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Sunday, October 16, 2016

My long Sunday drive

In my usual enthusiasm I left the house before daylight. Driving on RM2810 south of Marfa I watched the sun rise in my rear view mirror while heading toward the full moon. Moments too fleeting!

So when I arrived at the water in Pinto Canyon, it was still too early for odes or butterflies to fly. On to the next destination. (I won't voluntarily drive that awful dirt road again.)

I never saw a single vehicle driving from Marfa to Candelaria. Going through Ruidosa, I stopped to photograph the church. 

Here's a photo of the church taken in 1963 before I had ever made my first trip to the Big Bend. The [Catholic] church was built around 1914 when some 1700 residents lived in the cotton farming community. When the Rio Grande was dammed upstream, the town dwindled to the handful of residents there today.

In 2006, through grants from the Texas Historical Commission and others, the church was stabilized and part of the left front tower was rebuilt. However, due to funding shortages, the project was abandoned and the church was, once again, left to the forces of nature.

And here's my photograph from today to prove it.

A few miles before Candelaria the land on the south side of the road was flooded for miles, creating a seasonal wetlands.

Candelaria is a quaint little Mexican village, seemingly suspended in time and space...a mosaic of trailers and adobes, with no stores or businesses, unless you count the tiny church there.  As the Texas Monthly author, Joe Patoski, wrote in 1997, "Mexico is just across the river, but notions like borders and sovereignty have little meaning here. This is as remote as a town on a highway can get." Nothing has changed in the nearly 20 years since then. Here's the historical "oxbow" just outside town.


No lifers, but fun (and tiring) anyway.

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