Friday, December 13, 2013

Desolate, yet weirdly beautiful

The WPA Guide to Texas, published in 1940, describes Hwy 54 between Van Horn and the Guadalupe Mountains (now Guadalupe Mountains National Park) as 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."

The road, then called Hwy 90, today looks almost as it did in 1940, as the area has seen very little development.  It remains one of the most remote and yes, most beautiful drives in the state. 

It also is the route of our original Texas Mountain Trail, and our heritage bike route, the El Capitan to El Capitan, as it connects Van Horn's historic Hotel El Capitan to the most impressive feature of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, the geologic uplift known as El Capitan.
Here's how the area looked in 1910, much as it does today!
Photo from the collection of Van Horn's Clark Hotel Museum
The Guadalupe Mountains' El Capitan in the background

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