Big Bend Real Estate Guide December 2022 | Page 10

Steve , Ed , John , and I prepare to head into the backcountry , August 1973
Continued from page 6 .
It then wanders southeast until it empties into the Rio Grande at Amistad Reservoir by Del Rio . The section of Texas west of the river – the Trans-Pecos – is 31,468 square miles ( bigger than 12 states ) with a 2020 population of 910,106 ( bigger than five states and the District of Columbia ), most of whom live in El Paso County .
The Trans-Pecos , with its rugged vistas , expansive skyscapes , and dramatic night skies , is archetypically Texan . But it almost didn ’ t make it into the 28th state .
When Texas joined the Union in 1845 , there was still a dispute over the southern boundary of the state . Texians said it was the Rio Grande . Mexico argued it was the Nueces River some 100 miles to the north . The Mexican-American
War settled that question once and for all , establishing the Rio Grande as the southern and eastern boundary of Texas .
Next came the battle over the size of Texas itself . Texas claimed the land north and east of the Rio Grande all the way up to its headwaters in Colorado , plus additional lands all the way up into modern-day Wyoming . You ’ ve probably seen the map :
Meanwhile , the United States had established a provisional government in New Mexico at the beginning of the Mexican-American War in 1846 . Its territory encompassed most of modern-day New Mexico and Arizona , but its eastern boundary was unclear . Once the war was successfully concluded , its leaders began to agitate for New Mexico ’ s admission to the Union . They proposed the Pecos River as an eastern boundary of the new state , all the way to the Rio Grande . This would add 125,000 square miles east
10 Big Bend Real Estate Guide • December 2022