Still in Texas

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We leave Cibolo Ranch today and head for somewhere North.. Slowly we navigate the 4 miles out to the highway and the treacherous gravel entry. We proceed north on hwy.67 and through the border patrol check point again. Our “friends”, the border patrol men and their snarling dog wave us through. North of Marfa, we want to ride the loop around the MacDonald Observatory and Fort Davis. I tell James to turn too soon and we go 10 miles out of our way. Back on track, we pass through the little town with its ketchy Indian shops and western themed bars and hotel. The fort is not as neat as Cibolo. We find the correct turn off to Hwy, 118 and begin our nice twisty ride up to the MacDonald Observatory through Fort Davis State Park. It is a clear day and we wish we had been able to participate in the Star Party that the observatory puts on in the evenings. The astronomers host the party and bring their lasers and telescopes for all to see and learn. The problem was when the party is over, we would have to find a place to stay and drive down steep twisting turns at night for 20 miles through deer and other wild life. We have to pass. We enjoy their interpretive center, have lunch, and then meet a world motorcycle traveler in the parking lot. He was from Eastern Europe traveling across the USA. He had quite a rig with spare tires attached and all of his camping gear. We take off for our evening stop in Van Horn Texas. Yes we are still in Texas. The rest of the way on Hwy. 118 is just beginning to bloom as only two weeks prior they had snow. Spring has just arrived. At the intersection of Hwy. 166 and Hwy 118 we begin the long descent down to I-10. I don’t thinks we passed a single car. All that is out here is a few ranch houses and lots of desert. If you live out here you had better check the grocery list three times. It’s a long way back to the store. After 50 miles or so, we see I-10 up ahead. It’s kind of nice to see traffic again. We head west on I-10 into the town of Van Horn Texas. It is another little decaying town of yesteryears . Someone bought the El Capital Hotel and spent several million dollars renovating it. We will call it home for the night. They give us a special courtyard view room for $120. There is a restaurant and bar downstairs. This hotel was built by the same people who built the Gage hotel. I am hopeful. We arrive in Van Horn tired and hot as we have left the cool mountains behind. Late in the afternoon we see the faint red neon sign with big free standing letters on the roof of the hotel. The place seems quaint and the people are nice. Everything is going well until the trains come by. They come by every 15 minutes. This is the main line from the California port cities to the east operated by the Union Pacific Railroad. No exaggeration this is the busiest tracks I have ever seen or heard! Trains go east and west loaded with endless procession of container cars. Oil tanker cars go west to California. Because the railroad crossing is only one block away we get to hear every train loudly blow its horn at the crossing. James is giving me one of those looks. It will be a 3 Jack Daniels night. Dinner and the breakfast buffet are surprisingly good. James looks weary. Hang over or no sleep. I am not sure. I never sleep anyway so staying up to hear the train whistle is no biggie.