Sundown, Marfa & Alpine - July 28 - August 8, 2016
This trip with our 5th wheel trailer was to west Texas to attend a family reunion in Sundown, then visits with family and friends in Stanton and Odessa, followed by some days in the Big Bend area of the state.
In spite of several problems that developed before and during the trip, we were able to hold to our schedule and enjoy all the stops. We are very thankful to our LORD for the protection during our trip.
[Thursday, July 28] We left home about 9:30 AM and drove TX-99, IH-10 and TX-36 north to Comanche to camp at one of the Corps of Engineers parks on Proctor Lake, but the one we went to was closed. We drove a few more miles to Dublin and camped in the city park. It was a good park with full hookups.
Click on the small photos to enlarge them.
[Friday] In the morning we drove TX-6 to IH-20. Then IH-20 to US-84. About 10 miles south of Post, we had a blowout on the right front trailer tire. We had to call a road service from Post to come change the tire on the side of the highway. After they changed the tire, we drove to Discount Tire in Lubbock and had to buy 4 new tires. They said that trailer tires should be replaced every 3 years regardless of their usage. After the new tires, we drove to Levelland Free RV Park for the next 2 nights.
[Saturday] Today our family reunion started at 11:00, so we drove to Sundown, where we hold the reunion at the Hill's unique west Texas home. We spent the day visiting, eating and eating until around 6:00 PM.
[Sunday] After brunch, Bible study, church and visiting was over at the reunion, we took the trailer to Gardendale, where we met Kay's friend Carla for dinner at the golf club's restaurant. Afterwards we went to Carla's home and ate homemade ice cream. We enjoyed the frogs.
[Monday] After breakfast we drove to Stanton and went by the cemetery where Kay's parents are buried, then by the new Stanton First National Bank building. They were starting to tear down the old one. We met Kay's cousin, Jonama and husband, John and daughter Jo Beth at Borrowed Recipes restaurant for lunch.
Afterwards, we drove back to Gardendale, picked up the trailer, then drove to Marfa. On the way we stopped in Alpine at the grocery and bought supplies. A rain storm was in process during our Alpine stop. We then drove to Marfa, where we stopped at Tumble In RV Park.
After supper, we drove around and decided to drive back toward Alpine on US-90 and see what the Marfa Lights viewing area looked like. We got there around 8:30 PM and people were already there waiting for the sun to go down. We ended up staying there until well after sundown and were rewarded with seeing the Marfa Mystery Lights. They were apparently first seen by Apache Indians that believed these eerie lights to be stars dropping to earth. A cowboy in 1883 spotted them while tending cattle and thought they were Apache campfires. The mystery of them remains unsolved even today.
[Tuesday] Today, we spent all day looking at the various interesting building in downtown Marfa. We started at the Presidio County Court House. It is constructed in 1886, of native stone and brick made at Marfa and stucco was added later.
Across the street is the old jail building that is now used for offices and storage.
We went to the Visitors Center next, which is housed in an old USO building left over from WWII. The lady at the center was very informative and gave us lots of useful information and history on the area and the old building.
We then went to the Presidio County Museum, which is housed in the 1883 Humphris-Humphreys House. It was the home of a rancher, merchant and community leader. It represents traditional building methods of early pioneer days in west Texas. This was a good museum outlining much of the history of the area, with photos and other items from the past.
We stopped by The Get Go grocery store and purchased some west Texas groceries for the trailer.
Now, as it was pretty hot outside, we decided to cool off in the Hotel Paisano. This historic hotel, built in 1930, was the home to the actors in the 1956 movie 'Giant', which was filmed outside of the city of Marfa on a ranch. The hotel is a Spanish Baroque with southwest revival details.< < < < < Hotel Paisano.
For the remainder of the afternoon, we rode around the town looking at the variety of homes and buildings.
[Wednesday] Today we drove US-67 south from Marfa to Presidio, stopping briefly in Shafter. Then we drove along the Rio Grande River to Lajitas on TX-170.
In Lajitas, we stopped at the Lajitas Golf Resort & Spa. We went into the Badland Hotel and visited with the staff. This is a high-roller golf resort as far away from civilization as you can get in the US, but it comes with ALL the extravagant things you could desire.
We then drove through Terlingua and Study Butte to Alpine and on to Marfa.
[Thursday] We left Marfa after breakfast and moved to the Lost Alaskan RV Park in Alpine. Before lunch walked through the Sol Ross University campus.
After lunch we went to Amtrak station, Holland Hotel, Brewster County Courthouse, old jail, Visitor Center and several antique stores.
The Spanish Colonial Revival Holland Hotel was built in 1912. It was completed during the Mercury mining boom days of Alpine.
The Brewster County Courthouse was erected in 1887.
Alpine has some beautiful and interesting murals painted on some of the buildings. Here are some of the best.
[Friday] We drove US-90 from Alpine to Castroville. We checked into site 5 at Castroville Regional Park. We found that the slide would only extend a little, so we had to leave it in. Fortunately we could live in it OK with the slide in. The Propane ran out while Kay was cooking supper, so we had to go outside and switch tanks. It was 99 degrees in trailer while we ate supper - the A/C was working hard, but it had a lot of heat to contend with.
[Saturday] We drove through San Antonio to our home, arriving about 2:00 PM.
This draws to a close our very short trip to west Texas. We hope you enjoyed the photos and brief descriptions of our activities. God willing, join us again soon for another travel adventure.
Goodbye for now,
Lawson & Kay
Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted. (Isa. 49:13 ESV)