Monday, June 23, 2014

Images of Big Spring, Texas

Brother Larry and his wife Nancy came for a visit this past weekend. They have not spent a great deal of time in West Texas, so we decided to drive up to Big Spring one day. We would tour the town, then meet daughter Courtney and her brood for lunch.

We started our tour of Big Spring at Big Spring State Park, located in the southwest part of the city. Big Spring SP is not your typical state park. There is no camping, for example, and the park is rather small by Texas state park standards, consisting of only  382 acres. What is impressive about the park are the great views. A one-way loop road twists to the top of Scenic Mountain, which rises about 200 feet above the surrounding countryside. From the top, there are numerous dramatic views of the West Texas landscape, especially to the north and west. Restrooms, playground equipment, and picnic tables are available atop the bluff. The park is popular with locals who like to walk and jog the loop road, especially in early morning.

Below are some photos taken from atop Scenic Mountain.

Brother Larry looking west from the bluff. Directly below (the mounted planes) is the Vietnam Memorial. Also in view is the Big Spring federal correctional institute as well as the local airport, among other things.
This view is to the northeast. The large building lower left is Scenic Mountain Medical Center. The tall building center right is the historic Hotel Settles, located in downtown Big Spring. The road in front of the hospital is FM 700.
Looking north/northwest, over miles and miles of Texas. I'm not sure what the water is near top center, but I suspect it is a "lake" formed on Beall's Creek.
From the state park, we drove to nearby Comanche Trail Park. This is a well-developed city park, with numerous amenities, such as amphitheater, water park, frisbee golf, regular golf, a small lake, playgrounds, etc. However, the park is in need of maintenance in various areas. The city of Big Spring probably exists today because of the big spring located in the park. This historic spring was a life source, and made the area a crossroads of early Texas. It was a major stop on the historic Comanche War Trail, and it later served as a major stop for emigrants on the Gold Rush Trail.

Today, the spring no longer gushes water; it was depleted from overuse first by the railroad and later by the city. Today, it pulls water from neighboring Comanche Trail Lake so that visitors can get an idea of what the spring looked like when it was a vital part of the area. Below are some pictures of the spring.

Sign indicating the spring. Spring itself is below rock ledge in center-right of the picture.

The historic big spring in Big Spring, Texas

Wife Donna, brother Larry, and sister-in-law Nancy on the overlook above the spring.
Comanche Trail Lake, which is just a few feet to the east of the spring.
Another view of the spring.
And to close this post, one picture of my wife standing on a bridge on a trail near the spring. Donna always complains that she takes bad pictures, but I disagree. I don't think she takes a bad picture; she's quite photogenic.

Donna on a foot bridge in the park.

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