The Pecos

The Pecos is one of the rivers in epic proportions.  Think of Judge Roy Bean being "The Law West of the Pecos".  The Pecos is also really an important dividing line in geography in Texas as the 29 mountain ranges in the state are west of the Pecos.  In fact, it is usually about the time that you cross the Pecos that you will first notice mountain ranges in the distance.  On a trip west to Big Bend or the Guadalupe Mountains, it is always a magical moment to get that first glimpse of the mountains as you drive across the flat Permian Basin.

On my way home from Big Bend, I had started early and found myself between Fort Stockton and Monahans in the very early twilight.  I could tell there were some nice clouds and had hopes for a good sunrise.  At first, I gave thought to going to Monahans and photographing the sand hills.  Then I realized I was close to the Pecos and stopped at the bridge crossing it.

Now understand, by the time the Pecos River arrives in this part of the Permian Basin it is a small river.  The arid desert has consumed most of it.  It is a bubbling stream in the mountains of New Mexico east of Santa Fe and it is recharged by springs into a stronger river in the canyons closer to the Rio Grande, but here in the Permian Basin is not much more than a stream.

I would go as far to say few people ever stop at this bridge to look at it.  The flat scrub country of the Permian Basin scare them off.  I have to say that in the many times I had been this way , I had slowed down to look but never taken the time to stop.

This time I stopped.

Down at the river I found a small but flowing river and with clouds that were on their way to a nice sunrise.  I set up the camera and started taking images in the cold morning air.

After looking downstream for the first part of the morning, as the sun rose, I walked to the other side of the bridge and photographed upstream.  There I found a small pool catching the morning light and reflecting the puffy clouds above.

What virtually all other travelers would have passed turned out to be a neat little area.  A small oasis of of water that was really a great photo opportunity.


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