The Big Bend

Most of our friends and neighbors don't live here in Terlingua, because then it wouldn't be what it is.
So, when you've had enough of the high life in our town, you might want to visit our neighbors in theirs.

Hot air balloons in Alpine.

Alpine - When we need to go to the Big City, either for supplies or entertainment, Alpine is the mother ship of the Big Bend. There are unusual shops, including two saddle shops, a taxidermist, and a bunch of art galleries, bars. and coffee joints. There's an airport (bring your own plane), an Amtrak station, a rodeo, a cowboy poetry event, lots of parades, a professional baseball team, and a place to get dill pickle flavored snow cones (with hot sauce).

Shopping in Alpine.
The courthouse in Marfa.

Marfa - The sister ship of the mother ship, Marfa is mostly small-town-Texas with just a splash of New York City's art scene. It was the location for the movie classic "Giant" and is the home of the legendary Marfa Mystery Llights (don't ask), the Chinati Foundation, the El Cheapo Liquor Store -- and they have the closest Dairy Queen.

The Mystery Lights Visitor Area near Marfa.
A historic reenactment at the Fort Davis National Historic Site.

Fort Davis - Yes, there is a real fort here -- an actual cavalry fort -- in the middle of town. And, it's the home of the McDonald Observatory, our own window into the rest of the universe.

A cannon demonstration at the Fort Davis National Historic Site.
Shopping in Marathon.

Marathon - Historically, this is where ranchers drove their cattle to board the new-fangled railroad. It still has that basic Texas cowtown look and though it has been blessed with enticing places to eat and stay, in some ways it is still the perfect, picturesque version of the old West.

Marathon Motel.
The Prada display near Valentine.

Valentine - Uh...

Boquillas Canyon.

Big Bend National Park - Wow! A place where you can see the way the world used to be. From dinosaurs and volcanos (both dormant) to cactus flowers and rattlesnakes. Fewer tourists. More mountain trails.

Flowers in the rocks.
Tourist at Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Big Bend Ranch State Park - the biggest state park in Texas. Be a cowboy. Be a river rat. Be a mountain climber, a mountain biker, or a mountain goat. Sign up for a real cattle drive. Sleep under the stars. Remember the Alamo.

The McDonald Observatory.

McDonald Observatory - It figures that the best place to see the heavens is from Texas, and if UFOs and aliens are watchin' us, we'll want Texans starin' back at 'em through big ol' telescopes.

The McDonald Observatory.
Roping at the Sul Ross Rodeo.

Sul Ross University - Everything you'd want in a comfort-sized state university, plus cows and horses. This is the home of the college rodeo and the alma mater of Hoss Cartwright himself.

Sul Ross State University.
Cactus in the mountains.

Balmoreah Springs - While smaller than the Pacific Ocean, these wonderful fresh-water spings are conveniently located in the Texas desert where they're needed most. Some twenty million gallons of water bubble up every day, and it's far better to swim with the fishes here than say, New Jersey.

Mexico - We call it South Lajitas (or sometimes just "over there"). A great place to visit, with lots to offer and great people. Just be sure to cross the border at an authorized crossing point. If you just stroll across the Rio Grande, you could be in serious trouble when you try to stroll back over to the U.S.


Downtown Study Butte.

Study Butte - If you're standing in Terlingua, you're looking at Study Butte, and vice-versa. The two towns are linked like Fort Worth and Dallas, Minneapolis and St. Paul, or Natchitoches and Opelousas.

The old station in Sanderson.

Sanderson - A real railroad town that retains the perfect tradition of friendly, small-town Texas. It's the Cactus Capital, the home of the annual Prickly Pear Pachanga (Party), the best deer hunting area south of the North Pole, one end of the Big Bend Open Road Race, and the ubiquitous Buzzard Rally. And don't forget to savor the local goats.

Sign for Sanderson.
The old Trading Post in Lajitas.

Lajitas - The 20th century hit Lajitas hard, modernizng this remote desert outpost with jetable runways, posh(ish) resort living, and golf courses irrigated by the mighty waters of the Rio Grande. The mayor of Lajitas is a goat (a deceased goat), so if you're interested in politics...

The boardwalk at the Lajitas Resort.
Nature in downtown Langtry.

Langtry - The home, workplace, and museum of the one and only Judge Roy Bean. A truly amazing amount of history occured in this very, very, very unlikely spot -- including the UFO crash on the south bank of the Rio Grande back in '55. In addition to the U.S. Post Office, there's a store in town, too.

Presidio - The gateway to Ojinaga, Chihuahua (Pancho Villa's headquarters). It's what you find if you drive down the river road from Terlingua past the mission and the old fort to where the Rio Grande meets the Rio Conchos. When the electricity goes out in town -- unlike New York City, etc., etc. -- Presidio is powered by a large sodium-sulfur battery (so you won't have to watch TV in the dark).