Brackettville - Marathon, Texas
Monday we arrive at Fort Clark Springs RV Park - the historic fort being the only thing here except for a gas station/convenience store and two little eateries. The fort is also home to the majority of residents in what are now private properties. It's definitely "different".
Narrow asphalt interior roads lead to asphalt tight sites. Level with 50 amp FHUs and a nice green area out our front window. Maybe ten of the 85 sites are for over-nights, the rest are all working permanent residents. No idea where they work, there's nothing here.
Thought we'd visit Kickipoo Caverns State Park, but it's closed this week for hunting. Again, "different". I'm disgusted to see there is a trophy hunting ranch outside of town. All of the land is owned by a handful of ranches leaving zero access to anywhere off the state highways.
We do take a couple drives, and chill out at home before moving on.
|A lone hawk surveys the area.|
|This Oryx herd is fortunately not on the trophy ranch, so they may be strays or rescues.|
|Their horns can't be easy to navigate in the thick Mesquite.|
|Several Armadillos along the roadside - they're so weird looking!|
|A handsome bull - one of very few cows on all of this ranch land.|
|A herd of pretty Chital (axis deer) visit us at the RV park.|
After reading Laurel's post (Raven and Chickadee) about the quirky little towns of Marathon and Terlingua they visited last year at this time, I was happy to route us here. We love quirky!
Marathon Motel and RV is a cute little dirt park at the edge of "town". We score the end site with wide open views and lovely sunsets. Level with FHUs and sporadic park WiFi, it's very dark and quiet. There's a train less than 200 yards from us, but we love the whistle and rumble so it's a plus for us :-)
Normally they do star-gazing from the beautiful courtyard, but with the bright full moon, and the very cold night time temps, nobody comes out.
With more fenced-off private land, we probably could have done just a couple days in Marathon, but we're here for six, and of course we make the best of it!
|Post Park, a small desert oasis 5 miles south.|
|As soon as we park the welcoming committee waddles right to the Jeep. They make a u-turn when Tessa pokes her head out the window. She never bothers them as we explore.|
|Love the 'do'.|
|On the way to Alpine we stop by the world's smallest Target. In 2016, unknown persons adorned this tiny cinder block building on US 90 with the familiar store logo. You can find it on TripAdvisor's list of Things to Do in Marathon :-)|
|Happy to have mountains in our views again!|
|Yuccas blooming among the gold grass.|
|A bright spot of winter orange.|
|Texas still-life in the abandoned orchard.|
|Pretty long views on our way home.|
|Winter Solstice full moon.|
|Later the western skies steal the show.|
Many industries, including a short oil boom, came and went and the population fluctuated between 218 and 1,000 over the decades.
Today 462 residents live in what has become little more than the "gateway to Big Bend National Park".
|The Eagle was the only local newspaper in Marathon - from 1908-1912.|
|Lovely Christmas window at one of three main street shops.|
|Built in 1927 by local rancher Alfred Gage, it is now owned by Stephen Austin descendant JP Bryan who has restored it to a beautiful western destination. Zane Grey is said to have written one of his famous novels while staying here.|
|The hotel grounds offer a beautiful setting in the center of town.|
|How we like our holiday crowds!|
|Gage Gardens offer a pretty place for walking - even in the sparse winter season.|
|It's not the beach, but big lawn zoomies are fun too!|
|A fun character with wild hair!|
|This straw-bale B&B is a bright beauty in an otherwise brown setting.|
|Small bison herd.|
|Touches of color along the canyon.|
|Easy to see why they're called Mule Deer.|
|Ears nearly as big as the rack!|
|Even a cattle tank can be pretty in the desert.|
|A rare "push me-pull you" - so clean and shiny!|
|Prairie Dogs pop up for a quick peek.|
|A large shadow ship passes beyond the dark waves.|
|Showing us some of his goodies.|
|Lots of family Christmas fun - including an engagement - Congrats Corey and Christie!|