On Friday we decided to take it easy since we had been doing several hikes each day in the park. We paid a visit to Terlingua and walked around the town. It is billed as "Terlingua Ghost Town" but these days a number of the buildings have been turned into small shops or galleries. This area was the sight of a number of quicksilver (mercury) mines from the 1880's until World War II when the last of the mines closed down. In the 1980's the town became host to an annual Chili Cook Off and more people began to live permanently in the area. It is also the closest town to the Big Bend National Park and so a lot of visitors to park use this area to stay at. We saw a number of gravesites with coins on them. From what we found out this could be to honor a fallen soldier or to ask that a wish be granted by a departed loved one.
|Most of the graves are unmarked in the cemetery.|
|Overlooks the old mines.|
|Chili Cook Off held in November each year.|
|The porch is where local watch the sunset and enjoy a cold one.|
|View into Mexico.|
|Notice the green along the river.|
|Not much water flow in this section of the Rio Grande.|
The Lost Mine Trail is about a 5 mile hike: 2.5 miles up to the top and then 2.5 miles down. You begin at an elevation of 5,500 feet and climb approximately 1,300 feet to reach the top of the trail @ 6,800 feet. As we entered the Chisos Mountains we saw the clouds below the peaks of Emory Peak and Casa Grande.
This being a Sunday morning we did not know if we could find a parking space in the trailhead parking lot. Luck would follow us as a lady was pulling out of a space as we arrived and so we were able to get into the lot. We got out our walking sticks and my backpack loaded with water and nuts. The trail up the mountain is almost entirely up hill with steps and switchbacks. There are several places along the trail to stop and rest and we took advantage of them. No only are you going uphill but we are also at altitude.
|One of the level spots along the trail.|
|View back towards Casa Grande.|
|Made it to the top.|
|There were a number of fellow climbers at the top today.|
As we leave Big Bend we appreciate the beauty of the area but also the harshness of trying to survive in this part of Texas. Carl described the desert as "all beach and no water" and he is correct. Other than the trees in the mountains and the greenery along the Rio Grande everything is brown or beige. We enjoyed our visit and realize that we will be spending the next several weeks seeing brown in New Mexico and Arizona.
One last picture of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park.