Written by Shirley T
Friday, 29 January 2010 09:51
El Camino Del Rio is a Spanish word for 'The River Road'. Ranked as one of the top 10 most scenic roads in Texas, the stretch over 50 miles from Lajitas to Presidio is unarguably stunning! Some said it is one of the prettiest roads in America. The ruggedness and scenic beauty of the area combined with over 50 miles of ridge road by Rio Grande is a must-see!
Excellent paved road of two-way traffic on two lanes, the River Road is almost hugging the cliff with twists and drops along the sun-drenched Rio Grande.
We decided not to leave Big Bend Country without seeing this spectacular vista. After leaving Terlingua town, we passed by some old mining sites and then the sight of open desert with some signs of civilization indicated we had reached Lajitas.
A word of caution, please drive on this road with a full gas tank as we didn't spot any gas station along our way.
Next ahead, we sort of entering into the territory of the Big Bend Ranch State Park noting the signboard along the road. Verifying with our Texas map, it was confirmed that some stretch of F.M. 170 belongs to the state park.
'Contrabando Movie Set Site' was what we saw next. A couple of adobe buildings were preserved on the lower ground close to Rio Grande. However the premise was locked so we could not enter the site.
Three charming Indian tents on the river side of the road attracted us to make the next stop. We later discovered that this is a picnic area with benches and table in each tent. It is called Tee Pee Picnic Area but we could find the sign. You can have your BBQ here too!
Not too far from here lies the most scenic spot to catch the sight of mountains, canyons, Rio Grande, Chihuahuan vegetation and the sharp curve of plunging road. To me, this is best spot to see 'Big Bend Country' - all at one glance! Be sure you make pull aside to make a safe stop. The vista at this point is indeed a jewel, it is beyond what is photographed.
Redford is a small towns tucked in a small section of flat space between the mountains and the river. Beyond the Rio Grande, there is a cluster of houses or a village on the land of Mexico.
And we knew we were almost reaching the end of the scenic drive as soon as we saw the road sign indicating we were on the city limit of Presidio.
Our road journey took about an hour and a half from Lajitas. Although some parts of this route as if taking me on a roller coaster ride, but it was a rewarding drive with fantastic memories to remember for a long time!
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