04/19/22 Sixteen Courthouses in Six Days (continued) #47 – #51

Got a good night’s sleep at the Days Inn in Ft. Stockton. Went to the lobby for breakfast and met a very nice couple from Arizona; on their way to The Woodlands, Texas to see their daughter compete in an Ironman Triathlon. I wished them safe travels and good luck to their daughter. Wonder how she did? Meeting new people is a big plus to motorcycle travel.

After breakfast I was off to the Ft. Stockton downtown area. Found the Pecos County Courthouse right were Google said it would be. I was early enough there wasn’t a lot of cars parked around the courthouse, so I could park as I liked.

The courthouse is right across the street from the Annie Riggs Museum, and the Gray Mule Saloon. I bet you’re wondering who Annie Riggs was? Well, according to the internet, “She was a pioneer woman known for her home-cooked peach cobbler.” And for that she got a museum? Not really, the museum was her hotel and shares the legacy of a woman who bought and ran her own business, controlled cowboys and soldiers, and raised ten children on her own. Quite an accomplishment for a single woman in 1900, in west Texas. I didn’t go in, but found this interesting.

Here’s the Pecos County Courthouse.

Pecos County Courthouse, Ft. Stockton, Texas

Looked around for the historical marker – found nothing. So, I went back to the hotel loaded up the bike and headed for Alpine.

As I was riding into Alpine I saw the sign for Study Butte and Ft. Davis. It was only 27 miles to Ft. Davis which is the county seat for Jeff Davis County. This wasn’t on my scheduled route, but I didn’t have a picture of that courthouse and now I do.

Jeff Davis County Courthouse, Ft. Davis, Texas

…and the history of the Jeff Davis County Courthouse.

While entering the courthouse square I noticed what appeared to be a antique motorcycle. After shooting the courthouse I walked over to get a better look at the old bike. It was not an antique at all, but a reproduction called a Janus, manufactured in Goshen, Indiana. I thought it was unique enough to take its picture.

The disk brake is a dead give away that it is not vintage. Looks like a great parade bike.

It was still early in the day and rather then go back the way I came, I decided to head south to Marfa. From there continue south to Presidio and have lunch at the El Patio Restaurant for some green chili enchiladas. Yum. Definitely worth the ride.

From Presidio it is about 50 miles to Lajitas on one of the best motorcycle roads in Texas. I’ve ridden it a number of times in the past, but it is always worthy of another ride. Never disappointing.

Got a room at the Big Bend Motor Lodge in Study Butte. They offer big city prices for rooms that have not been updated in over 30 years. That’s all I got to say about that…

Had dinner at the Starlight in Terlingua. It’s just something I have to do when I’m in the area.

Since Bob and I were going to miss each other, I decided to start back east Wednesday morning. Going through the park (Big Bend National Park that is) to Marathon, then onto US90 to Del Rio. This is a long ride with only the west Texas vistas to appreciate.

From Marathon to Sanderson is only 54 miles but it seems much farther. The speed limit is 75 MPH for the most part, and you will get passed if you are running 80.

About 10 mile from Sanderson I saw a small sign on the shoulder of the road that said, “Race Cars Ahead.” I remembered a sports car race that is run between Sanderson and Ft. Stockton on US285, but why would they have a sign on US90? A couple of miles down the road I got my answer. The road was blocked by local law enforcement. I got off the bike and walked up to say hello and find out what was going on. They were just running time trials getting ready for the race. Okay, I’m not in a hurry.

After a brief 20 minute delay (and saw no race cars) they opened the road and I proceeded to Sanderson and the Terrell County Courthouse.

Terrell County Courthouse, Sanderson, Texas

The historical marker was available, but not the usual metal kind mounted on a post. It was built into wall next to the courthouse entrance and set in stone. It is visible in the above picture, just above the flower planter to the right, partly covered by the tree, and still not legible standing in front of it.

Now it is lunch time, and I don’t really care for either of the two choices. Sanderson is not known for its selection of fine dining establishments. So, I decided on the Stripes gas station. Not a healthy choice, but something to eat, and I’m still 120 miles from Del Rio my next stop.

Got into Del Rio mid-afternoon and got a room at the Del Rio Inn, an old hotel/motel that has new owners and going through a complete remodeling. Got a great rate because of the construction. Unloaded the bike and took off in search of the Val Verde County Courthouse.

Found it.

Val Verde County Courthouse, Del Rio, Texas

To get that picture I had to stand in the middle of the street, blocking traffic. And at 4:30 in the afternoon, even Del Rio has rush hour traffic. A young man in a multi-colored Mustang (maybe multi-years, too) was kind enough to block the traffic while I got my picture. Sorry it’s a bit blurred, probably from me trying to hurry out of the roadway and shaking.

The history of the courthouse is not real clear or easy to see (we’ll blame that on the shadows from the trees), but here is what it says.

“ Val Verde County’s first, and only, courthouse was built in 1887 in the county seat of Del Rio. The courthouse featured Classical details and was designed by the architectural firm of Larmour and Watson. Jacob Larmour and A. O. Watson, prominent Texas architects during the late 19th. Their design for Val Verde County included Mansardic roofing and ornamental wrought ironwork, bull’s eye windows containing lone star motifs, octagonal towers, and pedestal-mounted statues of both the Goddess of Justice and the Goddess of Liberty. The structure was constructed of tan-colored limestone thought to have been quarried from a site approximately six miles north of Del Rio in a location that was ultimately submerged by the waters of the Amistad Reservoir. The stonework is believed to have been completed by Native American masons.”

It was time for an adult beverage. So, back to the hotel and the restaurant / bar across the street.

Ya’ll be safe, and stay tuned for last leg of this trip and 8 more courthouses.

Later, Bud…

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