Fort Davis: Texas Part 1

Seems like it has been forever since we were out on the road in our motorhome.  April was the month to rectify it.  We wanted to visit Jennifer’s dad and wife down in the Rio Grande Valley.  For those of you unfamiliar with the area, it is very difficult to get much further south in Texas.  Spring is a perfect time to do south Texas; nights are still cool, the humidity has not yet set in, and the breeze give it that tropical feel it is famous for. So off we went.  Knowing us, you are not surprised to see us make an adventure out of the trip.  We broke the trip into three parts: Big Bend National Park on the way there, visit in the Rio Grande Valley, and the Texas Hill Country on the way back.  With all the sun west Texas has to offer, it was also the perfect trip to check out our new solar power install.

Our first stop was Fort Davis, TX. After all our trips up and back on Interstate 10, we were always driving by the brown signs at mile marker 140, near Van Horn, pointing to the National Historic Site of Fort Davis.  Now, Jennifer is always reading and researching for our trips, and she looked up Fort Davis. After all, if you have been to that part of West Texas, what would be a historical site worthy of a sign in that area? Well, turns out that Fort Davis is proclaimed as the best surviving example of an Indian Wars’ frontier military post in the Southwest!  The best??? This became a beacon to Jennifer, and every time we drove that stretch of road over the last six years, she would say “we need to go there someday”.  Someday was April 2019!

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Picture of FortIt was an easy drive on Hwy 90 down to Marfa and back up to Fort Davis.  We decided on this route for two reasons.  First, the roads are good and easy with the motorhome.  Second, we wanted to see one of the big cult sites in the RVing world, the Prada Storefrontalong Hwy 90.  Located just north of Valentine, Texas is a sculpture of a Prada store. It is a block building built to look like an actual Prada store.  Complete with shoes and purses on the shelves and in the window displays.  This place is in the middle of nowhere.  Not sure you can get any more in the middle of nowhere. Who thinks of this stuff??? Anyway, we have now checked that off our list of things to see and to be honest, it was kind of cool.

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We drove through Marfa but did not stop.  We only had a night in Fort Davis and our afternoon was dedicated to seeing the fort.  Marfa is a small community with a lot of art influences. Famous for two things, the Marfa lights and the filming location for the 1956 movie “Giant”. It has a lot of great architecture like the Presidio County Courthouse and the El Paisano Hotel.  The hotel was home to Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean during filming. As for the Marfa lights, they are a supposed paranormal phenomenon thought to be some kind of UFO lights.   Research has shown they are probably just automobile lights or reflected campfires.  Needless to say, that is one thing we opted out of.

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A visit to Fort Daviswas our primary goal of this “diversion” and we spent the afternoon walking around and exploring.   They have restored some of the old soldier’s barracks and turned one of them into a very nice museum and visitor center.  Nestled in the Davis Mountains, it was built before the Civil War to help protect the El Paso – San Antonio trail.  It was part of a network of forts along the trail.  Abandoned during the Civil War, it was reactivated after the war and used for years.  The current site includes numerous actual buildings, a large parade field, hospital and commissary.  Most all are still the original buildings built in the late 1860s.

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It was a great little trip and a wonderful step back into history.  We are glad we saw that brown sign up on I-10 and followed through on “someday.”

2 thoughts on “Fort Davis: Texas Part 1

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