Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Did you know we're on Flickr and Twitpic, too?

For your browsing pleasure, we've got some photos of the region stored on Flickr, here.

And here, on Twitpic!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Huisache flowering at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Garden

A closeup of this lovely shrub tree blooming at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Garden last week! Learn more about the Huisache here.

We also took a few minutes to scope out their cactus greenhouse!  Here's few pics, and page down for a surprise!
Hey!  What's that?  A Clif MOJO bar!  Leave us a comment to this post about keeping energized on your own adventures in the Texas Mountains and we might just send you one!  (And thanks to our friends at Clif MOJO for sending us a little stash of bars to share over the next few months with our friends and fellow adventurers!) 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Apache Plume at CDRI

Last week, we enjoyed an impromptu hike at Fort Davis' Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Garden and saw the Apache Plume in bloom in the garden.  Read more about this lovely plant here.

We headed out on the Modesta Trail, too, for a thoroughly satisfying hike around boulders and madrone trees. This 1.75 trail is rated moderate to difficult, but is a great one with permanent springs and interesting geology.
Thanks to Stonewear Designs for their comfy and
ready-for-anything Liberty Skort and Echo top!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Catch us on Instagram!

We're now sharing photos of the region on Instagram!  Follow us at http://instagram.com/texastrailgirl for immediate postings where we travel through the region.  We often pull off the road for wildflowers, or pull out the office cell phone when we're enjoying a particularly great lunch somewhere in the region.  True to its name, instagram is the most instantaneous way to follow our travels!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Birding on the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park

All week we're celebrating National Park Week, and today we're at the birding platform at Rio Grande Village in Big Bend National ParkClick here to read about birding in the park, and here to read about birding at Rio Grande Village.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso

This week we're celebrating all our region's National Park facilities.  Chamizal National Memorial is El Paso's National Park property, celebrating peace between the United States and Mexico.  From the Memorial's website:

"Chamizal is more than just an urban park to recreate or enjoy a quiet afternoon. These park grounds stand for peace; the peaceful settlement of a 100-year border dispute between nations. Not one shot was fired; not one war was waged. The memorial celebrates the culture of the borderland that helped to peacefully navigate an international argument."  Learn more here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Guadalupe Mountains National Park's Manzanita Springs

We're celebrating National Park Week, and you can too...free admission through April 28th! A place for birds and animals to gather, Manzanita Spring near Frijole Ranch in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  Click here to read more. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

See the barracks, Fort Davis National Historic Site

We're encouraging folks to visit our Texas Mountain Trail region's national parks this week.  Why?  Free admission for National Parks Week through April 28!  Pictured here:  Fort Davis National Historic Site, soldier barracks.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Big Bend National Park Vista

This week is National Parks Week, with free admission through April 28.  Take some time to visit our national parks, including Big Bend!  Here's a vista seen to the north of the road entering on the western edge of the park near Terlingua!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Van Horn's Iconic Mountains in Fog

On the left, Turtleback Mountain just northwest of Van Horn.  Also visible from town (and from I-10) is Six Mile Mountain on the right, called that because it is approximately three miles from town, or six miles roundtrip!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Church at Shafter

The lovely church in Shafter (on Hwy 67 between Marfa and Presidio) was the setting for the opening scene of the 1971 Michael Crichton story, the Andromeda Strain.  Watch the trailer here.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Davis Mountains State Park's Indian Lodge

One of the most sought after reservations in our region is a night's stay at Fort Davis' Indian Lodge, in the center of Davis Mountains State Park.  The Indian Lodge, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s continues to charm visitors with its quiet and scenic mountain location.

From the Lodge's website:

"Indian Lodge is a full-service, historic hotel with 39 rooms, a restaurant, a meeting room, and a swimming pool. Rest, relaxation, good food, swimming, mountain biking and hiking are among the activities the Lodge has to offer. The Lodge is located within the boundaries of Davis Mountains State Park and guest have full use of the recreation & educational activities available at the park. There are foot trails into the mountains that cross Davis Mountains State Park and a scenic trail to the Fort Davis National Historic Site.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blooming TODAY~

Blooming today outside Marfa's Post Office!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Travel information online!

Looking for travel information for the Texas Mountains?  Stay right here on our Daily Photo blog, or visit our website, www.texasmountaintrail.com

Looking for heritage travel information across the state of Texas?  Consider connecting to our partner heritage trail organizations, from our own Texas Mountain Trail site:

East Texas--Texas Forest Trail
Gulf Coast--Texas Independence Trail and Texas Tropical Trail
North Texas--Texas Lakes Trail
Panhandle--Texas Plains Trail
Central Texas--Texas Brazos Trail and Texas Hill Country Trail
West Texas--Texas Forts Trail and Texas Pecos Trail

Our funder, the Texas Historical Commission recently released their own statewide site, too: www.texastimetravel.com

Today we'll be on Marfa Public Radio's Talk at Ten, talking about the region's Texas Master Naturalist program.  Are you interested in joining this year's class? 

