Sunday, January 13, 2008
Enroute to Big Bend National Park, we have stopped over in Pecos, Texas. This small town was also made famous in the Hollywood Westerns. The truth is that during the cowboy era it was a very rough place with what we would now refer to as a large criminal population. Gunfighters, crooked lawmen and just all around bad guys were everywhere. The hardworking and honest citizens just continued to grow the town around this element.
We had hoped to visit the West of Pecos museum, which has an excellent reputation for its coverage of west Texas history. Alas, it was closed and would not open again until after we have to depart. The town is best known for being the first to hold a rodeo in Texas, for the unusual justice of Judge Roy Bean and of course its colorful, if violent history.
What we found today was a quiet town that is struggling to survive. Its largest employer is a large state prison, which is in sight of our campground. Most of the downtown stores are permanently closed. It has a few restaurants and one grocery store in operation. Many houses stand empty and unloved.