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Old 03-29-2012, 04:39 AM   #226
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I'm totally in awe on the amount of time and effort you've put into this RR, and the amount of research you did.
It's great reading. The pics, maps, etc are great.
Thank you..
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:30 AM   #227
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It's worth repeating - fantastic ride report. You should host a GPS class, I'd be there for sure!
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:02 AM   #228
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Boquillas/Rio Grande Village Area Part 2

More on the B/RGV area.


Besides having a store and gas, there is a nice campground in Rio Grande Village.






The park advises you to keep things buttoned up unless you want visitors.


Rio Grande




Before so much water was diverted from the Rio Grande, farming in the bottom lands was quite popular. Things like melons, corn, and cotton could be grown. This 1920s adobe house is from the farming days.


Visitor station at RGV.


On this side of the tunnel there is a nice overlook off to the left.


When you head down toward the Hot Springs, the road splits off into two single lanes that hug the sides of a wash.








Years ago the site of the hot springs was a health spa. They advertised they could cure a bunch of stuff. For a while the site had to be abandoned, around 1916, due to a revolution in Mexico.


Once back in operation, they developed the place a little more by putting in a store and a motor court.


Like other stores along the river, the place became a trading center for people from Mexico who would travel long distances to get here.


To get to the hot springs, you have to hike a little less than a half-mile to the old spring house site.


At the time I was there, I was pretty hot and only wanted to get some cooling air moving by riding the bike. Hiking a half-mile to a hot spring was not appealing at that moment. I think that it would be great another time though.


For those that haven't seen it already, here is a picture of the old foundation and hot spring nestled next to the Rio Grande.


An aerial of the site. You would hike along to the east to reach the old foundation.


Back out on the pavement, this bridge cross Tornillo Creek. One may wonder why there is such a large bridge there. When it rains, things get wild. After a storm in 1996, water was lapping over the top of this bridge.


This thing empties out about a mile down near the hot spring.


Looking toward the Chisos which are a handy reference landmark from most places in the park.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:10 AM   #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildwoodMOCruiser View Post
I'm totally in awe on the amount of time and effort you've put into this RR, and the amount of research you did.
It's great reading. The pics, maps, etc are great.
Thank you..
Thanks WWMC! I'm trying to make it a little easier for someone to plan their own trip to the Big Bend region while sharing a few stories that might allow them to get a little more out of it. Hopefully this will encourage a few more people to explore in the area. Hope I didn't scare too many away with the smuggling stories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philipbarrett View Post
It's worth repeating - fantastic ride report. You should host a GPS class, I'd be there for sure!
Thanks Phil! I'm glad you are enjoying the report. I do put on a GPS class from time to time to encourage more people to record and share tracks which can contibute to a larger ride catalog in our community.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:21 AM   #230
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Fantastic report

Cannonshot,

Your RR is fantastic and appreciate the great photos accompanied by the history lesson. Good reminder that the Texas/Mexico borderlands have ALWAYS been violent...then AND now. Keep up the good work!http://d26ya5yqg8yyvs.cloudfront.net/clap.gif
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:26 PM   #231
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When my wife and I were at the Hot Springs a few years ago, there were some Mexicans who would come halfway across the river and try to entice us to buy some wares. I had been advized that the Rangers could arrest me if I traded with them, so I didn't. Sure enough, I looked around and saw a Ranger on a hilltop with binoculars. It is a beautiful setting, though!
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:32 PM   #232
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When my wife and I were at the Hot Springs a few years ago, there were some Mexicans who would come halfway across the river and try to entice us to buy some wares. I had been advized that the Rangers could arrest me if I traded with them, so I didn't. Sure enough, I looked around and saw a Ranger on a hilltop with binoculars. It is a beautiful setting, though!
Neat story! I see the park service also puts out some warnings about theft in some of the parking areas along the border including the one at Hot Springs. They advise you to keep things locked up with anything of value stored out of sight. That can be difficult to do on a bike sometimes.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:50 PM   #233
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Heading Toward Marathon Part1

Heading north toward Marathon.






Santiago Peak is pretty prominent in this area. It started as a lump of magma forced up beneath the ground. Erosion over the years has exposed the lump which is now a mountain. Some say it is named after a guy named Santiago who was killed by Apaches when he tried to recover some horses they stole from him. Others say it is named for Don Santiago who was Chief of the Chisos Indians. Santiago surrendered to General Juan de Retana after an all day battle. Few people know that there was actually a meeting convened to properly name landmarks in the area many years ago.


What is most interesting about Santiago Peak is that there was a sucker city platted out on the flat top of the mountain back in 1910. It was called Progress City.


A couple of guys filed a plat with the county that laid out 6,400 lots that sold at varying prices. Some of the lots were only 12' wide. Most single lots sold for $1.50 each, but if you wanted two adjoining lots the price was $11.50. Thousands of lots were sold. The plat showed stuff reserved for a city hall and the like.