Click here to read about the program and learn how to apply!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

Marfa on 60 Minutes last night!

Marfa Lights Parade, shown in the
60 Minutes segment last night
Marfa waited nervously last night as the 60 Minutes segment on the town was aired last night.  Most folks give the feature an enthusiastic thumbs up!

You can watch the segment yourself on this page, along with several short web features.

On a Marfa Public Radio special after the 60 Minutes airing, there was nearly universal praise for the segment.  Some felt they could have mentioned that we're so close to the border and STILL we have a very safe community.  Others felt more attention could have been given to the Hispanic community.  Still others wish the Marfa Lights had been mentioned.  But all in all, there was a feeling of celebration and some relief with the quality and care and kindness of the segment.  Watch it yourself...see what you think!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Two Years Ago--Rock House Fire

Two years ago this weekend, the area suffered through our worst wildfire.  We're posting this photo to remind us how much as regrown, and though we still are experiencing drought, this spring we've seen pronghorn and wildflowers.  Our thanks to all the firefighters in the area for your hard work and dedication! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

April blooms at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center

Check out the cactus greenhouse at CDRI just outside Fort Davis  for plenty of beauty and variety.  And coming up...their native plant sale!

Plant Sale
April 26 & 27, 2013

April 26, Members Night (4 to 7 p.m.)

April 27, Public Sale (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Scenes from a border's opening....

Wednesday, the long-awaited border opening at Big Bend National Park and Boquillas, Mexico FINALLY happened.  We wanted to share photos from our friend, DJ Sanders, in today's blog entry, and reports from our friends at Marfa Public Radio.  Click here for their coverage.   Big, big thanks to both DJ and to Marfa Public Radio!

Finally, friends were able to connect again and enjoy each other's company in Boquillas, after 11 years separated by a closed border.

See yesterday's entry on the crossing opening, too!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Big Bend Border Crossing is Open Again!

View of the Rio Grande at the new border crossing at Boquillas
in Big Bend National Park.  Mexico is in the background,
to the right a shade structure for those waiting to cross!

Yesterday, the border crossing at Boquillas Mexico and Big Bend National Park reopened after 11 years, allowing visitors to cross the Rio Grande.  This will allow easier access for visitors to see Mexico, and citizens of remote Boquillas will have an easier time getting necessary supplies. 

From our friends at the Alpine Daily Planet, some things to keep in mind:

The crossing is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
You miss the last boat on Sunday, you are stuck until Wednesday morn.
You need a valid passport (ignore the rumors about the chip) or passport card.
When you get to Mexico there are immigration officers who will ask you to fill out a short visa application.
Just remember to turn it back in to them before you leave town at the end of your visit.
You cannot bring alcohol back.
This is not an importation port; that means nothing can be brought back to this side for resale.
There is a $200 purchase limit on goods brought back to the U.S.
You cannot bring clothing, food, etc. to the people of Mexico through this port (the Mexican Government has issued this).
Entrance to the checkpoint building on the U.S. side
Artwork in the building was created by park staff
Boquillas Crossing checkpoint building on the U.S. side

Your passport will be checked by kiosk for approval to
cross the border
After receiving approval to cross, you'll walk down this
path to the river
Interpretive panels at the river's edge
Our thanks to Friends of Big Bend National Park and Big Bend National Park for their help with this blog entry!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hot Springs Canyon Trail, Big Bend National Park

Most folks heading to Hot Springs in Big Bend National Park are focused on the water, but there are some great hiking trails and some vistas in that area that are well worth the effort!  Head past the historic area of the trail, and soon it will fork.  Straight ahead is the trail to Rio Grande Village, to the left is the trail leading above Hot Springs to the site of the J.O. Langford homesite.

View just above the Rio Grande near Hot Springs

View from the J.O. Langford homesite above Hot Springs

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

More Terlingua Blooms from Saturday!

Yucca and ocotillo....all over the desert!
(Click on any of these photos for a closer view!)
Ocotillo, photo: Monte Riggs
Beautiful grasses and bluebonnets!  photo:  Monte Riggs

Monday, April 08, 2013

Terlingua Green Scene on Saturday

Saturday, it was our pleasure to attend the 5th annual Terlingua Green Scene Festival of Sustainability and Creativity.  We had a great time visiting with local residents and visitors, listening to music, seeing the community garden (the event was sponsored by the Terlingua Community Garden), eating some delicious food, and relaxing...it was a lovely day.

Here's a link to the Terlingua Green Scene's facebook page.

Vendors and community groups, such as the local
chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists enjoyed
visiting with the crowd.

Two little girls chose to dress up with PERFECT choices
of footwear for the Chihuahuan Desert!


Sunday, April 07, 2013

Ocotillos in glorious bloom

Just yesterday, we found acres and acres of ocotillo in bloom just north of Terlingua along Hwy 118.  Here and there we found bluebonnets, blooming prickly pear cacti and other flowers too.  But the ocotillo's brilliant orange-red blossoms looked particularly outstanding against our clear blue sky.