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Western Forts

Observation car Luxuriating in comfy seats while enjoying the scenery.[Amtrak Observation car]

For those of you who have been on an airplane lately, jammed against your neighbors in ever smaller seats, completely unable to bend over, surviving on peanuts and plastic cups, let me invite you to join our April 8-11 Western Forts tour. We’ll leave from Houston on the evening train on April 7, and arrive refreshed, relaxed and well-fed on April 8 to start out tour. We’ll return the evening of April 11, to be back in Houston on Friday, April 12.

Join us on the night train to Alpine: wide, comfortable seats, a restaurant car with a varied menu, waiters and real silverware, your very own Roomette, (my people only go first class) and a glorious observation car to enjoy the wide-open western scenery, and that’s before we even get to Alpine.


Hotel frontEl Paisano Hotel, site of Giant film[Hotel in Marfa]

I was inspired to share this trip with all my readers by a trip two friends and I took out to Alpine last summer for a friend’s wedding. Although the train was late, which happens on occasion, the trip was everything a train trip is supposed to be-commodious, enjoyable, and entertaining.

Once we reached Alpine, we rented a van and drove out to visit some of the amazing sites of West Texas. We lucked into the Sul Ross museum, where I admit to putting my Creds to good use – we gained admittance to the otherwise closed museum when I mentioned my Ph.D. The excellent and well-displayed museum gave us a good background for the many places we stopped. We enjoyed the trek north to Fort Stockton, visited the Observatory, and drove over to Marfa to see the World War II German POW paintings.


Fort Stockton, West Texas Wool uniforms in Texas heat[Fort Stockton docent]

Images that stand out were the volunteer/docents dressed in authentic wool uniforms who told us about the lives of the Buffalo soldiers serving in the Western forts. At Marfa we enjoyed the elegant Paisano Hotel where Giant was filmed. The art sculptures at Marfa were a little strange, but the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center was grand, and the night sky at the McDonald’s Observatory was overwhelming.


Tour logo

Now it’s time for a new trip. This time, in addition to the forts, we’ll see if we can’t make time to head out for a day in the Big Bend to see the April flowers in bloom.  There are six seats available, complete with Roomette  and three full days touring our Western counties. What could be nicer than rocking along over the rails before getting to see the wild West?

Book your space now on Historic Tours of Texas.