Thursday, May 8, 2014

Day Seven at Big Bend: Terlingua and Lajitas

We began our day with an early morning hike straight east from the RV park at Big Bend Resort and Adventures in Terlingua.   Although we did not know it then, we were on "Indian Head Road" heading east toward Big Bend National Park.  While we did not get to the National Park boundary we did enjoy the sight of the sun and shadows playing on the wonderful rock formations on both sides of us.

Thursday morning -- East of Terlingua, , Texas

Thursday morning -- East of Terlingua, Texas.

We had heard many people speak of the Ghost Town at Terlingua so we decided to see for ourselves.  We discovered that the Ghost town is mostly tourist hype.   However, we spent some time at the Terlingua Cemetery where displays highlighted the history of Terlingua.

Old Terlingua cemetery
 The Chisos Mining Company had an extremely profitable business during World War I in mining the mineral cinnabar from which is derived mercury which was desperately needed during the war.   After 1929 the mines were no longer profitable and the town began to fade into oblivion.

Abandoned buildings in Terlingua ghost-town behind cemetery
After we left the Ghost Town, we drove southwest toward Lajitas, Texas, where we planned to check in at the visitor center for the Big Bend Ranch State Park -- the Barton Warnock Visitor Center.
The road to Lajitas.

Rock formation near Lajitas, Texas.
View across highway from Barton Warnock Visitors Center.
We could have spent hours in the museum at the Barton Warnock Visitors Center which contains many exhibits about The Chihuahuan Desert -- the largest and hottest of the deserts of Western North America.  Covering 200,000 square miles, the Chihuahuan Desert stretches from New Mexico southward 1,200 miles into north central Mexico.

There is so much to see; so much beauty to behold!  We wonder what tomorrow's exploring will hold?