WordPress woes … unfortunately, for reasons unknown at the moment we’re unable to publish this post as one so we’ve broken this post into two parts… Sorry!!!
On January 7th we headed out of Del Norte where things pretty much looked like this…….
…. and on the 9th we arrived in Terlingua, Texas where things definitely looked like this.
Terlingua, Texas is a small town right outside of and in between Big Bend National Park* and Big Bend Ranch State Park**. It’s relatively warm and sunny and a definite ground zero for outside adventure in the Souhwest come this time of year. Considered a ghost town, formally a mining town***, it’s now the home of artists, musicians, cyclists, hikers, river rats and the likes. These off-the-grid, Lone Star drinking folks, appear to come here to live simply…. Pardon a misguided notion, but it’s definitely not what most of us envision the big state Texas to be about, so it’s a welcome discovery.
We pulled into town at dusk:30 and met up with our friend Tom Purvis who was visiting the area from Salida. Tom introduced us to our new home…. an empty lot, short of a couple of dead school buses, which is where we were to base out of during our time here. Since we drug our little home /trailer here, all we needed was a parking place. Sweet.
We unhooked PUK (the name of our trailer), got on our bikes and rode part of the “miracle mile” trail up to this place.
The Starlight is the local hot spot of Terlingua complete with $2.00 margaritas between 5:00 and 6:00 PM any night of the week and 2 for 1 burgers on Monday evenings. The food is decent, however most impressively they dish up some seriously good, local, live music both inside and out on the front porch. I’m not a fan of Bluegrass mind you, but you have to be almost dead to not know that these guys are damn hot musicians. Anyway, that evening was Tom’s 50th birthday which he neglected to inform us until much later … Happy Birthday, Tom, you rascal!!!!
Tom was leaving in a couple of days, so to maximize our time with him we accompanied him into the National Park and did a sweet little 5 mile trail, Lost Mine, in the Chisos Mountains. Nice grade, well traveled and scenic, this hike got us up into some nice vegetation and trees, something one usually doesn’t think of when you’re in this part of the Chihuahuan desert such as we were.
What better way to meet the locals and get the scoop? The Trail Alliance was having a trail building weekend in the State Park, so not even 24 hours after arriving we head out to camp with the locals to stage ourselves for the next day. It was during this event that we met a large faction, 30 or so, of the local enthusiasts. Sweet, again, things are looking up.
Meet Reilly and Kimberly, trail builders extraordinaire. We met these two good folks and their friend Alex (not pictured) unexpectedly while in Peru. Fellow Coloradoans, from Salida, it was they who told us about this area and that they’ve been wintering down here for several years. Not to miss a beat, we tucked away that choice “get out of dodge” info knowing that we’d be pulling it out when we had our fill of our siberian digs in Del Norte. Thanks you guys…for everything. YOU ROCK!!!
It was also during this weekend that we came to respect Lone Star, the national beer of Texas and those who partake in it. Meet Mike, father, husband, trail builder, he works in the National Park, all around nice guy, drinker of Lone Star. Even though this beer goes down like a bottomless pitcher of ice tea don’t let it fool you as it sports a 4.65 alcohol content with 136 calories per 12 ounce can. Watch your step with this puppy. Accruing this valuable info plus lots of local stats on trails and such, completing a 4 mile trail and meeting the locals proved this to be a great weekend.
For more on Big Bend and Terlingua area see part #2