Watching us from the Trail!

Some auodad watch hikers from the Devil's Hall Trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park!  Thanks again to Marcy Stellfox for sharing her wonderful photos of her trip to Van Horn and the park.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Devil's Hall, the end of the Trail!

The end of this wonderful Devil's Hall Trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park is the narrow path between two cliff faces.

The Park's website has this to say about the trail:

"Hike the streambed of Pine Springs Canyon, then climb the natural rock of the Hiker's Staircase, to the finale - the Devil's Hall. This rocky trail has very little elevation gain, and leads you through maples, ponderosa pine, and many plant varieties of the Chihuahuan desert. The trail is rated moderate; though it is only 4.2 miles round trip, allow 3-5 hours to enjoy this hike."

Here's more on the trail!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hikers heading out on the Devil's Hall Trail

Guadalupe Mountains National Park has a great 4.2 mile roundtrip trail that never fails to disappoint, the Devil's Hall trail.  Hikers are treated to views of mountain vistas, the desert floor, rocks and boulders, a dry streambed, and interesting wildlife.  It is a good trail to tackle on a windy day, because most of the trail is sheltered by mountains and cliff faces.

Thanks again to Marcy Stellfox of Austin for sending us her great photos of her hike through Devil's Hall! 

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

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Lobby of Van Horn's Hotel El Capitan

Another great shot of the Hotel El Capitan in Van Horn from Marcy Stellfox of Austin.  Check out yesterday's entry for more information and links!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hotel El Capitan

A lovely shot of the Hotel El Capitan in Van Horn taken by Marcy Stellfox of Austin, a recent visitor and participant in our "El Cap to El Cap Heritage Bike Ride."  Thanks, Marcy!

The 1930s Hotel El Capitan was recently renovated and is listed as one of our historic hotels and a cycle-friendly property.

You can read more about the El Cap bike ride here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mexican Revolution Anniversary

Starting this spring, there will be celebrations and commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.  We've built a webpage with links to community events across the Texas Mountain Trail region, visit: www.texasmountaintrail.com/revolution

Thanks to the Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine, for use of this photo of Pancho Villa, and Generals Pershing and Patton.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Da Vinci in El Paso!

The El Paso Museum of History is hosting The Da Vinci Experience, an exhibit available through the Museum of Leonardo Da Vinci in Florence, Italy. It consists of more than 60 machines described and designed by Leonardo Da Vinci as well as replicas of his paintings; most notably the Mona Lisa. The exhibit will take over the entire first floor of the Museum through July 10, 2010. It is displayed in four principle galleries focusing on the topics of transportation, military, mechanical devices, and an art gallery.


You can read more about this very special exhibit here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The long view from Smith Spring Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The Smith Spring trail is one of our favorites in the region, because of the diversity of views, its history and hiking it is just plain fun.  This is just one of the views of the desert floor from the trail.  To see a full slideshow, click here.  

To learn more about this 2.3 mile hike and the other trails in the park, click here.

To learn more about Guadalupe Mountains National Park, click here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Climbing at Hueco Tanks

Hueco Tanks State Park and  Historic Site offers great bouldering opportunities for visitors who plan ahead.  Because this small park also has precious ancient rock art, special care and limited entry to the park is required.

From the park's website, "A unique legacy of lively and fantastic rock paintings greets the visitor at the "tanks." From Archaic hunters and foragers of thousands of years ago to relatively recent Mescalero Apaches, Native Americans have drawn strange mythological designs and human and animal figures on the rocks of the area. The site's notable pictographs also include more than 200 face designs or "masks" left by the prehistoric Jornada Mogollon culture. Hueco Tanks was the site of the last Indian battle in the county. Apaches, Kiowas, and earlier Indian groups camped here and left behind pictographs telling of their adventures. These tanks served as watering places for the Butterfield Overland Mail Route."


To enjoy the park, visit TPWD's website and call the park for more information.

For the protection of natural and cultural resources at the park, visitation is limited. Special reservation and entry restrictions are required at this park. Please contact the park or park information (1-800-792-1112-Option 3) for details.

