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West Texas Panorama: Big Spring

Written by Eileen Mattei.

Wind turbines march across the West Texas mesas. By Michael Amador

From top of Scenic Mountain in Big Spring State Park at the northern edge of the Edwards Plateau, it’s easy to understand why so many historic trails have converged here. First, the big spring for which the area is known has long offered the only reliable source of water for 60 miles in any direction. Second, this mountain provides a vantage point from which to keep an eye on whatever is moving on the plains below.



During the 19th Century, Native Americans and U.S. Army scouts passed this way, keeping an eye on buffalo herds and wagon trains. Later, the Overland Trail and the Texas & Pacific Railroad both came through.  And 60 years ago, in the 1940s, I could have watched World War II bombers on training runs. And I can see the evidence of the others who have visited this Scenic Mountain perch. From atop this bluff, I can survey the historic landmarks of the town of Big Spring past and consider the prospects for its future.  

Among the dominant features in the landscape are the wind turbines that make me think of triple-armed sentries safeguarding this West Texas spring and crossroads. Beyond the town itself, dozens of wind turbines stand on the mesas, and current plans call for another 300 to appear this year around Big Spring.

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From the July 2008 issue.

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