Before I forget, I want to mention that I saw some cool things on the way here: a road runner, a real, LIVE armadillo, 2 cowboys with chaps(!) and lassos, and lots of tumbleweeds. Highway 385 from Fort Stockton, Texas to Marathon was interesting and I thought I was hallucinating at first when I saw 3 bull elk in the mountains 26 miles north of Marathon. Then I saw a herd of a dozen pronghorn just outside of Marathon. I learned from some locals that many pronghorns have been killed by a parasite this last year, so this was a lucky siting. The following photos are of the sand hills, some of the oil processing scenes, first glimpse of the mountains and snow on the ridges, as well as a little roadside picnic area and one of the many “quaint place names”.
I am spending three nights at the Stillwell RV park in Alpine until Saturday when I can move into Big Bend. I need to explore this little RV haven tomorrow, but could not resist going into the park to revisit it. The last time I was here was the week after Thanksgiving, 2012. Stillwell is about 7 miles from the park entrance and 35 miles from the Panther Junction visitor center. There is a gas station and post office at Panther Junction.
To the east 20 miles from Panther Junction is the Rio Grande Village where I will be living for the next 3 months. It is where I stayed last year, too, but this time I will have full hook-ups and not dry-camp! 10 miles to the west (and up in the mountains) is the Chisos Basin where there is a hotel, campgrounds, restaurant, gift shop, etc. (Chisos is pronounced like Cheetos . . . only “cheezos”.)
The road out of Alpine, TX this morning:
Part of a mountain fell and I don’t think it was like that last year:
Javelina crossing the road to join his buddy:
Snow in the Chisos remains:
The Chisos Basin:
The road coming back into Alpine late this afternoon:
The campground where I am staying. Imagine my surprise when there was another motor home this afternoon!