Day 2 Jun29


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Day 2

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Midland and Big Bend National Park

8 am buffet breakfast Hotel go dining room
full and hearty – to our preference

8:45 am tour CAF Airpower Museum go
The CAF Airpower Museum, world renowned for its authentic World War II artifacts, has the world’s largest collection of Aviation Nose Art and hosts the annual CAF AIRSHO. 40,000 square feet of hands-on permanent exhibits detail the story of World War II airpower; an exhibit that also features 13 to 18 aircraft. The exhibits follow American War production, which although starting 10 years behind Germany and Japan, surpassed them in 3.5 years, turning out one new plane every 6 minutes. The raw materials needed caused civilian shortages and encouraged recycling. “Use it up – Wear it out – Make it do – or do without” was the patriotic call of the day. Women joined the workforce and enlisted in the air service. The museum’s nose art gallery features 33 original panels designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as an official project of Save America’s Treasures. Nose Art is seen as military Folk Art reflecting culture and style of the times. There’s also the marvelous Judson Mineral Gallery with specimens from around the world. Beautifully lit and exhibited, the minerals are breathtakingly beautiful. So much to see, give it at least 2-3 hours.

10:15 am driving tour by Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center and Scharbauer Sports Complex

10:30 am tour Permian Basin Petroleum Museum go
We walk through an ancient sea …parade through downtown Boomtown …experience technologies of the Petroleum Industries. The interactive Petroleum Museum takes us step-by-step through the dynamic search for black gold. The world’s largest collection of antique oil drilling equipment is here. Life-size murals, ancient artifacts, and colorful memorabilia combine with Tom Lovell’s breathtaking murals depicting the American West. The Chaparral Gallery is home to all 7 of Jim Hall’s Chaparral race cars. Detailed exhibits and science related inter-actives help us understand the engineering genius of the cars. We learn a thorough history of oil production in the US and gain an understanding of the industry’s growth – paralleling American’s industrialization.

11:30 am lunch Clear Springs Café go
For 25 years the Clear Springs Restaurant has been serving the best fried catfish, hand breaded onion rings and juicy thick cut steaks to people all over the State of Texas. The quality and value is untiring bringing in Texans and tourists. Southern hospitality is very evident in the commitment to each and every guest who passes through their historic doors.

1 pm drive Midland to Big Bend National Park go

MidlandtoBigBendmap2   204 miles

5 pm arrive Chisos Mountain Lodge go Big Bend National Park
The only lodging in the park, Chisos Mountains Lodge, is located high in the scenic Chisos Mountains. The laid-back atmosphere allows guests to enjoy life at a slower pace, yet abound in outdoor fun. Whether hiking the Window Trail, rafting the Rio Grande or horseback riding, Chisos Mountains Lodge is a perfect home base for a Big Bend escape! Something for everyone – birding, viewing sunrise, or sunset, or star gazing, Junior Ranger programs, Interpretive Programs, cycling, off road tours and photography.- to name just a few. We enjoy our free time with a short walk and photography. Big Bend is one of largest and least visited parks in the National system. Sometimes called “3 parks in one” because of the various regions within the park – the Chisos Mountains, Rio Grande River, and the Chihuahuan Desert. A meeting point for cultures and eco-systems – it is where Mexico and the USA join; where the northern and southern flora and fauna of North America come together. Must see places – Emory Peak, The Window, Balanced Rock, Santa Elena Canyon, Hot Springs.

7 pm dinner Chisos Mountain Lodge go
The Chisos Mountains Lodge Restaurant and Patio has one of the most spectacular views in the state of Texas. We take it all in while enjoying a Texas inspired entrée.

9 pm Star gazing and night sky “lecture”

overnight Chisos Mountain Lodge go
The moon is up so we leave the drapes open and fall asleep to moonlight.  

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