Hotel El Capitan

September 9, 2009

We stayed at the newly opened Hotel El Capitan in Van Horn over the weekend. The hotel was built by Charles Bassett of El Paso and opened in 1930. It was one of five hotels that he built in west Texas and eastern New Mexico for the Gateway Hotel chain. He commissioned notable architect Henry [...]

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Haystacks & Puertacitas Mountains

September 7, 2009

I took this photograph yesterday from the Davis Mountains Scenic Loop about 4 miles from the 166/17 junction just south of Fort Davis.
The Haystacks on the left horizon are twin trachyte intrusions (6,895 and 6,670 feet). Their age is unknown; a nearby intrusion was dated at 34.6 Ma, about 700,000 years after the main phase [...]

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Mule Ear Peaks

September 5, 2009

Another favorite image is this one of Mule Ear Peaks from Big Bend Vistas. As I said there,
“Part of the mystique of Big Bend National Park comes from the bizarre shapes that igneous rocks can assume, shapes that are not found anywhere else in Texas. The Mule Ear Peaks are two rhyolite dikes that have [...]

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Sunny Glen

August 29, 2009

A favorite image from Davis Mountains Vistas, the opening in the volcanic cliffs is Sunny Glen, photographed three miles north of Alpine on Highway 118.
The cliffs are capped by the Decie Formation with the break in the cliffs being a thin tuff horizon between lavas of the Morrow and McIntyre formations.
The light-colored patches above the [...]

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Museum of the Big Bend – 3

August 27, 2009

I finally came up with this shot of the museum to make into our latest postcard.

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Gage Hotel, Marathon

August 25, 2009

Another design from the El Paso architectural firm of Trost and Trost, the Gage Hotel was built as an hotel and ranch headquarters for Alfred Gage, an early pioneer in Brewster County. Unfortunately, he died just as the hotel opened in 1928. After a period of neglect, the hotel was bought in 1928 by Houston [...]

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Balmorhea State Park

August 21, 2009

Another architectural gem by the Civilian Conservation Corps is the San Solomon Courts at Barlmorhea State Park, completed in 1935. The team then went up to the Davis Mountains State Park. I have not been able to discover who the architect was here, although I suspect Arthur Fehr. This style is Spanish revival.

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Blue Mountain from Keesey Canyon

August 20, 2009

Blue Mountain (7,286 feet) stands at the head of Keesey Canyon in the Davis Mountains State Park just north of Fort Davis. Five flows of the Casket Mountain lava, 1,080 feet thick, make up the upper section of the mountain. The same lava also tops Casket Mountain on the other side of Limpia Canyon. At [...]

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Museum of the Big Bend – 2

August 12, 2009

The Museum interior features a pterosaur model hanging from its roof – see Larry Francell’s description. Note the beautiful roof – an arched lamella truss roof. This building method was created for aircraft hangers during the World War One. It really is quite spectacular.

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Museum of the Big Bend

August 12, 2009

I spent some time at the Museum this morning. It is difficult to photograph because of its length and limited space in front. The attractive building was constructed in 1937 of the local Crossen volcanic trachyte rock that caps Hancock Hill behind the museum. The gift shop stocks our books and postcards. The director, Larry [...]

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