Langtry to Marfa TX
We spent 5 nights at Seminole Canyon SP so we were ready to head west.
There is not a great deal between the state park and our destination, Marfa TX.
Our first point of interest was an overlook of the Pecos River just before it joins the Rio Grande. The bridges over the deep canyon cut by the Pecos are quite an engineering feat. The original highway bridge here was built in 1923 but was only 50 feet above the water and was destroyed by flooding in 1954. The bridge we crossed today was built in 1957 and at 273-feet is the highest highway bridge in Texas.
Our next stop was Langtry TX and the Judge Roy Bean Museum. The museum has a rebuilt version of the saloon that was Hanging Judge Roy Bean’s ‘courthouse.’ This is a Texas State Travel information stop so along with a lot of Bean history we were able to gather a bit of reading material. Outside the museum is a wonderful cactus garden — in two months I am sure it will be a riot of color.
From the museum we drove down to an overlook with spectacular views of the rock cliffs on the sides of the Rio Grande. There were a number of historical markers about the families who originally settled the area and one pointing out that the original name of the town was Eagles Nest because of the large eagles’ nest on the Mexican side of the river. If it’s still there, we could not locate it.
A third historical marker indicated that a boxing battle for Heavyweight of the World had been held on a sand bar in the river in 1896. Bob Fitzsimmons dethroned Peter Maher. The odd location was necessitated by Texas having outlawed boxing at this point in time. Judge Roy Bean selected the location, in Mexico, sort of, to work around the law.
From Langtry to Marfa TX is about 160 miles through very dry, barren land. A few ranches with sheep or cattle grazing. A few towns which are little more than gas stations and closed stores, except for Sanderson (pop. 837) and Alpine (pop. 5900) which are substantial. The turn south to Big Bend National Park is in Marathon.
We are spending the night in the Marfa Lights viewing area. We don’t expect to see the lights but hope that in the morning with the 360-degree view and clear skies we will see the blue-blood red-super moon eclipse. AT&T data was fast and strong here.