Because we wanted to stay close to base camp for Day 3 of our Big Bend adventure, we made our way to the Terlingua Ghost Town, in search of an authentic Chihuahuan lunch and expansive views of the Chisos Mountains. We weren’t disappointed. The Terlingua Ghost Town is all that remains of a once-thriving mining community that was established at the latter part of the 19th century. By 1913, the citizens of Terlingua enjoyed many modern amenities that had been unheard of in nearby desert communities, including telephone service, an ice-making plant, a well-stocked commissary, restaurants, lodging, running water and mail service. Soon, Terlinguans had an ice-cream shop and a movie theater, with live music and dances on the weekends. But the need for mercury – the mineral extracted from the cinnabar mined around Terlingua – diminished after World War II, leading to the mine’s closure and the town’s abandonment.
Today, the Terlingua Ghost Town, located several miles from modern Terlingua, is an artist haven and tourist destination. We enjoyed a fantastic lunch on the rooftop of the High Sierra Bar and Grill, with breathtaking views of the Mule Ears formation in the Chisos range.
We returned to Cloud 9 for a generous and much-needed afternoon nap, followed by another specatacular moonrise.