Texas To-Dos: December
Big Bend (Search for the Marfa lights)
Since 1883, the year of the first recorded sighting of the famed Marfa Lights, visitors to the Big Bend region of Texas have tried to see them—and if successful—have tried to explain them.
The lights, those who’ve seen them say, pulse, twinkle, and move over the desert as you face the Chinati Mountains. They’ve been described as white, orange, or yellow. Are they ghosts? Space travelers from afar? Native American spirits? Moonlight reflecting on veins of mica?
The truth is that nobody really knows what causes them. On a clear night, park at the official viewing area on US 90 about nine miles east of Marfa, and look south toward the Chinati Mountains on the Mexico border. If you see lights of any color moving around, either near or distant, you may count yourself among those fortunate enough to claim they’ve seen the Marfa Lights.
No Marfa Lights? Then go with the natural kind. The stars at night shine big and bright in West Texas’ two major parks: Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park.
From the January 2013 issue.