Monday, November 8, 2010
Our plan for this day was to head to visit our friend John Wells at his "Southwest Texas Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living Field Laboratory", or The Field Lab for short. This is his off-the-grid homestead in the Terlingua Ranch area, about fifteen miles north of Study Butte. John's place is a couple miles off Hwy. 118, along one of the unpaved ranch roads. John was not home when we got there, so we left a note on his door. We went back to the paved road and stopped at The Grub Shack to see if anyone there knew when John would be back. No one there had any information about John, so we left.
Since we were at the main entrance to Terlingua Ranch, we decided to head on over to the Terlingua Ranch Lodge, the heart of this development. Calling it a development is sort of contrary to what it really is. True, they have sub-divided a large portion of the desert here, and sold lots to a lot of people, but there is no development to speak of. There are a few scattered homesteads, but the only development is the Lodge. There is a paved road for most of the way from Hwy. 118 to the lodge, a distance of about sixteen miles.
If you're looking for a secluded get-away, this is the place. It's not primitive, but it sure is rustic. There is the main office, a great two story hall made of stone that serves as the restaurant and dance hall. There are also some cabins for rent, RV spaces and a restroom building with showers, a swimming pool, a great outdoor plaza, a shooting range, and a game processing shop. Evidently there is some good hunting in the surrounding hills and mountains. They also have an airstrip for those who want to fly in.
We had been here once before, several years ago. I had heard that the Lodge had closed, and so, wanted to go check it out for myself. We went to the office and there were three people there who assured us that the Lodge was indeed open for business. Good news. They gave us permission to wander around the place, so we spent about an hour there taking pictures.
I'd like to stay here at the Lodge for a few days, but it seems the only time we're in the area is during the Chili Cook-Off. From the Lodge back to the highway is about sixteen miles, and from there it's about twenty more miles down to the Chili Cook-Off, a bit too far to be driving every day during the Chili Cook-Off. We may come down some other time just to stay at the Lodge and chill out.