Big Bend - Summer and Solo 2015

#16
Day 3.......Marfa and the Davis Mountains

The road goes on forever.........



........well, not exactly forever, but it kinda seems like it. I thought I was in the clear on the Border Patrol when I topped a hill just outside Marfa and there he was. He called in my MS Veteran tag and approached with caution but quickly sent me on my way to the town of Marfa......

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I was really looking forward to seeing Marfa. It is a hip little town in SW Texas that has gotten fame for its funky boutiques, movies and of course the Marfa Lights. I pulled in and realized that after being alone in the desert for 3 days, this was not the scene I wanted to reacquaint myself with humanity. Don't get me wrong, Marfa is way cool but it was a little too hipster for me at this stage of my trip. I took a few pictures and kept moving north. It was 4:30







My destination was Davis Mountain State Park. This place got back in the high elevation that would allow one more night under the Texas stars before I had to make the 17 hour haul back to Mississippi. When I got to the edge of the Davis Mountains, I noticed my paper Atlas had a scenic drive that went clockwise around the Davis Mountains. Even though it took me even FARTHER away from Canton Mississippi, I decided to turn west and explore the road.



Once again, it felt like I had rented out Texas all to myself. There was not a soul around on this spectacular drive. Highway 166 was a total hit. I am so glad I took the time to drive it. It is yet another hidden treasure in Texas.



These mountains house one of the largest observatories in the US, McDonald Observatory. I considered going in to check out the visitors center, but I was just not up to it. I was ready to get to the state park and unwind.



Of course, as luck would have it, just as I got to the park, the skies opened up and it rained like it had never rained before. It was raining so hard when I got to the state park I just kept driving.



In fact, I drove on that night until I just could not drive anymore all the way to the little town of Menard Texas. My day's detour added about 350 miles to my trip, but it was 1000% worth it.



With the trip more or less over at this point I was tired and ready to see my wife. I spent the night in a tiny hotel that you could back up to the door with a big AMERICAN OWNED sign out front. The room was clean and my first shower in 4 days was superb. I was up early the next day and watched the sunrise for the fifth day in a row.



I took backroads around Dallas and snuck in to the Jackson Airport 15 minutes before my wife's plane landed from her weekend away. I had survived the last 4.5 days on the Texas B's...........Brisket, Beer and Burritos. 2500 miles to the mile I was home with Red and with a memory of a lifetime. Go see Big Bend. Do it. It is one of the most amazing places on the planet.
 
#18
Well done! Very nice drone work there!

BB is a fantastic place to explore on 4x4 or Motorcycle!! Nice write up!

Next time...stop in at Lockhart for some of the best BBQ in the whole state! (I'm sure others will chime in of their favorite spots too)
 
#19
On a very long list of things I miss about living in Texas is that the BBQ here is terrible as is the Mexican food and chicken fried steak. We have great food in MS but none of the aforementioned.
 
#22
Well done! Very nice drone work there!

BB is a fantastic place to explore on 4x4 or Motorcycle!! Nice write up!

Next time...stop in at Lockhart for some of the best BBQ in the whole state! (I'm sure others will chime in of their favorite spots too)
Lockhart is probably a 10 hour detour if you're traveling from Big Bend back to Jackson.
 
#23
Lockhart is probably a 10 hour detour if you're traveling from Big Bend back to Jackson.
Yeah, not an option.

I hit Rudy's for my road food Brisket Egg and Cheese tacos for the week. Grabbed a 1/2 pound of moist......

I stopped by Hard 8 in Stephenville....wasn't hungry but I plucked a Phat quail off the grill and munched on it.

Ricardo's in Brownwood for some tortillas

Corner Store in San Angelo for more tacos.

Mingo's Burritos in Ft Stockton

The list goes on. I don't waste meals on the road nor do I eat a lot in one sitting. Gotta eat lots of good food on a roadtrip.
 
#25
Great trip report and photos, thanks for posting. Big Bend has been one of our favorite Parks since visiting there on our honeymoon nearly forty years ago. My new missus turned her ankle badly near the pour off at the end of The Window trail and all I could think of as I carried her back up was what her brothers would do if I didn't bring her back to NC safely. It worked out OK as she still keeps me around and one of the brothers is my go to camping buddy. We hope to head back that way in late October.
 
#26
Thanks for sharing the write up - That's quite a road warrior trip for sure! I guess I shouldn't complain about the distance driving from Fort Worth. I'm surprised Old Maverick is that bad, it was smooth as silk when I drove it in March. I especially liked your info on Pinto Canyon road - I have been researching a few of those roads further west recently and I have that one in my notes. Good on you for maximizing your exploration and not taking the quick route home.

If you have not been in Big Bend Ranch State Park, it's definitely worth it. If you want more challenging roads than the National Park offers it's worth the effort.
 

wngrog

Adventurer
#27
@NitroExpress. I really want to do BB State Park

Tell me, is the scenery good? I used to want my trails the harder the better but what I see the trails at Big Bend for is that they take me to remote places to see fantastic scenery.

I hear the trails are harder and there are even fewer people there but are the views as good?
 
#28
@NitroExpress. I really want to do BB State Park

Tell me, is the scenery good? I used to want my trails the harder the better but what I see the trails at Big Bend for is that they take me to remote places to see fantastic scenery.

I hear the trails are harder and there are even fewer people there but are the views as good?

I've only ever had a 2wd truck, so I've restricted myself to the easier trails. That said, I've never lacked in cool stuff to look at out there.