Wednesday, November 27, 2013

View towards Terlingua with the Chiso Mountains of Big Bend National Park in the background

For our weekly fresh-food-products shopping we have to drive to Terlingua, about 15 miles away. There's a little grocery store here in Lajitas but even with our 20% discount (except for liquor and chips) it's very expensive.
The store in Terlingua is cheaper but still charges about $4 for a gallon of milk, other things are not too bad, it kind of depends on what you're looking for.
Our nearest Walmart is 3 hours away so we'll probably not end up there too often while we're here.

The road to Terlingua winds and dips through the desert. It's a very nice and very quiet road, if you see 2 cars during you're drive up there it's really busy that day!

Terlingua 'proper' is a very, very, very small town.
But it has a Post Office and a little bank. So cute:

And a 'Plaza'! 
It houses a Quilt shop, a souvenir shop and a typical small town hardware store that sells anything from chicken feed to 2x4's or crock pots, firewood and even that kitchen sink!

The grocery store is actually in Study Butte which is really not much more than a crossroads in the middle of nowwhere just a half a mile down the road from Terlingua.

There's a small campground there but the little restaurant is closed and even the liquor store is out of bussiness these days. That @#%$^&! economy.

Due to it's proximity to Big Bend National park, today Terlingua is mostly a tourist destination for park visitors.
But once it was the epicenter for mining due to the discovery of Cinnebar, from which the metal Mercury (quicksilver) is extracted which in the mid-1880s brought lots of miners to the area, creating a city of 2,000 people.

The only remnants of the mining days are a ghost town of the Howard Perry-owned Chisos mining Company and several nearby capped and abandoned mines. 

For some reson it has become quite an ecclectic artist colony, a sort of hippy community. As they say of themselves: 'The town where misfits fit in, since we're all misfits in some other way'.
Countless authors, artists, poets and musicians apparently have made their home in and among the ruins, some have made them sort of livable again and others are living in an old camper or shed right next to one. Only a few have electricity and there's this very, very, very relaxed, laid back way of life.

This little cafe has a great outdoor patio (actually, there's nothing of an 'inside' area, except for the counter where you order and the kitchen) and has delicious breakfasts, sandwiches and very good coffee.

The Starlight Theater was once a movie theater and now is a very popular restaurant and bar that has 'live' music almost every night, although that might be, 'just', some of the locals jamming away!

The cemetry is a beautiful serene place. There are over 400 graves dating back to the early 1900s and through the gravestones you get a peak into the lives of the miners who once inhabited Terlingua.
My guess is there are more folksresiding in the cemetry than in the town proper.

As for our own residence, we've added a screen room to it. Not so much for the mosquitoes of which we have blessedly few, but for the flies! Something about desserts attracts them I guess, or maybe it's because we're the only thing here, therefore we attract them!

We love it! It's a really cozy place to sit and I like to think it makes Merlin a little safer when he's out there too! 
He loves to sleep the day away in the lawn chairs we've set up inside and he just slips in through a small gap we leave at the bottom of the zipper.
Here's a view from the RV Park, as we hiked the short trail that winds up and around the park, one late afternoon.


                    That's us, in the front, just right of the middle. See the
                                             screen room? 

                                                                 It's so beautiful here ...

Oh, and I baked this:

                               Coffee crumble cake with lots of cinnamon

Gone already! :-)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunrise over Lajitas

I know, it has been way too long again and I'm running out of excuses, but really, the Internet is soooooo slow here, I'm pulling my hair out (fortunately I have quite some) trying to upload or publish anything at all!
Let's start with posting the remainder of the pictures of our trip to the State Park we made last time around.

After our visit to the Contrabando movie set we passed the Contrabando Trailhead. We'll probably hike part of this famous trail somewhere in the future when it gets a little cooler.

On the other side of 'the hill' we came a crossed a few 'hoodoos'! Huh? Yeah, hoodoos.
A hoodoo (also called a tent rock, fairy chimney, and earth pyramid) is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or Badlands.

There's an area a little farther down the road that has lots more but we'll visit that some other time.

Next up was 'Closed Canyon". This is a deep, narrow canyon, 10 to 15 feet wide and enclosed by sheer, vertical walls up to 150 feet high, cutting through Colorado Mesa to the Rio Grande.

It can be really hot in this desert in the summer but this canyon is mostly in shadows all day which make for a wonderful cool hike, especially early in the morning which was when we were there.

The short trail follows the bottom of the canyon until a series of high pour-offs prevent further travel down.
It gets it's name, as you can see, from it's narrow width; in some places it can be spanned by holding out your arms.

After almost 3 gorgeous weeks of nothing than sunshine and very warm temperatures we finally had some storms passing through!
It cooled of considerably, which I didn't mind because it was a little too warm for my liking, but what I didn't like is the way the rain turned this desert soil into very ugly slippery, sticky MUD!
Ugh! Enter 2 animals and you have some cleaning up to do!

When the sun came out these Great-tailed Grackles took their baths. 
It's a large flock that hangs around here. I like to hear their specific creaks and whistles they make. They're always chattering away and are fun to watch!

On one of the (very) cold mornings, just before the storm came through, this Roadrunner sat huddled next to the RV waiting for the sun to rise and increase in strength so he could warm up. He kept fluffing out his feathers to catch the rays, it was too cute!

And these interesting 'Stick Insect' critters I find all around here. That is, if you can see them ...

Here's  another one on my fridge.


Oh, and I baked the chocolate chip-coconut-almond cookies Todd posted on his face book page :-).
(They're delicious Todd!)

No better ending than with cookies, I think. If I can, I start with them too, actually. I know, I'm a cookie monster!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Here's a post just to show a few of the buildings that make up the resort.
The first, and basically only, thing you see when you drive into Lajitas is this sign and behind it the boardwalk with some cute little shops on the right and hotel rooms on the left.

The resort's hotel is called the Badlands hotel and has an entrance on the boardwalk as well as one on the backside at the parking lot.

Amongst the little shops on the boardwalk is also a bakery. It's only open in the mornings and I haven't made it there yet but it looks really cute.                                  

A little down the street is a small (and expensive) grocery store.

And I already showed you the restaurant and patio:

There's even a small theater that shows movies in the weekends and every now and than some small theater productions.

On the opposite site of the street (there's only one street in Lajitas) are more rooms in motel-style.
Which is also where the gorgeous pool of the hotel is situated ( the RV Park has it's own, by the way):

Here's some pictures of the pumpkin carving contest for Halloween:

And for all the 'little' guests of the resort, there was a costume contest:

This little Lion won first prize, he was so adorable!

We also have an outdoor amphitheater where we saw a concert of Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys.
I totally forgot to take pictures of ourselves or of the theater at daylight which is really very pretty but I'll do that next time.

It was a wonderful evening, sitting on a blanket in the grass. Just listening to some good music on a nice warm evening, under those beautiful desert stars!