US 90 Across Texas: Pecos River

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During my final morning in Big Bend National Park, I spent every last moment possible hiking, before setting out on the long trip back to San Antonio.  Once in the car, I barely stopped — briefly in Marathon, then again at the Pecos River, and to refuel in Del Rio.  Few stops meant few pictures, so I let the dashcam do the work.  Kick back for a few minutes and enjoy the drive from Marathon to the Pecos…

… and from the Pecos, through Del Rio, and on ’til it got dark:

Pecos River

After at least two hours of non-stop driving, I was in desperate need of a place to stretch my legs, and I found it at the Pecos River.  US 90 makes a dramatic crossing over the deep canyon that holds the Pecos, on the state’s highest highway bridge (273 feet high, and 1,310 feet long).  The bridge was completed in 1959.  Earlier bridges (a permanent one, and two temporary ones a short distance downstream) were destroyed by floods.

The best view of the “new” bridge is at a picnic area, just south of the bridge.  You’ll find the turn-off for the road that leads to this spot on the eastern side of the bridge.

You can also stop at a parking area at the east end of the bridge, for a closer view.

The old road that went down into the canyon, to the site of the old bridge, is no longer drivable, but you can walk it.  Check out the photos of the old road on this website.

You will find one place that’s worth stopping for, just west of the Pecos River in the town of Langtry.  Okay, “town” isn’t the right word, it’s more like a tiny dot on the map.  But it is home to the Judge Roy Bean Saloon and Museum, a facility dedicated to the memory of the legendary “Law West of the Pecos”.  Judge Bean’s courtroom was also a bar, where he served drinks and justice, back in the late 1800’s.  Admission is free, and the museum is open every day from 8 to 5.  This link has more info.

Upstream a couple hundred miles, the Pecos River is famous for being the only river that crosses itself, in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
After crossing the Pecos River, US 90 passes through the Amistad National Recreation Area.  If you want to do some boating or fishing, this is the place.  A few miles beyond it, US 90 passes through Del Rio, Texas, a border town that feels absolutely huge, after spending a few days in West Texas.  Fill up with gas, get a snack, and prepare for the final push eastward, as US 90 makes a straight shot for San Antonio.

Eating My Way Across Texas, Final Edition

It was well after dark when I arrived in the San Antonio area and found my motel.  Much to my delight, it was near another Rudy’s — the Barbeque place I discovered a year earlier in Colorado Springs, and also visited on Day 1 of this trip.  This time, I ordered it all: ribs, smoked turkey, smoked sausage, and creamed corn — so much food I could barely finish it.  What a great way to finish off a Texas vacation.

Drivelapse Video

On Day 10, before heading to the airport for my flight home, I made one more drive around downtown San Antonio, making a loop on the fantastic Texas freeway system.

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