The only residents were eagles and wild burros. There were not trails up there. There was a big grand jury investigation that exposed the scam, but the promoters never got charged. The bad publicity sort of ended future sales. Perhaps those buyers should have googled up the aerial imagery before making their purchases. The land office was over 400 miles away making it difficult to get a clear picture of things back in 1910.

The county carried this plat for many years. Since it was costing the county money to deal with the tax issues, etc, they finally just cleared the books of the whole Progress City scam.






At first I thought these were some of those ridges formed when magma forces up between rocks (like we saw in BBNP). I guess they are folds of rock instead.




You'll hit one of those border patrol inspection stations along this route.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:53 PM   #234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWally View Post
Cannonshot,

Your RR is fantastic and appreciate the great photos accompanied by the history lesson. Good reminder that the Texas/Mexico borderlands have ALWAYS been violent...then AND now. Keep up the good work!http://d26ya5yqg8yyvs.cloudfront.net/clap.gif
Thanks Wally! Nice to hear that you find it all interesting - I sure did. I guess you make a good point about the historical violence along the border. Good thing those incidents don't come up often enough to keep people from enjoying this wonderful area.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:37 AM   #235
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Those rock folds pictured in your last installment. What are rock folds, and is the wall at Shiprock the same thing?



Thanks
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:55 AM   #236
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Those rock folds pictured in your last installment. What are rock folds, and is the wall at Shiprock the same thing?

Thanks
I think that Shiprock is igenous. The ridges are made up of dikes of magma from which other material has eroded away. Those dikes are similar to the ones we saw over on Ross Maxwell.

I think that folds are formed from a flat layer of sedimentary rock that gets reshaped under great pressure. The exposed rocky ridges we see are the hinges of the folds.

But, I'm no geology guy . . .

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Old 03-30-2012, 10:56 AM   #237
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Great RR and Great PICs


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Old 03-30-2012, 11:42 AM   #238
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Marathon Part 2



Marathon is a town of about 450 people. I think it is the second largest in the county.




Someone once observed that Marathon looked like an old saddle blanket laid out on the desert to dry in the sun.


It started out as a water stop when the railroad came through in 1881-1882.


It was founded by an old sea captain.


Ore from the mines down Boquillas way was hauled up here to the railroad via wagons.


Cattle were shipped from here for many years.


At one time the town had a rubber factory that made rubber from the desert guayule plants. Over harvesting and the low cost of tropical rubber killed that off.






Been a while since this place pumped gas.


A well to do rancher built this place as a ranch headquarters and as a place for guests to stay.




There is a little more to the Gage Hotel now.


Old stock pens along the railroad tracks.


I think this building is part of the Gage Hotel. I know they use the fitness center. Part of the rest of the building has a large nicely finished dance floor for weddings and such.


The town had a few different jails. At first they just chained you to a windmill downtown. After a few colorful escapes from other facilities, they opted to build this fine structure.


When they replaced the cells in the Alpine jail, they sent the old ones over here.


I see that the Sheriff uses a satellite link. Back in 1911 troops were sent here because of the Mexican Revolution. Captain Douglas MacArthur's company was the first to arrive in Marathon. There was a special order to move troops into Texas to aid civil authorities in maintaining order. MacArthur's unit was replaced by troops led by Lieutenant George S. Patton. By the way, Patton launched the very first US Army assault using armored vehicles on a ranch near San Miguelito, Mexico, as a result of this conflict which resulted in a Villista General (and others) being killed.


Rugged looking town once you get into the neighborhoods.


Looking over toward Santiago Peak and Progress City.


Swung through the cemetery to look around.


Different culture. Brightly decorated graves.








Back in 1879 we were still having problems with indian raids. These kept the area from developing more substantially. The Army dropped in Camp Pena Colorado on a water source right on the commanche trail.


The site of the installation, a cantonement that was not fortified, is now a nice day park.


The place had some buildings, corrals, and a granary, but usually most of the troops were on out patrols.




Blocking a water source on the war trail.


Before the railroad came through and Marathon came into being, some people settled around the post since it was a secure spot. These cowboys are enjoying the spring.


The mission of the post was to protect the area and the developing railroad and to control a strategic water supply.








The post lasted until 1893 until it was no longer required.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:47 AM   #239
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Well, I used my 10,000 post to finish off this Big Bend area ride report.

Hopefully it will prove useful to others that might have an interest in visiting the area.

If nothing else, I hope it proved to be entertaining to at least a few folks.

I'll put a post here with a link to a related GPX file that people can download to use in their planning or on a ride. I'll get to that in a day or two once I get it polished up.

I'm no Big Bend expert, but I'll be happy to answer questions or offer additional information if I can.

Many thanks for taking an interest in this report and riding along!
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:48 AM   #240
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Great RR and Great PICs


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Thank you Brian! Glad you found it entertaining.
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