Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Road to Presidio

A short car trip through the desert along Texas FM (stands for Farm Market) 170 last Sunday took us almost to Presido right along the border of Mexico, so close, in fact, that we could have thrown a stone into it.  The purpose of the drive was to see if this "scenic route" would accommodate the whole rig so we wouldn't have to backtrack 80 miles along Texas Highway 118 to Alpine on our way west to El Paso. But it wouldn't. The road proved to be too hazardous for Mona: curves, hills and lots of falling rocks -- not to mention the "Loose Livestock" warning signs along the way. 

The scenery was absolutely magnificent though and I took another hundred pictures.  Here are a very few of them.

The first part of the route took us through the Chihuahuan Desert

There are many such adobe and stone buildings whose roofs, doors and windows have long since fallen away.
The soil is a sandy dust.

Some of the most beautiful plants.

Simply georgeous terrain.
Pictures just don't do it justice.

Entry into Big Bend Ranch Texas State Park

We were driving along the road that parallels the Rio Grande right along the edge of Texas.
At the bottom of this map.

Along Texas FM#170 where the Rio Grande comes very near the road.
And on the other side of the river is Mexico.

The Rio Grande
We passed a site where several western movies had been filmed. Originally, the village in these photographs was built, not to be inhabited, but strictly for the making of the western comedy, Uphill All the Way starring Mel Tillis, Roy Clark and Burl Ives.  It has been modified and reused for other westerns since that time. Some of the other movies filmed on this location are: Rio Diablo ('93), Gambler V: Playing for Keeps ('94), Streets of Laredo ('95), My Maria ('95 - with 1996 Music Video of the Year), Dead Man's Walk ('96) and The Journeyman (2000).

The setting of this little artificial town was just beautiful and I walked right down to the Rio Grande River.  The clay along parts of the river bed was dry and cracked. The large chunks of broken earth looked like giant pieces of thick broken pottery.  

None of these buildings have every been inhabited.
All were built for the movie shootings.

My very favorite Rio Grande place. 

I took this photo to give a view of the dry, broken clay.
Some of the pieces were 3-4" thick.

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