It was a long days drive, by our standards, from Deming, NM to Alpine Texas 320 miles. We made reservations at a nice little campground on the north side of town. The Lost Alaskan RV Park has a nice anti-climactic ring to it, that’s why we chose it. It has very nice facilities and puts you in the heart of Big Bend country and smack dab in the middle of many other sights. We came here primarily for the Big Bend parks, that is, Big Bend Nat’l and Big Bend Ranch State Park, but there are several other things one should consider to take in while here. For example, Ft. Davis, Fort Davis National Historic Site, McDonald Observatory, Davis Mtns State Park, Marfa, Marfa Lights viewing center, Sul Ross University, just to name a few. Our last time through this area we stayed in Ft. Davis and took in nearly all that it has to offer. However a quick glance at a map you’ll find that Alpine is above and centered over both the state and federal parks. Our plan is to “drive tour” both parks, one at a time, first the state park with a day break then finally the federal park. Advise from trusted friends, the Reitz’, we need to tour the state park by driving to Marfa then down to Presidio and finally through the park on hwy 170 to Terlingua and finally up to Alpine on hwy 118. The best way to see the nat’l park side is from Marathon down to the park, a must see is Chisos Basin, everything else in the park is gravy, then exit on the west at Terlingua.
Late note: after traveling the state park in total awe the next night we went to see the mysterious Marfa Lights, first reported in 1883. We arrived at the viewing center after dark about 7:45 p.m. setup the chairs in the bed of our pickup aimed in the direction of the light area. It was a great night of viewing first hand the mysterious lights. We sat in amazement and watched the lights dance and move till the cold overcame us and we departed about 9:45 p.m. We’re told not everyone gets the view of lights, we’re very fortunate this nite. The following is taken from Wikipedia: The Marfa lights or the Marfa ghost lights are unexplained lights (known as "ghost lights") usually seen near U.S. Route 67 on Mitchell Flat east of Marfa, Texas, in the United States.
The first published account of the lights was written in 1957, and this article is the sole source for anecdotal claims that the lights date back to the 1800s. Reports often describe brightly glowing basketball sized spheres floating above the ground, or sometimes high in the air. Colors are usually described as white, yellow, orange or red, but green and blue are sometimes reported. The balls are said to hover at about shoulder height, or to move laterally at low speeds, or sometimes to shoot around rapidly in any direction. They often appear in pairs or groups, according to reports, to divide into pairs or merge together, to disappear and reappear, and sometimes to move in seemingly regular patterns. Their sizes are typically said to resemble soccer balls or basketballs.
Sightings are reported occasionally and unpredictably, perhaps ten to twenty times a year. There are no reliable reports of daytime sightings; the lights seem to be a nocturnal phenomenon only.
According to the people who claim to have seen the lights, they may appear at any time of night, typically south of U.S. Route 90 and U.S. Route 67, five to fifteen miles east of Marfa, at unpredictable directions and apparent distances. They can persist from a fraction of a second to several hours. There is evidently no connection between appearances of the Marfa lights and anything else besides nighttime hours. They appear in all seasons of the year and in any weather, seemingly uninfluenced by such factors. They sometimes have been observed during late dusk and early dawn, when the landscape is dimly illuminated.
There are pictures of our water system to help someone who wants to know how we take care of cleaning water before it enters our coach. We have a Travel-Soft water softener coupled to a 10 inch water filter filled with a 5 micron filter.