Photo courtesy, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Monday, March 08, 2010

El Paso's Poppies at the beginning of the season

El Paso is blessed with poppies in the Franklin Mountains in years with good rain.  This year it looks to be a great one for a beautiful display.  These photos were taken at the very beginning of the season...as they days go on, they'll begin to fill the mountain side.  Check out the festival plans on March 20 at the Museum of Archaeology here.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The DaVinci Experience

The El Paso Museum of History is hosting The Da Vinci Experience, an exhibit available through the Museum of Leonardo Da Vinci in Florence, Italy. It consists of more than 60 machines described and designed by Leonardo Da Vinci as well as replicas of his paintings; most notably the Mona Lisa. The exhibit will take over the entire first floor of the Museum through July 10, 2010. It is displayed in four principle galleries focusing on the topics of transportation, military, mechanical devices, and an art gallery.

You can read more about this very special exhibit here.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Larger than Life in El Paso!




Fray Garcia Statue, 125 Pioneer Plaza
The one and a half ton statue is 14 feet high, the tallest historic monument in Texas. For his accomplishments in the El Paso-Juárez area, Fray Garcia has come to be known as the founder of El Paso and was honored as the first of the Twelve Travelers, a project intended to portray the history of the Southwest. More information about the Fray Garcia statue is here.

Vaquero Statue, One Arts Festival Plaza (sitting just outside the El Paso Museum of Art)
As the first artwork greeting visitors to the El Paso Museum of Art, Luis Jimenez’s Vaquero is a fitting icon for the City of El Paso. Created in 1987-88, this fiberglass and steel armature with an acrylic urethane coating measures 199 x 114 x 67 in. More information about Luis Jimenez Vaquero Statue is here.

World’s Largest Equestrian Bronze Statue (outside the El Paso Airport)
The world's largest bronze equestrian statue was bolted into place on October 23, 2006 at the entrance to El Paso, Texas's international airport. It stands 36 feet tall on an eight-foot base, and is the second-tallest statue in Texas, overshadowed only by a titanic Sam Houston in Huntsville. The statue, first proposed in the mid-1990s, is of a horse-riding Spanish conquistador named Don Juan de Oñate.  More information about “The Equestrian” Bronze Statue is here.

Mt. Cristo Rey statue overlooking El Paso
Standing atop the Sierra de Cristo Rey (Formerly known as the Cerro de los Muleros, Mule Drivers Mountain) overlooks El Paso and Juarez, the 29 ft. tall limestone statue of Christ serves as a shrine to thousands of faithful in the El Paso and Southern New Mexico area.  More information about Mt Cristo Rey is here.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Can you spot the critters?


If you're escaping city life by visiting Far West Texas, sometimes it takes a little while to "settle in" and slow down enough to see all that is out here.  As you drive, or hike, or cycle through the Texas Mountains it is great fun to remember (and then look for) the wildlife that lives on the land.  From time to time you'll see mule deer or pronghorn antelope, or roadrunners or jackrabbits, or javelina.  Some of our mountains are home to bighorn sheep and mountain lions and bobcat.  Here's a prime example of what can be seen if you take a close look--can you see the javelinas on the hill?  They're up there!  Taken on the Scenic Loop southwest of Fort Davis.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Mitre Peak lost in the fog

Like most places around the country, we've had an unusually wintry winter.  Larry Francell of the Museum of the Big Bend captured Mitre Peak, off Hwy 118 recently.  Below that is how Mitre Peak looks sans fog!  Thanks, Larry!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Devil's Hall Trail

This is one of our favorite hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  There is very little elevation gain, but the rocky trail takes you through a streambed, up a rocky "staircase" and into Devil's Hall.  Only 4.2 miles roundtrip, the trail is rated "moderate," and takes most hikers 3-5 hours.


Visit our regional hiking page at: www.texasmountaintrail.com/hike





Monday, March 01, 2010

The Bluebonnets are blooming!

Our cycling friends, Russ and Laura of the Path Less Pedaled were in Big Bend this weekend, and took this great shot of the bluebonnets blooming down in the Terlingua area.  They're putting up some remarkable posts about their travels through the Texas Mountain Trail region--great writing and wonderful photography--Russ and Laura really have a knack for capturing the heart of Far West Texas. 

You can read their posts here:
About Van Horn (includes an archive edition of a live broadcast and interview with us!),
Marfa here and here
Big Bend here and here

For more information about cycling in the Texas Mountain Trail region, visit: www.texasmountaintrail.com/bike

If you're reading this before 10 am today (CENTRAL time), listen to Russ and Laura on Marfa Public Radio's Talk At Ten program! http://www.marfapublicradio.org/