October 2018 – Next stop West

Just beyond Seminole Canyon was the town of Langtry, supposedly named for Lilliy Langtry by Judge Roy Bean who held court here and was quite infatuated with her, as were a few other men of the time and her popularity spanned at least 2 continents

 

The Judge appears to have been quite the scoundrel and only arrested people with money otherwise there was nothing in it for him.

It was an interesting museum and the first time we realized that in these parts there’s an entire lane on the right side of the road for parking. This worked well here as we parked directly in front of the museum. It also worked at the Dairy Queen, where Chris could run in a and get 2 milkshakes. Now we have to try drive-throughs

 

A really nice cactus garden surrounded the property 

 

We drove on to Marathon TX. This area s noted for its black night sky , and the Marathon Motel and RV Park  where we stayed was  a Class 1 dark zone, which means no light pollution. They tout “Sunsets, Stargazing, and Storm Chasing – We’ve Got the Sky For You…”

The was an astrologer on site who kept a large telescope in a shed in the campground ready to be mounted in the center of the park. Unfortunately it became cloudy and windy at the optimal time, better luck next time.

Big Sky

Marathon was a thriving town 100 years ago when mercury/quicksilver mining was big business around Big Bend to the south and a railroad was built to transport the mineral up to Marathon. Today, there’s a couple of cafes and the Gage Hotel, catering to those driving down to visit Big Bend National Park.

Might be the old railway station

There are 3 towns around here about 25 miles apart, Marathon, Alpine and Marfa. All have roads that lead to Big Bend. We had planned to take the one from Marathon but were advised to take the one from Alpine as the speed limit was 75mph. It turned out to be a moot point as we were about to drive though a mountain range for 80 miles, One thing we did learn was that option 3, Marfa, was rather like a race-track through the mountains, with near 90 degree hills with no visibility to the other side. We drove that road in the car and it was a white knuckle drive.

 

 

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