On November 26, 2016 Pyra-Danny and Fiance Shoes got married. This is the third part of their honeymoon travels to southwest Texas: Big Bend National Park, Terlingua Ghost Town, Study Butte, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and Alpine, TX.
But first… we slept in.
We were in Alpine, TX, so close to Big Bend National Park. We deserved to sleep in! For almost two weeks our mornings were interrupted early with work, wedding planning, wedding decorations, entertaining family and friends… We finally dreamt a little longer.
When we woke, our car from Alpine Auto Rental was waiting for us by the front door. To return it we’d only have to leave it by the train station locked and with the keys inside. This built-in level of service and trust both surprised and amazed us.
Today we were going to travel to Terlingua, TX just outside the Park. We knew this little town only had a convenience store so we planned to stock up on groceries in order to cook a few meals while there. Alpine’s only grocery store came in the form of Porter’s which thankfully had a good deli and plenty of fresh produce and protein… and (surprisingly) a huge wine collection.
Online images of crazy food concoctions from Snack Shack in the northern part of Alpine drew our stomachs to that little building surrounded by bare Texas nature. The eclectic menu included the Texas Tater- our customized monstrosity of a Baked Potato topped with Sour Cream, Cheese, Jalapenos, Broccoli, Chives, Cilantro, Onions, and Mushrooms. Once our bellies were filled, we began the 1.5 hour drive to Terlingua.
Terlingua is also known as Terlingua Ghost Town. Dotting its landscape were the stony ruins of the Chisos mining town that existed long ago; buildings now reduced to just one or two walls. The busiest part of town consisted of about 10 buildings each the size of a house. Most businesses were restaurant and inn combos, artist studios, and the convenience store at the end. Beyond that Southeast Texas’s dry, rolling hills stretched into the distance.
Terlingua’s claim to fame is being the site for an insanely huge, weeklong Chili cook-off party where hundreds of RVs gather in an almost massive tailgating event. We missed the celebration by a couple of weeks.
We tried a sample of that Texas-style Chili at the first restaurant we saw- the High Sierra Bar and Grill. The spice-filled Chili covered a heap of Fries while we also enjoyed a Quesadilla. Although it was quiet during our visit, I could easily picture a crowd gathered around the bar and a guitarist crooning on the stage. Outside the restaurant the waves of dry land stretched out to touch the short mountains in the distance. We saw the occasional RV… or camping tent… or teepee… even a stranded boat (there was no water in sight)
We loved it.
And we were about to love it some more as our little sedan drove the rough, unpaved path leading to our AirBnB. Within our Big Bend National Park research, there was only one hotel inside the park and it wasn’t rated well. Terlingua contained a handful of inns but none that caught our eye. Then this AirBnB grabbed our attention and wouldn’t let go. Even after our honeymoon, we’d talk about that AirBnB as much as our adventures throughout the park.
Our AirBnB was an RV planted in place so it wouldn’t escape… not that you’d want to as the view was the beautiful simplicity of nature. In the distance you could see the little buildings that created Terlingua however a sea of tiny shrubs, dunes, and canyons stretched in between. Private yet open. To further enhance the spaciousness of the RV, a tiny building in the back housed an additional bathroom… as well as an outdoor shower! The solid porch at the front door was ready with an oven, stove, dining area and… wait for it… an outdoor bed! Perfect for capturing the plentiful stars that emerged in the night sky.
We’d only been in Terlingua for less than a day and we were already in love with it. We hadn’t even stepped into Big Bend National Park yet. Our honeymoon was only beginning as we still had plenty of exploring ahead.