We had tried to take a trip to this part of Texas for years, on each occasion our plans were canceled due to emergencies. We opted to make few plans and just hit the road during the off season. Many said we were insane to head to the desert in the summer, but we had a blast. After spending a fabulous time exploring Alpine, Marfa and Ft. Davis we headed south to the Big Bend area.
Here are some of the highlights and some of the disappointments.
I will say this, Big Bend in the summer months is spectacular and even more so because the park is not inundated with visitors. This part of the world is beautiful no matter the season so if you can take a trip here- the desert sights are food for the soul!
The Drive South
We headed South from Alpine to Tin Valley Retro Rentals to spend a night before heading to Terlingua Ghost Town and on to Big Bend. The stops along the approximately 70-mile stretch are few and far between. The scenery in this part of Texas is simply breath taking in its sheer remote, starkness.
The Tin Valley Retro Rentals sadly was a huge disappointment. The scenery around the place is quite stunning but the actual “ Poncho Villa” we “Glamped “ in was dusty and uncomfortable. There were a ridiculous number of flies so sitting outside was impossible. The water pressure was non-existent and the coffee “setup” for the morning was not worth the effort. What was even more disappointing, when we could finally sit out and enjoy the evening (the flies sleep when the sun goes down) the person behind us was talking so loudly we heard the whole conversation -cussing and drama included. I finally texted the owner and the we were able to enjoy the dessert night- the bad news was it turns out the actual noise violator was the owner who texted a ridiculous excuse.I would NOT ever recommend this place. I wanted so much to write a great review but this place was an epic failure for us.
The only saving grace was the recommendation of a nearby swimming hole and resultant where we spent a most enjoyable day. If you are in the area although my pictures may tempt you DON’T Stay At the Tin Valley Rentals.
The Terlingua Ranch
| || |
We made it to Big Bend…………..and to some splendid isolation.
The summer may be the hottest time to visit this stunning park but it is also the least visited time. Our first stop was at the visitors station and then on to explore the sheer, desolate beauty of the park. We took scenic drives, stopped to take short hikes and explored the historic hot springs. We hoped to take the trip over to Mexico but sadly Mexico was "closed" that day or at least the crossing was. All in all we loved the day exploring the glory of God's beauty. If you live in Texas you simply should see this place .If you don't you should still see it .......we will be back!
Historic Hot Springs
The gravel road slopes down a rough, narrow wash to the Hot Springs Historic District. As we cautiously inched our way down it felt like we were driving on the moon rather than heading to the Rio Grande.
From the trailhead, the hot spring is about a mile round trip. A one-mile loop trail continues from the hot spring around on the bluff above the Rio Grande, returning to the trailhead area.
The Hot Spring
Hot spring water is considered old water, fossil water, ancient and irreplaceable. Heated by geothermal processes and emerging at 105° F. The water carries dissolved mineral salts reputed to have healing powers. In the heat of the summer the water felt extra hot but of course I had to take a dip.
Expolring our world one trip at a time.