Thursday, April 12, 2012

Scenic Drive-Scenic Ride

There's a great undiscovered road connecting Van Horn with Guadalupe Mountains National Park that we call the "El Capitan to El Capitan Heritage Bike Route," but it is a great route for motorists and motorcyclists in addition to cyclists. 

It starts at the historic Hotel El Capitan in Van Horn (at the crossroads of the Texas Mountain Trail) and runs due north to the base of Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  All in all, 55 miles of majestic scenery, frontier, and VERY little traffic.  Click HERE to read all about it, and see an elevation chart and more photos of the route.

Now Hwy 54, this is what the 1940 edition of the WPA Guide to Texas says about the road:

"US 90, rounding the northeast shoulder of the Baylor Range, heads north up the broad arid valley that lies between the frowning rampart of the Sierra Diablo (6,513 alt.) on the west and the Delaware Mountains (5,670 alt.) on the east, traversing one of the most desolate yet weirdly beautiful stretches of country to be found in Texas.  The view sweeps almost level reaches, gray-green with sage and greasewood, dotted here and there with prickly pear, yucca and ocotillo.  Beyond the middle distance a streak of blazing white gleams (R) like a hazy silver ribbon.  It is the crystal-encrusted shoreline of a salt lake.  On the horizon the ragged crest of the Delawares loom stark against the sky.  Closer at hand, the sheer wall of the Sierra Diablo rises (L).  Somewhere in the tangle of ridges and deep narrow canyon of this range are mines, lost and active.  Gleaming white salt lakes appear.  Far ahead lifts the blunt nose of the Guadalupe Range where it shoves its triangle of lofty peaks across the State Line from New Mexico.  Higher and bolder loom the broad cliffs."

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