Monday, February 21, 2011

Big Bend Adventure Day 2

Friday 2011 02 11 We are up early for our 3+  hour car ride from Midland to Big Bend National Park.  We gather up supplies, a cooler with sliced turkey, cream cheese, some pop (soda), various snacks, and water.
  Heading west out of Odessa

As we drive the 220+ miles to Big Bend National Park the topography goes from flat to mountainous.

After driving about an hour and a half we could see the mountains in the distance. 

We stopped for a lunch break at a rest area along U.S. 385. 
      Since there were 5 of us on the trip, we took both of Andy's cars-  a Mazda MX-5 and a Subaru Forester.  We took turns riding in the Mazda since it only holds two people and at times we all rode in the the Subaru and left the Mazda behind.    
Rest Area                

It didn't seem long before we pull into Big Bend National Park! Here's a website about Big Bend.

Beautiful Country - Big Bend National Park
We stopped in at the Panther Junction Visitor Center, friendly people, nice gift shop, and exhibits.  From here we drove SE 18 miles on Rio Grande Village Road, we set the Mazda on a turn off, and we all headed mostly north about 5 miles on Old Ore Road (a very rough road) to Ernst Tinaja Spur Road.  

Here you find some primitive campsites and the trailhead to Ernst Tinaja.  This was an easy trail about 1.5 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 245 feet.  The weather was warm and sunny, perfect, with a deep blue sky. 

 Tinaja (pronounced tee-NA-ha) is a Spanish word for earthen jar.  This tinaja is named for Bill Ernst, a Big Bend settler murdered in the early 1900's.

We got back in the car and bounced over the rocks back to the main road then went back past Panther Junction some thirty miles west to Terlingua, a ghost town, that's where we will sleep!
Along the way out of the car window we saw mountain after mountain this was on Maverick Drive, SR118, and FM 170 to Terlingua.
The place we stayed was unique, and had recently opened for renting.  Big Bend Holiday Hotel Candlelilla House.  Here is their website

Two large bedrooms, a main room with futon, dining table (with snacks), kitchenette, a separate building for the bathroom, and a shower building up a couple of steps (that's the shower building with the star on it). It was all very clean and had much character,  for around $160/night.
    Looking out at Terlingua from the Candlelilla House.
That night we had dinner at the Starlight Theatre Restaurant & Bar, great food and live music, what a place!
I think that was about it for day two, wow, we did so much I was exhausted.  A real Big Bend adventure so far!


Anonymous said...

Love the train! And all the mountains, wow. M

Anonymous said...

Wow, looks like it was quite a busy day! Cool mountain pictures! Can't wait for the next post!

Plants Amaze Me said...

They were very busy days, and FUN! So many mountains, I didn't realize the mountains in Texas were that big, I guess I think of Texas as flat. Now I know.