The Marfa Sessions

Sounds Across Town : Marfa, Texas


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Marfa, Texas is a small town in the mountainous Trans-Pecos region of Southwest Texas. The Trans-Pecos is considered all territory lying west of the Pecos River and east from the border of New Mexico down to the confluence of the Pecos and Rio Grande River. Located equal distance from the major cities of El Paso (189 miles to the northwest) and Midland (188 miles to the northeast), Marfa is an incorporated town in the county of Presidio, edging the Mexican Border by the town of Ojinaga 60 miles to the southeast, Jeff Davis County on the north and Brewster County on the east.

On the far northeastern part of Presidio County, Marfa is situated at the junction of U.S. Highway 67 and 90. The geographic area is known as the Marfa Plateau, a highland plain at the upper corner of the largest desert in North America, the Chihuahuan Desert, extending far into Mexico. The desert is considered a “shrub desert” foliated with yuccas, agaves, grasses, creosote bushes, prickly pear and Mormon teas. Other dominant plants of the desert would be the larger white-thorn acacia, althorn and dramatic ocotillo. This arid region exhibits diverse geology from the famed sedimentary areas of the Marathon Basin and Glass Mountains to the volcanic field of the Davis Mountains, Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. The world-famous Permian Reef is exposed to the north in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Marfa is located at an altitude of 4,830 above sea level in a semiarid region with many dry streambeds that can fill quickly with summer thunderstorms. The Texas mountain ranges ring the town of Marfa with the Davis Mountains to the North (highest peak, Mt. Livermore, 8378 feet), the Chisos Mountains to the southeast and the Chinati Mountains to the southwest. The highest pass in Texas, Paisano pass (5,074 ft.) is situated 12 miles to the east between the twin mountains near Alpine, Texas.


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