15 Mar 2012--After we got back from Big Bend on Wednesday, we drove a few miles past our RV park to what we were told is a Ghost Town...clearly a draw for tourists, but a couple interesting things to see.
Took a picture of this map so you could have a reference as to where Terlingua is...the town we are staying in. San Antonio, for those of you who are geographically challenged, is up closer to where the word "Texas" is on the map...actually somewhat below it. Anyway, you can see just how close we are to the border here...and will see more soon.
So here is the little Ghost Town...has the obligatory cemetery, but this one is actually still in use.
The Hispanic population is still very high here...I would bet the majority...and these grave sites have a definite Hispanic flavor. Even though most graves are almost 100 yrs old, they almost all have candles on them, and some even have money thrown on them. I think the money is an offering of some kind.
The "Day of the Dead" is big in Hispanic culture, and is the same day as what we call "All Souls Day". Their Day of the Dead is very much a celebration, and somehow intertwined with the venerated Holy Mother and skulls and skeletons.
There wasn't a whole lot to see as far as the Ghost Town went, but some of the old walls were mixed in with houses people were currently living in as seen in pic #2. What struck me most, though, was how they described early 20th century Terlingua as 'primitive to the modern observer'...blow up pic #2 and tell me that you wouldn't describe it as still primitive today? Can't even imagine living here the rest of my life.
There is a little dinner theater, where the posted menu had things like "Chicken Fried Antelope", "Marinated Quail", and "Wild Boar Burgers". Not kidding...and they weren't cheap, either! I think I am fairly adventurous, but suffice to say we didn't stay for dinner. On the porch outside the general store are a bunch of both locals and tourists drinking beer as someone played the guitar.
Inside the store, skeletons of all shapes and sizes for sale! Love the Mariachis!!!
And I don't know if there is really a Patron Saint of Beer, but I thought this was funny. And love the coaster!!!
Now get this...too funny! Big sign advertising The Boathouse and its "fine food and beverages"...now take a look at the Boathouse in pic #2...would you even consider stopping here to eat? haha The 3rd pic is a piece of "highway art"! Thought Barb would love that one!
Cathy and I went back to the RV to have dinner and then decided to take a ride out to the next town down the road, called Lajitas, TX...a short 17 mile drive. Take a look at the views. I see this stuff and just wish everyone could be with us...especially Ellen and Marie...I know you would love this as much as I do...breathtakingly beautiful sometimes!!!
Crazily, it dawns on us as we are driving that Mexico is literally a stone's throw away from us. Cathy remembered the John McCain ad when he was running for re-election where he said "build the dang fence"...haha Not here, they didn't!
And in the 2nd video, I talk about a golf resort opposite a poor Mexican town. There is one hole on the course where you tee off on a Par 3 in the U.S. and hit your ball 100 yards over the Rio Grande and into Mexico...because it is therefore not retrievable, they have built it so that if you hit the green, it funnels into the hole for Hole-in-One!!! Almost worth the $90 a round price tag to just get the hole-in-one!!! haha
And lastly, a store owner told us that prior to 9-11, they had a tow rope from one side of the river to the other, where you could pull a boat to get to the Mexican side where a lot of Americans went to a really good restaurant over there. If you take a good look at the town now, not hard to see that business has dried up.
A few more miles down the road we came upon this area called the "Contrabando Movie Set". There were about 6-8 movies made here, as recently as 2000, including this one with James Garner and Sissy Spacek. And is it not surprising, in light of how easy it is to cross the border in this region, that a lot of illegal activity would be going on in real life?
Right at the foot of the town, of course, is the Rio Grande!!!
Just a few more miles before we went home for the night. Between the Lost Mine Trail in Big Bend earlier in the day and everything we saw after that and after dinner, this was another great day!!!