Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tours of Fort Leaton, Lajitas and Big Bend

29 March 2016

We arrived Fort Stockton TX yesterday for 3 nights at Hilltop RV Park. This park is convenient to shopping and just off IH10 on the northside. It is a new park with the owners living on site. Cash discount is $27/nt or  $30/cc. The winds are still with us.

Hilltop RV Park-Fort Stockton-

Site #42

Our drive took us down Hwy 67 thru Alpine and Marfa to Presidio on the Rio to Fort Leaton SHS. Fort Leaton served as a trading post on the old Chihuahua Trail from 1848 to 1884 which at that time was known as El Fortin.  It went on to be occupied until 1920's. Original owners of the post were Benjamin Leaton and his wife Juana Pedrasa. After his death in 1851, Juana married Edward Hall. In 1862 the post was purchased by John Burgess who continued operation until 1884. The Burgess family sold the property in 1925 and it was abandoned.

In 1967 the Texas Parks and Wildlife acquired the site and began restoration. In 1978 it was opened to the public as a state historic site.

After departing the fort, we were advised to take scenic Hwy 170 to Lajitas through Big Bend Ranch SP..not to be confused with Big Bend NP. This is about 40 mile drive. Lajitas is one of those hidden jewels one does not expect in this part of the state.  It has become a popular golf resort destination in recent years.

Lajitas is on the western edge of Big Bend NP overlooking the Rio Grande at the extreme southern end of the Rocky Mountains. Lajitas means "little flat rocks". The region was inhabited for thousands of years by nomadic peoples related to the Patarabueyes and Jumanos tribes. Anglo Americans started arriving at the time of the Mexican War. As protection a series of presidios and military colonies were set up. Lajitas is one of the oldest crossings between the USA and Mexico.

In 1916 Pancho Villa attacked American Mining Engineers. President Wilson sent General Blackjack Pershing to the area to locate Villa dead or alive. Villa  always managed to escape and Pershing cabled Washington "Villa is everywhere, but Villa is no where". The chase finally ended in 1917 when the soldiers  were summoned home.

The Calvary Post was established in the early 1900's and  the Calvary Motel is built on the foundation of the original army barracks.

Even tho the hour was getting late,we decided to drive through Big Bend NP. We did not do the complete tour only the drive from west entrance to Persimmon Gap and Hwy 385 with a detour on Chisos Basin.  There are many trails and much more to see which would take several days. The park also has several dry campgrounds and one hookup campground .

When we arrived in Marathon, decided to stop in at Big Bend Pizza for dinner. It doesn't look very fancy on the outside, but the supreme pizza was delicious. So glad we stopped.

Finally got home around 8PM.

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