Terlingua, a Texas Ghost Town

You know from my recent posts how much I enjoyed Big Bend National Park in Texas. We stayed at Rio Grande Village for the first part of our visit and then we moved around to the other side to be closer to some of the scenery over there. It’s a pretty big park. We chose an RV park in a ghost town named Terlingua. Little did I know it would turn out to be one of my favourite places on the whole trip.

Terlingua, Texas

Doesn’t look like much from here does it?

Nesled in between the National Park and Big Bend State Park, Terlingua is an odd little place. In the 1880’s it was the location of the Chisos Mining Company and home to 2,000 people. They mined cinnabar, from which mercury is extracted.

Today there is a small community there, many of whom have made their homes inside the ruins of the old buildings. In 2011 the population was 85. It is a peaceful and inspiring place full of artists and musicians and other people who live life on the fringe. Hanging out on the porch playing music and telling stories is a favourite passtime.

Terlingua, Texas

One of the funniest things I experienced there was the Chihuahua races! Everyone in town seems to own one.

I needed to take my dog to a veterinarian and I found a retired one living in an art gallery. He helped me with Oscar and only charged me $20 cash and explained that everyone there lives on a subsistance basis. He only needs a little cash to survive.

I can see myself spending a winter here.

Terlingua, Texas

Still not sold on how special this ghost town is? Wait till you see it at night. I’ll show you that tomorrow.

In the aging Beagle Saga …

Thank you everyone who sent me well wishes for my old dog. I think it worked! I was afraid it was going to be his last day (that seems to happen a lot) but it was not. It turns out all it is is his heart is enlarged even more so that it is kind of tickling his trachea causing him to cough. There’s no heart failure or tumor or lung disease or anything like that. He just sounds like an old man coughing. Hopefully the change in medication will help him with the tickle in his throat, but that’s all it is. Phew. I really want that old guy to make it through this trip.

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    • says

      Hi Mark, thank you very much for your comments. Those boots really attracted my attention too. They make you wonder where they’ve been. Oscar is doing better now, thanks!

    • says

      Hi Jackson! I can totally see myself being an odd hippie (I mean that in a good way) and spending a winter here 😉 It is such a cool little place with a real sense of community. I remember being in the general store when a fellow came in to tell the person working there what the specials were going to be at the restaurant he worked at. Everyone knows each other, and they seem to like each other too. Thanks for the comments!

    • says

      Hi Len, yes this is Oscar’s retirement trip! He’s had the opportunity to sniff lots of national parks along the way and we get to spend lots of time together. He doesn’t walk too far anymore, so I think its nice for him that his back yard keeps changing. Thanks for the compliment on the images, much appreciated.

  1. says

    Sorry to hear aobut your dog Anne. I hope he’s better. I know our “puppies” are our babies and its hard to see them sick.
    I love these images. What a great place. I love the one of the boots.
    Edith Levy recently posted..SakuraMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Edith, thank you very much. Oscar is my baby. He’s been lying at my feet for over 15 years and since I had an office my house we have spent many many hours together. Thanks for your comments on the images.

  2. says

    I love ghost towns too Anne, and you’ve definitely found some classic locations there in Texas. A colorful past always lends itself to great images and you’ve found some real gems here.

    If you end up in the eastern Sierra when you come out west you’ll have to check out Bodie – it’s probably one of the best preserved in the country.
    Russ Bishop recently posted..Kauai’s Kalalau TrailMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Russ, actually I have been to Bodie and you are right it is a very very cool place to see. Unfortunately it was a white sky day and I only had a short time before they closed so I didn’t get any good images. I guess I’ll have to go back 😉 I loved the eastern Sierras. Thank you very much for your comments.

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