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February 28, 2007

Texas to Tucson 07

DSC_2400_editedThe original Fort Davis, established in 1854, was a strategic point on the San Antonio-El Paso Road.  The soldiers first stationed there fought the Comanches on mules.  The major work of the troops however, was to protect emigrants, freighters, mail coaches and travellers.  The post was rebuilt in 1869 and is said to be one of the best remaining examples of a frontier military post. 

A number of the buildings have been restored and much of the original structural was able to be used.  Other buildings have been stabalized to prevent further deterioration but many are merely shells or foundations.  A few buildings have been authentically furnished.

DSC_2394_edited“Buffalo Soldiers” served at Fort Davis from 1867 to 1885.  According to some historians, these regiments of black soldiers were given the name by the Indians who compared their hair to that of the buffalo, and considered them brave and worthy adversaries.

DSC_2407_editedAbout 17 miles north west of Fort Davis is McDonald Observatory, one of the major astronomical research facilities in the world.  It is on 6,791 ft Mount Locke and has several optical telescopes ranging in diameter from 30 to 432 inches.

The area has one of the darkest night time skies in the U.S. and the surrounding communities co-operate by using lighting that is directed toward the ground.



The view from the top is quite wonderful.

We took the guided tour and were taken right into the area housing the telescopes.  Interestingly, seldom does anyone look though the eyepiece viewers.  All the data is collected and transferred to computers elsewhere in the building.  Apparently, the astronomers don’t even have to come here any more, they can just have the data sent to them via the Internet.


From Fort Davis we headed back south to Marfa.

This is the Presidio County courthouse in Marfa.  We were disappointed in the town – from what we had read it was described as an artist’s community.  I guess it is if you are into new age and modern.  Not my thing, so we spent little time there and headed toward El Paso.



As we had spent a couple of days last winter in the El Paso area we only stopped long enough to leave our contribution at the racetrack casino.  We parked right beside the track and Ross got a great action picture just after the horses came out of the starting gate.
 Last year we had purchased a Raspberry Chipotle sauce in the old town of Mesilla, NM, just on the outskirts of Las Cruces.  Best we have ever had.  We stopped in old town again; told the proprietor we had driven 2,500 miles to get more; bought 6 bottles and she threw in a seventh for nothing.


We arrived in Tucson Feb. 18th and spent a week there.  My sister Joan, who lives in Fredericton, NB is spending a couple of months there, so we had some good visiting with her.

We went to the Saguaro National Park and took the circle drive.  We visited with friends from Big Bend, Bob & Melissa.  We took some time off, we played golf, we did laundry,  and we did some gambling.


On Sunday Feb.25th we headed south to Mexico.

Next journal will be about our trip down there. 

Posted by Bernice at February 28, 2007 03:45 PM


Fort Davis has a sort of Alamo look about it. Also, the picture of the racehorses is amazing, in tewrms of its sharpness.

Looks like you guys are enjoying the trip, as usual. We're off to Lauderdal on the 3rd, and we're boarding the ship on the 4th for 10 days. Then 3 more days in Lauderdale.

I will weigh 600 pounds.

Best regards, Alan

Jill says hi.

Posted by: Jill & Alan at March 24, 2007 02:12 PM

Hello--have seen all your journals but didn't respond until now. We have been at the coast, then my sister was here, and we just got back from Montana and the Russell show & auction. Appears you are still having a wonderful time and seeing much interesting country--however, there are areas in OR which are much like Big Bend--just not too many people have seen them. When will you be home? Will write you then more about our trip this summer. Bette

Posted by: Bette Andrew at March 24, 2007 05:24 PM