David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
04/18  Release the Cows!
04/19  Need A List
04/20  Million Dollar Water
04/23  Peoria IL
04/24  Navigating the Grid
04/25  I'm in a flat land
04/26  Ghetto in the Fields
04/27  The Katy Trail
04/30  Hermann MO
05/01  Hermann to Jefferson City
05/02  The Mushroom Hunters
05/03  Enter the Ozarks
05/04  Ha Ha Tonka
05/09  Bennett Springs State Park
05/10  Barbed Wire and Mansions
05/11  Hello Arkansas
05/16  Up the Mountain
05/17  Muddy Roads
05/21  The Ouachita Trail...
05/22  whip-a-ree
05/23  Mena
05/24  Oklahoma
05/25  Farm to Market to Paris
05/29  Caddo National Grasslands
05/30  Salt Palace and Alligators
05/31  Highways
06/01  Waco
06/06  Waco Mammoth Site
06/07  10 Liters
06/08  Mayonnaise or Mustard
06/10  Llano
06/11  Enchanted Rock and Old Tunnel
06/12  High Fences
06/13  Kickapoo Cavern
06/14  Del Rio
06/19  Into the Desert
06/20  Cold and Wet
06/21  Bicycler Bottleneck
06/22  Chisos Mountains
06/23  Chisos Mountain Lodge
06/24  Terlingua
06/25  Alpine
06/27  Friday Night Light
06/28  Dust Devils
07/02  Crops in the Desert
07/03  Armpit of America
07/04  City of Rocks
07/10  Gila National Forest
07/11  Peanut Butter
07/12  Last of the Washboards
07/13  Quemado
07/17  El Malpais
07/18  Last Desert Stretch
07/19  Farmington
07/24  Colorful Colorado
07/25  Between a Rock and a High Place
07/26  Cinnamon Pass
07/27  3250 Miles
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017



tl;dr: I left the Chisos Mountains and Big Bend, visited Terlingua Ghostown, and headed toward Alpine.

Leaving Chisos Mountain Lodge requires about a half-mile of steep climbing. Then it's straight downhill for five miles. I made a video. I thought about editing it to decrease boring. Then I decided that probably wouldn't actually help.

Then it's more downhill for the next twenty miles. Drifting downhill for that long is discomforting, because what goes down must go up.

In Terlingua, I visited their "Ghost Town", which is spelled Ghostown, and is sort of hard to describe. It feels like layers of ghost towns as folks settled, moved on, settled again, built gift shops and hotels, let gift shops and hotels run down, remodeled stone ruins, and finally scattered antique junk everywhere.

I ate lunch at the Chile Pepper Cafe (great) while a local scared me with stories of getting stuck in the desert as a storm rolls through. Apparently the hottest time of the year for this part of Texas is early June. I just missed it. I am now in "monsoon season". Storms pop up frequently, pelting the landscape with rain and hail. These storms are completely unpredictable, other than the fact that you can see them coming across the desert, and they don't really move around like storms in the Midwest.

Outside Terlingua (way outside) is an area known as Terlingua Ranch. This is a place where folks come to live off the grid and be their own person. Many have solar power and windmills, and grow their own food in semi-buried greenhouses called something-with-a-specific-name-that-I-didn't-write-down. This part of Texas has very lax regulations that probably aren't enforced, anyway. So folks just live how they want.

I left Turlinqua on Highway 118, which climbs all the way for nearly 80 miles to Alpine. I topped off my water at the Longhorn Ranch Motel, which is a very remote location for a motel. I only made it about half way to Alpine before finding a place to camp. As I was sneaking behind some thorn-bearing bushes, a Border Patrol truck drove by. There I stood with my bright yellow shirt bigger than life. I can't believe he didn't see me. I kept my head low until it got dark, fully expecting to get rousted by Border Patrol, but nothing. I set up my tent because I was close to a dirt water tank that was releasing mosquitoes, and because it might storm. Once it got dark, it really got dark. I slept well.

twenty miles of down hill

Chisos Mountains

into some badlands

this wash still has water in it

natural (mud) arch

Road Runner Circle

road crosses a wash

Terlingua Ghostown

Dead End Kids

shops and ruins

down a mine shaft

antique junk


Terlingua Creek

Chile Pepper Cafe

78 miles of almost nothing

oddly unspecific

beware of burro

just an abandoned store in the middle of nowhere

Santiago Peak

contact me at le@liverworks.com
< 2014-06-23 Chisos Mountain Lodge 2014-06-25 Alpine >