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Our short stay in New Mexico ended with entering West Texas. The area known as West Texas is a large piece of land that begins near the New Mexico border and ends at about Fort Worth. There are about 70 counties included in the West Texas area.
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When traveling between New Mexico and West Texas, you will not see much difference in landscape. The area is arid and has vegetation and wildlife that look very similar.
From Las Cruces, Interstate 10 east curves south toward the Texas border. When you cross the border, one of the first cities you see in West Texas is El Paso.
El Paso, West Texas
El Paso is certainly not the southernmost city in Texas, or even in West Texas. But it is right on the border to Mexico and Ciudad Juarez (Juarez City in English). You can see over the border as you travel along I-10 into El Paso.
We stopped in El Paso and shopped at a very fancy Whole Foods. It has a 2-level outdoor seating area. Inside there is a restaurant as well as the usual Whole Foods fare. It was quite impressive and a nice change from all the Walmart grocery shopping we did so much of recently.
Odessa Meteor Crater
After we left El Paso, we continued along I-10 and then hopped on to Interstate 20 to take us on a more northerly route. The Odessa Meteor Crater is right outside of town. The Crater Museum has funding from both Ector County and the state of Texas. This West Texas museum is free to the public (they accept donations). There are actually 5 impact sites at this location.
The craters’ impact occurred about 63,000 years ago. The main crater is 165 meters in diameter; it is likely the other 4 occurred when pieces of meteor broke off upon impact and bounced off the earth’s surface near the main impact (called impact ejection).
There is an outdoor picnic area and trails around the meteor site with descriptive signs.
Inside the museum you can see a piece of meteor from the site as well as meteor samples from other sites around the world.
Hangar 25 Air Museum
This West Texas museum is in Big Spring, at the site of the now-closed Webb Air Force Base. The hangar was part of the base and converted into a museum in 1999.
We visited the museum on a day and time it was supposed to be open, but it was closed for some unknown reason. However, all was not lost. They have some planes outside you can view from the surrounding fence. They also had a cute vintage truck parked outside.
For other entertainment, there is a prison across the street from the museum. We got to see some inmates having “yard time” under the watchful eyes of armed guards.
If you do go to the museum and get to see the inside, it is also free admission. Tell us how you liked it!
There’s a lot more to West Texas, so we will have to cover the rest in future posts. Until then, here are the other posts about our cross-country road trip, if you missed them:
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