Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saturday Morning in Marfa, Texas

Yesterday was supposed to be a short travel day; I just didn’t add up the segment-miles correctly so it turned out to be over 150 miles, all told.
That makes somewhere over 500 miles for three days - a lot for me!
Fort Stockton - Hilltop RV Park - sunrise
Hilltop RV Park is the newest in town but the owners, Jim and
Casey, have added lots of nice old west touches
for atmosphere

We left Fort Stockton at about 11:30 and drove to Alpine, about 70 miles.  I was going to find a nice Mexican restaurant for lunch; there are plenty but not such great parking options nearby any; so I parked on a street near McDonalds - Lacy and I feasted on regular hamburgers and I enjoyed orange juice!  So much for Mexican cuisine today.

This is the Courthouse in Alpine, a lovely small city 
From Alpine we drove to Fort Davis, where I thought the McDonald Observatory was located - NO!  The observatory is about 25 miles outside of Fort Davis; and what I'd really not thought of - it was a steep uphill climb to get to the observatory.  The country is beautiful, to say the least.  

I hadn't taken a photo, but in Fort Davis is an historic hotel, "Hotel
Limpia," which translates to "Clean Hotel!"
Around town and on the road to McDonald there were several
indications of things "limpia."  This is Limpia Crossing
historical marker.

This is high desert country of western Texas - beautiful blue skies and rocky terrain

Double-click on photo above to see our first sighting of the McDonald Observatory
off in the distance

Texas is littered with these little picnic areas - one about every 10 miles
or so on State Highways.

This is a sky view at the same picnic area - through the starting-to-sprout-tree branches

Somewhere during our climb towards the McDonald Observatory, I started to get a little nervous about the climb and what we might find, in terms of parking, etc. when we got there.  It's about 25 miles from Fort Davis, so not an overwhelming distance if I wanted to do it in Petunia either Saturday or Sunday.  I decided that if I could find a place to turn around I'd scratch McDonald for now and head to Marfa.

I finally found a turn-around place only about 4 miles shy of the observatory and did turn around.  By this time I was really nervous, mainly about the downward portion of the jaunt, and it was getting on in the afternoon.  Generally speaking this western Texas high desert is about 4600 feet of altitude.  I'd estimate the area of the observatory to be somewhere in the 6-7000 foot range.

So, it was back to Fort Davis and then on to Marfa.
This is our first view of the highly recommended Tumble In RV Park!


Although the Tumble In RV Park sure didn’t impress me at first, it’s really okay.  Shortly after arriving I was able to at least give Petunia a hosing-off, as it would not be possible to drive her without at least that.   The hook-up process, from start to finish, is about 10 minutes now; as opposed to the 30+ minutes it took me as a neophyte.  I turned on the AC as it was about 84F inside the rig and about 87F outside.  What a difference a couple of days in a westerly direction makes!

Lacy and I wandered around the ‘park’ to get the lay of the land.  The owner had called earlier in the afternoon to say we could park wherever we’d like.  Nobody was in the ‘office’ and the little structure beyond the office is a full kitchen, laundry room, dining room and outdoor coverage ‘patio’ lounge.  Oh yes, there are two large restrooms with big showers.  Not so bad after a less than impressive entrance!

Just after sunset it looks a little less, shall we say, plain!  There were five trailers parked there - only one with a truck also parked.  So, it is not over-crowded.
This was taken this morning, just before sunrise.  Again I'm struck by this wide-open country.  I'd taken photos of the neon sign last evening but they're blurred.
Outside my RV this morning I noticed some landscaping improvements in process;  I just can't identify what the plant(s) is/are!

This morning after breakfast Eleanor is in one of her favorite spots to catch some early rays while getting in a good morning nap.

Welcome to Marfa, MP.  Now I'm off to visit this "Sixty Minutes" treasure in the middle of no-where Texas high desert.
To be continued . . .
I'm definitely going to have to work on formatting issues - words of wisdom appreciated.


  1. I couldn't wait to log-on and see where you ended up today. Wow I would have never guessed Alpine and Marfa existed just off I-10. Very interesting. Now can't wait to hear and read about MacDonald Observatory. I Definely will explore when I drive thru there and see for myself. thank you for pics!!

  2. Thank you for the excellent information, Mary-Pat. I am hopefully behind you only a couple of weeks, also heading to that same area. I appreciate the information you have shared. Hope you find the area enjoyable.

    Suzanne (over from Carolyn's blog)