Adventures at Matheran Hill Station
March 13, 2013 – 12:05 am | No Comment
Matheran is a Hill Station located near Mumbai, Karjat.   It is located 800 meters above sea level in the Jambol Forest of Maharashtra.  It was found by Hugh Poynts Malet in May 1850.  It spreads over an area of 8 square kilometers in Sahyadri Mountains.  It is one of the best places to spend a two-day holiday if you are in Mumbai or in the vicinity of Mumbai or its suburbs.  To reach Matheran,  [...]

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Home » Remarkable Drives

Glancing Through The Borderlands

Posted on November 9, 2009 | Remarkable DrivesNo Comment


Big Bend, Texas

The Big Bend region of Texas, one of the last true frontiers in the lower 48, still remains one of the unique landscapes in the world. This distinct borderland is positioned roughly east of El Paso, west of San Antonio and north of the Rio Grande River.

Concise

The artistic work of nature is evidently visible in the grasslands, deserts, mountain ranges and rivers in this borderland. The natural panorama of this section has attracted many directors of Hollywood to film the famous movies like There will be Blood and No Country for Old Men. Mainly due to its African-type territory and plentiful wildlife, it was rightly named as “America’s Abyssinia” by the local inhabitants of 1930’s. From Big bend national park and the neighboring Big Bend Ranch State Park to some of the best restaurants like Food Shark and Gage Hotel, this region uncovers its amazing blend with the nature. Starting from the lubricated city of Fort Stockton, Alpine and through the Paisano Pass till the peculiar Marfa, the route is quite a pleasurable journey. The southern road trip starts from the Shafter (known as ghost town), gorgeous views of River Road, through Study Butte and finally at Big Bend National park. From here, you can choose either to catch the sight of adventurous mountainous range of Chisos or small attractive Marathon.

First few hours in Fort Stockton

Fort StocktonBegin your road trip unswervingly from the site of a fort which was built in 1858, Fort Stockton, to protect travelers and native people in the Comanche territory. The fort was recently reconstructed and is still a magnificent attraction in the town along with other surrounding sites like Carlsbad Caverns and the Davis Mountain. Also, the ups and down of the commodity prices seems to be least affecting the economy of this oil town.

Old Alpine

Drive your car west from Fort Stockton on Interstate 10, exit to travel south on 67, and head west on the Highway 90 to reach the beautiful town of Alpine. This town is surrounded by mountains and is known for having most number of historic monuments in Texas. The memories are now being revitalized by the city’s refugees opening emporia by the St. Raspa Company of Murphy. This superstore specializes in Mexican snow cones, raspas, and other Mexican imported clay articles which are difficult to find these days. These historic clay porcelains and typical type of candies reminds the pride and culture of the resurgent community. The Museum of Big Bend, situated in the Sul Ross State University Campus, was recently refurbished to add the elegance of the remnants stored in as fossils, photography and historic structures. Some of the best restaurants in Alpine includes Trattoria which is an old Italian restaurant well known for its delicious pasta and pizzas with thin crust; and Alicia that serves stuffed burritos in breakfast named many local patrons. If in Alpine, join the boot-clad lawyers of Alpine, and ranchers at Reata for bourbon.

The “Marfa” View

West to Alpine, drive through the wonderful site of volcano caldera’s remains, the dotted shrubs of juniper and outcroppings in the picturesque Paisano Pass. Soon you will reach the famous Marfa Lights Viewing Stand which is a tall modern building from where visitors enjoy the sight of well-known floating globes called Marfa Lights. Marfa is known for its legendary sites and their ability to convert a simple monument into a modernistic artwork with helpful hands of artists and the writers. If your journey is quite tiring, enter the flamboyant premises of Hotel Paisano to watch the beautiful Texas sunset. This already known inn became more famous when Liz Taylor and James Dean halted here for a long time during the making of the epic film, Giant in 1956. The Chinati Foundation established by sculptor Donald Judd to exhibit his work of aluminum and stone, is an attractive location in this region.

The Food Shark

On the same path, find the Food Shark famous for serving lunch from the Middle East in Marfa Book Company Store. For more lavish diet, Cochineal and the Blue Javelina which are both handled by former chefs of New York.

Food Shark

Ghost of Shafter

Moving south through highway 67, before you reach the border city of Presidio which is cuddled up just near the Chinati mountains, halt at Shafter. This town embraced Presidio Mining Company, silver mining company, which was established in early 1880’s. However, the silver finding town is now deserted and the abandoned buildings stand like a monument. It has become a stop for the day trippers to watch the reminiscent ruins, after they visit the nearby ghost town of Shafter.

Stretching the River Road

The long route of 67 miles starting from Shafter to Presidio and Study Butte is full of photogenic landscapes and rejuvenating experience. Right side of the road will exhibit the mud-covered Rio Grande with most mort of its bank is veiled by cane fields. The author of River Road Vistas, Bill MacLeod, recommends the visitors of halt on the Big Hill top, and through Santana Basin view the best sight in the world. While moving forward, don’t miss the Lajitas resort which is an eminent movie-set in the region. Following is the town of Terlingua where the river runners reside and assemble to have a mild drink at the cave-shaped La Kiya Bar. The site seeing of River road ends at the city of Study Butte.

Last few hours in Big Bend National Park

big bend national parkStudy Butte will connect to Highway 118/Maverick Road to reach the Big Bend national Park. The national park is about 801,000 acre in area where you can spend your entire day. You enter the striking mountain range of Chisos, after passing through the 6-mile Basin Road, beyond Big Bend National Park. Drive your vehicle back to Maverick road to reach the Panther Junction and move toward I-10 on highway 385. Feeling of jagged land will indicate the entrance of the Marathon village. Try dinner at the Gage Hotel before moving out of Texas, to have wonderful memory of the Texas taste.

Road Kit

Texas is enjoyable in all the season, but your journey can be marvelous in fall and spring. If you enjoy cool temperature, winter here will make you chill. Midland airport is quite close to Texas, around four hour from the park.

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