Alpine, Texas - Marfa, Fort Davis, McDonald Observatory, Big Bend National Park


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North America
February 21st 2017
Published: March 19th 2017
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Alpine, Texas is a small town in what they call Far West Texas. It is considered high desert and is surrounded by high mountain peaks. It was home base for my day trips to several areas. The first place I went to was Marfa. It is a small town that is known for several art galleries, historical buildings like the Hotel Paisano and Marfa Burrito (which is enormous). It is also known for the Marfa Lights which have been viewed since 1883 and never quite explained their origin.

My second day trip was to Fort Davis and the McDonald Observatory. I spent the morning touring Fort Davis and then went to the Observatory for several events in the afternoon and evening. I really enjoyed the time at the Observatory which included a presentation on the Sun, touring two of the telescopes, a presentation called the Twilight program and the Star Party. The Star Party is a half hour explanation of what we can see in the night sky and then several telescopes are setup to view different objects in the sky. Viewing Venus through the telescope was amazing and I learned that Venus goes through phases like our moon and it was in the crescent phase when we viewed it. Also got to see a white dwarf star and many other objects in the sky. If these things interest you, this would be a great thing to do if you get the chance.

My final day outing was to Big Bend National Park where I drove one of the roads that ended at Santa Elena Canyon Overlook and saw some amazing views. This is the most remote park in the lower 48 states and consists of over 801,000 acres of mountains and desert. It is worth the trek to get to the park. There are river trips that would be amazing to see the views from the river but I did not have time for one of them.

It was time for me to leave Texas behind so I headed to El Paso and stayed at an RV park just across the border in New Mexico. I spent a couple of days there then on to Tucson, Arizona.


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