Monday, July 24, 2006

Welcome to the World Sweetpea

Last week, I went to a ranch with the invitation of Shanna Roberts, a culinary school-trained chef who is opening the Sunflower Cafe in Van Horn next year. We're working on a promotion of the Texas Mountain Trail and border food for a Midwest food cooperative to raise awareness of the region as a vacation destination.

In addition to her work building the restaurant, Shanna takes care of an impressive number of animals--geese, goats, hogs, horses, and cattle on her family's section of land.

While Shanna fed the cattle, we noticed a cow who separated herself from the others. As we drove nearer to investigate, we saw a gray spot on the ground. We were delighted to find a healthy newborn calf next to her momma. Sweetpea was born that morning, but was not expected; Shanna figured her mom, February, must have already been bred when she was purchased late last year.

Ranching is an important part of life in the Texas Mountain Trail region, and visitors can learn more about it at the Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine, the Marfa and Presidio County Museum in Marfa, the Clark Hotel Museum in Van Horn, and Hallie's Hall of Fame Museum on the road from Marathon to Big Bend National Park.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July 4th Celebrations

Happy Independence Day!

There are celebrations all over the Texas Mountain Trail region--parades, historical reenactments, food fairs, street dances, pet contests, fireworks--something for everyone.

I hear one visitor say of Fort Davis' multi-day "Coolest 4th of July" celebration this year, "THIS is the way a town ought to celebrate the holiday." The courthouse square looked terrific decorated with red/white/blue striped banners. The Chamber of Commerce offered carriage rides, gunfighters, a street dance, and lots of great food. I liked the brisket dinner!

"The Great Parade" on Saturday morning was fun because the entire community seemed to participate. As the newest member of the parade's Ladies Kazoo Band, I'm proud to say our silliness was awarded an honorable mention by an apparently impartial panel of judges. It wasn't so bad though losing to the first place winner, the Fort Davis Humane Society float. Here's a fella from that float!

Fort Davis' high elevation makes a mid-summer trip out west cool and comfortable. Consider that next year as you're wondering where to celebrate July 4th. Come join us on the Texas Mountain Trail!

For more information on attractions and events in Fort Davis, visit the Texas Mountain Trail website, here. For additional information on accommodations or dining, visit the Chamber of Commerce website, here.