I stayed at Marathon Motel in April 2017 and used my scope for a few nights there in their astro park. My room was ok, but the noise from motorcycles coming and going at all hours of the day and night was annoying. The motel astro park is technically dark blue Bortle 3, and not black like most of the surrounding area. When I was there the RR was doing a lot of track work, day and night, which means they lit up their work area. The astro park is not really light shielded well enough from lights in the motel area. Needless to say, I was regularly interrupted while observing by vehicle lights coming and going in the motel area. One night I decided to use a private campground near the Persimmon Gap entrance of BBNP called Stillwell Campground. Wow what a difference! Here at this campground I had truly dark first class skies. To complete this trip I decided to travel to the El Dorado, Tx area and booked a night at the X Bar Guest Ranch where they hold the El Dorado SP each fall. I had clear dark skies here. I left the next day to return home.
Would I return to the Marathon Motel to do some serious astronomy there? No. It's ok and Marathon has a nice restaurant, bar, and coffee and sandwich shop, but I think you can do better for astronomy staying somewhere else in the Big Bend area. If I return, I would consider Indian Lodge or one of the other guest lodges in the Ft Davis area. Also, there are plenty of remote cabin rentals in the Big Bend NP and Big Bend Ranch SP general area that I have found online. I have also thought about contacting the Prude Ranch about staying there, but I don't know if they book individuals or just groups.
Edited by Philler, 19 July 2019 - 10:13 AM.