Birdwatching Travel

West Texas adventure, Part 1

BT, my parents, and I went on an adventure to West Texas this past week. We spent two nights in Marfa and three nights in Big Bend National Park.

Friday, we drove out I-10 through Fort Stockton and stopped in Marathon to check out the Gage Hotel. There was a big wedding, so we went to the White Buffalo Bar to enjoy drinks on their lovely patio.

West Texas

Yes, there really is a white buffalo in the bar.
West Texas
We ate dinner at the Famous Burro, then continued to Marfa, where we were staying in a little vacation house. Saturday we did some strolling and shopping in Marfa, which was very quiet.  We loved browsing at JM Dry Goods.  There are a lot of cool buildings in Marfa.

West Texas

West Texas

In the afternoon we drove up to Fort Davis. We spotted a lone pronghorn antelope along the way.
West Texas

We went to Davis Mountains State Park where my family was kind enough to sit still for hours waiting for a bird that never showed up (darn you, Montezuma quail!). We did get good looks at blue grosbeaks, black-headed grosbeaks, acorn woodpeckers, summer tanagers, and lesser goldfinches. We ate at Murphy’s Pizza, then headed up to the McDonald Observatory for the twilight program and star party. I’m not much for astronomy, but I loved the star party. We were lucky that the clouds cleared, and we got good looks at Saturn with four of its moons, and star clusters M3 (awesome) and M104 (not very memorable). My mom picked up a star map that came in handy at Big Bend, where we could see tons of stars.

West Texas

Sunday morning, we ate at Austin Street Cafe which is only open on Sundays or by appointment. It was lovely.
West Texas

We drove down 118 from Alpine to Terlingua, then on into Big Bend National Park. We checked out the Panther Junction visitor center, then drove up to the lodge where we were staying in Building C (great views, electricity is sketchy). We enjoyed dinner at the lodge, which has improved by leaps and bounds in the last decade, and sunset from the Window View Trail.

Big Bend National Park


  1. Pam/Digging

    May 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I keep meaning to get out to Marfa and Big Bend but just haven’t made it yet. Your pictures are inspiring me to go.

  2. marisa

    May 23, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Ditto. I have a few musician/artist friends who have relocated to Marfa to get inspiration…and they haven’t come back yet. That sunset picture is beautiful.

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