A few weeks ago, during my stay in Texas, my parents and I took a trip to Big Bend National Park. To be honest, I’d never heard of anyone going there. I somehow started reading about it a few years ago and decided I wanted to go someday, and my parents, life-long Texans, had also been wanting to see it for quite sometime. It’s in a deserted (literally) part of West Texas that’s not on the way to anywhere. It’s a part of the state you don’t just “pass through.” It’s hot. Some might not consider the 7-8 hour drive from Austin (and a long drive but all major Texas cities) worth it.
Well, my conclusion is that anyone, especially any Texan that does not see Big Bend at some point in their life, is missing out. In a few words, it was beautiful. Majestic. Deserted but alive. Peaceful. Surprisingly diverse (depending on where you are in the park, temperatures, wildlife, plants, and scenery can vary greatly).
We stayed 4 nights and 3 full days. We spent the days hiking in the heat (we learned that June is actually the beginning of the off-season because of the high temperatures), visiting the only hot springs within the park, taking that canoe trip on the Rio Grande that I mentioned, and eating at almost all of Terlingua’s restaurants (see below) and the one and only restaurant within the park, with a beautiful view of the Chisos mountains.
Our hotel was a modest one located in Terlingua, Texas, a small town near the western side of the park. Terlingua is actually 2 towns-the modern town, which basically consists of 3 restaurants, 2 hotels, and a gas station, and a ghostown. The ghostown used to be a “mining town that went bust,” and only within the last 40 years or so has been re-inhabited. I absolutely loved the ghostown-it’s now home to 3 or 4 restaurants and a couple of stores.
Here are some photos, if you’d like to see. I’m already hoping I can go back to Big Bend sooner rather than later!