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Trip To Marathon Motel

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#1 Chevy5759

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 11:56 AM

Morning everyone. 

I am tentatively planning a trip the first of August to visit and do three nights observing at the Marathon Motel and Astro Park. I was able to spend a week in early spring in Fort Davis and thought I might try the Motel for a long weekend. I am planning on staying in one of the rooms and have read here on CN of the trains passing by. Are the skies there on par with Fort Davis? Are there any rooms that would be better to request than others?

Any thoughts and suggestions from any that have stayed there would be appreciated!



#2 siriusandthepup

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 12:12 PM

Any special reason you want to spend 3 days in Marathon?

 

I would much prefer to stay in Fort Davis or Davis Mountains State Park (near Fort Davis). In Fort Davis I like the Limpia Hotel. Ask for a room on the west side of the street, adjacent to the Drug Store restaurant. In Davis Mountains State Park you can get a room at the Indian Lodge in the park.

 

Marathon is not quite a good as Fort Davis, lacking the night time lighting restrictions. If they would take care of that, they could be better than Fort Davis.

 

Have fun - a trip to west Texas is always a welcome diversion from everyday existence... lol


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#3 rgsalinger

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 12:28 PM

I've been there twice and both times the trains did not disturb me. They give you earplugs at the motel (or at least they gave them to me) but with the AC on at night (it's hot there in the summer) the trains didn't bother me. The skies were great and there's plenty of room to set up equipment for observing or imaging.

Rgrds-Ross


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#4 mashirts

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 12:59 PM

A small park 5 miles south of Marathon:

https://texasmountai...sites/post-park

It was in nicer condition in the years I lived in the area. Daylight hours only.

#5 Heywood

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:02 PM

When I go to Marathon, I stay at the Gage Hotel. It's the best hotel in the area.

#6 Heywood

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:03 PM

Any special reason you want to spend 3 days in Marathon?

I would much prefer to stay in Fort Davis or Davis Mountains State Park (near Fort Davis). In Fort Davis I like the Limpia Hotel. Ask for a room on the west side of the street, adjacent to the Drug Store restaurant. In Davis Mountains State Park you can get a room at the Indian Lodge in the park.

Marathon is not quite a good as Fort Davis, lacking the night time lighting restrictions. If they would take care of that, they could be better than Fort Davis.

Have fun - a trip to west Texas is always a welcome diversion from everyday existence... lol


What he said, generally. I prefer the Indian Lodge to the Limpia, but the Limpia is nice.

Edited by Heywood, 18 July 2019 - 03:05 PM.


#7 Chevy5759

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:10 PM

Any special reason you want to spend 3 days in Marathon?

 

I would much prefer to stay in Fort Davis or Davis Mountains State Park (near Fort Davis). In Fort Davis I like the Limpia Hotel. Ask for a room on the west side of the street, adjacent to the Drug Store restaurant. In Davis Mountains State Park you can get a room at the Indian Lodge in the park.

 

Marathon is not quite a good as Fort Davis, lacking the night time lighting restrictions. If they would take care of that, they could be better than Fort Davis.

 

Have fun - a trip to west Texas is always a welcome diversion from everyday existence... lol

My initial thought was to return to Fort Davis. Checked a couple of days ago and all of my haunts are booked. I am not familiar with the Limpia Hotel, but as Indian Lodge and Mountain Trails Lodge are booked and this is the only weekend I have to go, I though I would give Marathon a try. 



#8 siriusandthepup

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 04:13 PM

Hmm... Limpia is booked up that weekend too. :(

 

Marathon it is, I guess.


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#9 mashirts

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 06:39 PM

For West Texans a trip from Fort Davis state park to Marathon is nothing. I have made arrangements at other Texas state parks to view stars overnight though I am not staying there. You would have to check with the park. They have a gate, but generally they have combination code they give out.

Speaking of long distances meaning little in West Texas. I have Fond memories when I was in my young 30's working a Guadalupe national park. For Several weeks my getting off work routine was hike to top of Guadalupe peak in a little over 2 hours. Then hop on my motorcycle to make 240 mile trip to Big Bend national park to visit girlfriend.

Also park rangers in Big Bend national park with High School aged kids: Their children have daily 100 mile one way bus ride to Alpine from the park.

Watch for deer at night though. 45-50 mph
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#10 Chevy5759

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 07:57 PM

For West Texans a trip from Fort Davis state park to Marathon is nothing. I have made arrangements at other Texas state parks to view stars overnight though I am not staying there. You would have to check with the park. They have a gate, but generally they have combination code they give out.

Speaking of long distances meaning little in West Texas. I have Fond memories when I was in my young 30's working a Guadalupe national park. For Several weeks my getting off work routine was hike to top of Guadalupe peak in a little over 2 hours. Then hop on my motorcycle to make 240 mile trip to Big Bend national park to visit girlfriend.

Also park rangers in Big Bend national park with High School aged kids: Their children have daily 100 mile one way bus ride to Alpine from the park.

Watch for deer at night though. 45-50 mph

I’ve done that as well. Indian Lodge allows all night access to Skyline mountain with a $3 pass you obtain at the office. Set up my scope several nights there in early April. By the way, I noticed we are both in Elgin.


Edited by Chevy5759, 18 July 2019 - 07:58 PM.


#11 Chevy5759

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:32 PM

Hmm... Limpia is booked up that weekend too. frown.gif

 

Marathon it is, I guess.

That’s the way I figured it also.



#12 Philler

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 07:28 AM

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.

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#13 mashirts

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 08:30 AM

Cool about Elgin Chevy. I am on Ballerstedt road between Elgin and Manor. Skies here are better than Austin area, but nothing to brag about.

#14 Keith Rivich

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 08:33 AM

My initial thought was to return to Fort Davis. Checked a couple of days ago and all of my haunts are booked. I am not familiar with the Limpia Hotel, but as Indian Lodge and Mountain Trails Lodge are booked and this is the only weekend I have to go, I though I would give Marathon a try. 

Get a room at the Prude Ranch....



#15 siriusandthepup

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:52 AM

 

X Bar Guest Ranch

I forgot about that one. I enjoyed my stay there in the Round House. That unit is away from the main headquarters area. You will need to have a friend with you to bring the cost down though; it's about double the price of the other alternatives.

 

Sorry, though - X Bar is booked up that weekend too. frown.gif


Edited by siriusandthepup, 19 July 2019 - 09:52 AM.


#16 tigerroach

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 09:58 AM

My experience at the Marathon Motel is similar to the other responders - the viewing situation there is very good, but less than perfect (and to drive out there I like perfect).

 

The advantage was being able to leave my scope set up in the viewing area, and just make the short walk back to the hotel room when I was done for the night. Our room was just okay, but sure beats a tent in Big Bend or similar. And the bar/restaurant just down the street at the Gage was excellent (it has been a couple years since we were there though).

 

Also the owner is very nice and helpful.


Edited by tigerroach, 22 July 2019 - 09:59 AM.


#17 CosmicWreckingBall

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 05:33 PM

Hey Jon,

My friends and I will be there next week as well!  Looking forward to meeting you.  Hoping for some clear weather and nice R & R.  

-Matt


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#18 Chevy5759

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 07:16 PM

Hey Jon,

My friends and I will be there next week as well!  Looking forward to meeting you.  Hoping for some clear weather and nice R & R.  

-Matt

Hey Matt, 

Sounds great! Looking forward to it! First time there for me.

See you there.


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