Friday, January 11, 2019

G is For Grandeur - Big Bend Final

December 30-31, 2018
Terlingua, Texas

The last Sunday of the year is also the last game of the season for my Pittsburgh Steelers - but Bill's Cowboys are heading to the playoffs so it isn't all sad faces. The afternoon also brings us a couple hours of cold rain.

Monday is bright and sunny, but not warm. A perfect day to explore the rest of the national park. It's a fun day of fossils, daggers and stunning peaks.

We start the day at the same place we have every morning since we arrived - the single gas station in the area! There's always a line, but it moves quickly. You really need to fill-up before heading in any direction.


Down the road from our place is this amazing longhorn.

How does he hold his head up???

The self-sustaining building houses numerous casts of fossils and dinosaur bones found nearby.

He looks so happy!

Oh no!!

Creepysaurus!
One of the largest triceratops (cast completed with pieces found in a riverbed inside the park) ever discovered.
After visiting the fossil exhibit, we take the Dagger Flat Road into the hills. Turns out the "dagger" reference is for all the yuccas and sotols covering the area. 


Lots and lots of daggers.

The thinner, serrated edges of the sotol in front of the wider, smoother yucca.

Pretty views.
The grandeur of the Chisos Mountains is visible from most of the park, today we drive into their unique beauty. We also find more people than we've seen anywhere else. And even a little snow on the sides of the road.


We've driven through an ocotillo forest, a yucca forest, and now pines and hard woods!

We find a quiet spot with no other people, and just quietly enjoy this incredible view.




On the way home we take a final road to Grapevine Hills. Several cars have parked in a cleared area, but we continue to the end where the rugged tent sites are all closed. 


Are you coming?


Chisos Mountains
It's already 4:00 so we decide to head straight for Terlingua where the Starlight Theater opens at 5:00 to start seating for New Years Eve dinner. We arrive at 4:30, and hang out on the famous front porch until we can put in our name. So glad we did! When they call us to our table a few minutes later, the wait time for dinner is already 1-2 hours!!


Built in the 1930's, the theater spent many roofless years after it was closed in the 1950's. The beautifully restored interior still shows signs of those "rough" times.

The porch is great for people watching before dinner.

Note the "not quite restored ceiling" over the bar.


A local specialty - the Sotol Margaritas (several of them) are fantastic!

DB Rouse entertains us from the large stage.

Scrumptious pork medallions.

Clay Henry the beer drinking goat who "served" as mayor for a few years. We sat with him when we moved from our table to the floor seating to enjoy the music.

One of Clay's deputies.


With clever kazoo-tunes like "Love is a Mexican Wrestling Match and I'm Gonna Win", and "Valentines Day at the Pawn Shop" how could we not have a wonderful New Years Eve!!
Happy 2019!
It's a great way to wrap up another wonderful year on the road!

We're so glad that Laurel (Raven and Chickadee) shared their fun times in this area, and that we decided to check it out!! I highly recommend Terlingua as the perfect place to enjoy the Big Bend area.

As 2019 begins, we'll head northwest to our coldest stop yet.



20 comments:

  1. I knew sotol was a tequila, guess I should have guessed it was the plant ... Who knew? - thanks for the education. It is amazing (to me) the variety Big Bend has to offer! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. We had never heard of sotol tequila so it was a fun and tasty surprise for us :-)

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  2. I have always been able to use both the Rio Grande Village gas station and the Panther Junction gas station in the past. Which one shut down?

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    1. Panther Junction was open, but it's not in Terlingua. RGV may have been open but we didn't see it :-)

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  3. What a great way to wrap up the year. Really enjoyed seeing the places you visited, great ideas for areas of Big Bend we've not yet explored.

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    1. We had a ball and gained a new appreciation for Texas!

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  4. That was a great way to end the year!! Big Bend is such a special place. Where are you guys and when do you plan on being in Tombstone?

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    1. We're continuing west from Las Cruces today. We'll be in Tombstone on the 16th and looking forward to meeting you and Michael at that favorite Mexican restaurant when you can take a break from all your hard work! I'll message you on FB when we get set up so we can coordinate :-)

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  5. Looks like a perfect final day of 2018. Wishing you two a healthy and fun 2019!

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    1. It was pretty awesome! The same to you and Hans - you have a grand new adventure to enjoy!!

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  6. Such a blast!! Love the photo of you two ringing in the New Year. I'm so glad you enjoyed the Starlight—it's going down as one of our favorite New Year's celebrations ever. And you got to party with Clay Henry, the beer drinking goat-mayor, LOL!
    There's magic to be found in Big Bend, and you certainly did it justice! I'm longing to return.

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  7. I don't know how the longhorns hold up their heads. Imagine how strong their necks must be. I love that photo of Tessa peaking around the bush. So sweet:) What a very neat place to spend New Year's Eve. Sure looks like a grand time.

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    1. We don't get out and see live music enough, and every time we do, we say we're going to do more of it - we'll see!!

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  8. I have so enjoyed your Big Bend tour and am now more determined to go. Plus Terlingua looks to be a must see too. Can't stop chuckling at those bar stools. Great place to welcome the new year.

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    1. You'll love it!! So much to see and the wide open spaces are beautiful

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  9. Such a great place. We sure hope to get to see it next year. Great looking food. What a happy new year!!

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    1. I'll bet there are some great caches in the area!!

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  10. Yes...definitely need to make Big Bend a go to place. I have enjoyed all you pictures and posts from there. Love the picture of Tessa! And a big happy and healthy New Year to you and Bill.

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    1. It's so far "down there" that I wasn't sure we'd make it, but I'm so glad we did! Happy 2019 to you and Joe as well :-)

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