C.M. Mayo writes the “Madam Mayo” blog which covers a wide range of topics. Maybe you’ve heard her on her “Marfa Mondays” podcast? She is the author of several books on Mexico and Texas, and is currently the artist-in-residence at Guadalupe Mountain National Park. She interviewed me about my new travel guide in her latest blog, http://madammayo.blogspot.com. The following is from her blog. Many thanks!
Q & A with Mary S. Black About Her New Book, “From the Frio to Del Rio”, Monday, May 22, 2017
One of my very favorite places not just in Texas but in the galaxy is the Lower Pecos Canyonlands, so I was delighted to see that
Texas A & M Press has published Mary S. Black’s splendid and much-needed guidebook, From the Frio to Del Rio: Travel Guide to the Western Hill Country and Lower Pecos Canyonlands.
From the catalog:
“Each year, more than two million visitors enjoy the attractions of the Western Hill Country, with Uvalde as its portal, and the lower Pecos River canyonlands, which stretch roughly along US 90 from Brackettville, through Del Rio, and on to the west. Amistad National Recreation Area, the Judge Roy Bean Visitors’ Center and Botanical Garden, Seminole Canyon State Park, and the Briscoe-Garner Museum in Uvalde, along with ghost towns, ancient rock art, sweeping vistas, and unique flora and fauna, are just a few of the features that make this distinctive section of the Lone Star State an enticing destination.
“Now, veteran writer, blogger, and educator Mary S. Black serves up the best of this region’s special adventures and secret treasures. From the Frio to Del Rio is chock-full of helpful maps, colorful photography, and tips on where to stay, what to do, and how to get there. In addition there are details for 10 scenic routes, 3 historic forts and 7 state parks and other recreation areas.”
Herewith an interview with the author:
C.M. MAYO: What inspired you to write this book?
MARY S. BLACK: I think what inspired me was the land itself, and the history. The Lower Pecos Canyonlands are not well known by most people, but the landscape is incredibly majestic and unexpected. You can be driving 70 miles per hour down the highway through the desert, when, wham, a huge canyon veers off to the left like a sudden tear in the earth.
MARY S. BLACK: If I have to pick only one, I’ll say Las Moras Springs Pool at Ft. Clark in Brackettville. I’m always looking for
great swimming holes. Las Moras Springs Pool is the third largest spring-fed swimming pool in Texas. Crystal clear water at a year-round temperature of about 70 degrees comes into the pool from a strongly flowing spring, yet very few people swim there because they don’t know how to get access.
The pool is located on Ft. Clark, and old U.S. Army fort originally built in 1849. You can get a day-pass for $5.00 at the guard house to enter the fort, enjoy the pool or play golf on either of two gold courses, and look at all the old stone buildings that remain from when the place was an active Army fort. There is also a really interesting museum there that is open on Saturdays.
MARY S. BLACK: Hands down, the White Shaman Preserve. The best studied of all the ancient murals is located there. This is
a polychrome painting about 25 feet long and 13 feet high done on a rock wall overlooking the Pecos River. This painting tells a story about creation and how the sun was born, according to Dr. Carolyn Boyd. You can visit the preserve on Saturdays at noon if you make a reservation online through the Witte Museum. Tours are two-three hours long, and require a fairly strenuous hike down a canyon to a rockshelter, then back up. But to be up there, to see the mural up close and in person, to look out over the river and imagine the people who made this painting, can change your whole perspective. It’s that powerful.