Adventures from the Big Bend – Wednesday – Day 3

In yesterdays’, Day 2 Tuesday post, I forgot to mention our evening dinner plans.  We were tired, but we thought a cold margarita and a steak would be good.  We went to the LaKiva Bar and Restaurant.  It is a place that you could only call unique.  It is more or less a cave-like structure.  It is actually built into the banks of Terlingua Creek, so it is partially underground, so to speak.

This being a Tuesday, it was Karoke Night.  In previous visits there I had got up and sang a couple of tunes myself.  Not this time though.  We got there at 5:00PM, had our margaritas, (me – two), a delicious steak filet and we were out of there before 7:00PM.  We went back to the casita and sat on the porch for awhile.  I guess we’re getting too old for shenanigans. 🙂

Now on the morning of  Wednesday, Day 3, we decided to take a guided Jeep tour through the back country around Terlingua and Study Butte.  It is another service that is provided at extra cost by the Far Flung Outdoor Center.  Thinking that the Roadrunner Deli didn’t open until 8:00AM we opted to eat at a nearby motel restaurant.  Our tour was scheduled at 8:45AM.  A young lady, Laura, was a very informed guide, and she gave us an education about the geological history of the area.

The tour was over at 11:00AM, so we had some light snacks and headed for the Chisos Mountains, in Big Bend National Park.  The Chisos are the center-piece of the park, with peaks rising to over 8,000 feet.  Our destination was the area called the Basin.  After driving up through Green Gulch, the highway tops out and about 6,000 feet, then you drive back down into the Basin which is at the 5,000 foot elevation.

Drive through Green GulchGreen Gulch and Mt. Casa Grande

On the floor of the Basin are campgrounds, and the Chisos Lodge and Restaurant.  If you visit and want to stay at the lodge, you need to make reservations about two months in advance.  It is surrounded by peaks, including Mount Casa Grande, not the highest, but the most photographed peak in the park.

Mt. Casa Grande

All the water that is collected in the Basin is drained at the pour-off at the bottom of  The Window, a vee-shaped formation on the western side of the basin.  A trail leads to the bottom of the “vee” where you can look over the edge to a  several hundred foot drop to the desert below.  A shorter trail takes you to an over-look where you have a spectacular view, also, looking far out over the Chihuahan desert for many miles.

The Window

 That drive into the Chisos took up all the afternoon.  After returning to our casita, we freshed up and decided on pizza at Long Draw Pizza.  On our many visits to the Big Bend area we passed this established many, many time.  We always ignored it as it, from the outside, looks like just a half of a large mobile home.  Drab looking with just a simple sign outside in a dirt parking lot.  You could kinda picture a red-neck cowboy, behind the bar and serving beer.

But we had recently heard that it really had the best pizza in west Texas.  We were delightly surprised, when walking in, discovered a nice looking, very inviting atmosphere.  Never judge a book by it’s cover, right?  We sat down and were greeted by Nancy, the owner, cook and dishwasher.  The pizza was fantastic and the beer was ice cold.  We ordered a medium size and had enough left for the following evening.

So then back to our room for a good night’s rest, because on Day 4 we are heading up Ross Maxwell Drive for some more photos to show you.

Until then, click on the images to see enlargements and enjoy.