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Old 12-22-2019, 01:11 AM   #1
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Big Bend/ Lajitas Area

Anyone ever stayed in this area? Things I should know? Staying at Maverick Ranch in January. Much appreciated. Brian
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:47 AM   #2
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Hi Brian,
We are leaving the area tomorrow after about 12 days at Loma Paloma RV Park (super informal, just pull in, pick a site and the owner, Maxine, will find you. Rustic desert park. It's on the western end of Big Bend Ranch State Park, which is west of the national park. We drove through the park several times thru Lajitas (didn't stop) and into Terlingua. Definitely check out the Terlingua Ghost Town, which is being settled by artists. The trading post there is interesting. Good BBQ at DB's Rustic Iron BBQ food truck. We bought the 2 meat meal for $20 and had 3 meals out of it. If you are heading west, then research Marfa, Alpine and Fort Davis, too. We spent a couple of days exploring those areas from our base in Presidio. If you like to hike, we loved Closed Canyon in the state park, but beware that you can't get all the way to the river without vertical climbing gear. Otherwise most of it is a beautiful trail through the canyon. Hope this didn't get to you too late to be helpful! (oops, just reread your inquiry and you were here last month.)
Grace
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:02 AM   #3
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You were a stone's throw from the border. Was it safe?
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:08 AM   #4
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Of course. There was very little evidence of the border strife that you see in Arizona and California. People seemed to go about their lives without giving the border a thought.
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:09 AM   #5
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The area is very remote and would be difficult for someone to cross the landscape for illegal entry. It just didn't seem like much of an issue which was refreshing.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:03 PM   #6
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Very safe

Yes, it was very safe. We loved the area, and the locals, most of them originally from Mexico. Because there's a huge port of entry there, I would imagine that most crime is not committed in the area - there's a lot of border patrol around. The locals told me they don't lock their doors and leave valuables in unlocked cars. Life here is very cross border, and the winter Texans told me they shop for groceries, and go to doctors, in Mexico. We didn't go on this trip, but would without hesitation in the future.

We also felt very safe in the RV park, which is large but not at all close to full occupancy. The owner, Maxine, lives there during the winter, and her daughter also lives there full-time. We quickly met all the people who were there, including the folks coming in for just a night or two along the way. We hiked in the desert and felt safe, too.

Truthfully, the terrain on the Mexico side is so rough, my thought was that anyone who could make it through the Chihuahan desert into the US would be exactly the kind of hardy and hard-working person we would want in our country!

The town of Presidio is poor, but we didn't find it threatening. I was stalked in my twenties, and so have a heightened sense of my own vulnerability, and was very pleasantly surprised how comfortable I felt there.

Don't expect much shopping! This is an area for natural beauty and relating to locals, and not your typical tourist area. For that reason, we loved it.
Grace
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Old Goat & Grace View Post
Yes, it was very safe. We loved the area, and the locals, most of them originally from Mexico. Because there's a huge port of entry there, I would imagine that most crime is not committed in the area - there's a lot of border patrol around. The locals told me they don't lock their doors and leave valuables in unlocked cars. Life here is very cross border, and the winter Texans told me they shop for groceries, and go to doctors, in Mexico. We didn't go on this trip, but would without hesitation in the future.

We also felt very safe in the RV park, which is large but not at all close to full occupancy. The owner, Maxine, lives there during the winter, and her daughter also lives there full-time. We quickly met all the people who were there, including the folks coming in for just a night or two along the way. We hiked in the desert and felt safe, too.

cut...

Truthfully, the terrain on the Mexico side is so rough, my thought was that anyone who could make it through the Chihuahan desert into the US would be exactly the kind of hardy and hard-working person we would want in our country!

cut...
Thank you Grace. I'll pass on the debate over illegal crossings. I'm not worried about the ones here legally, just the desperate ones that aren't. An RV is an opportunity to fly under the radar so your life could be at risk. Happy Trails
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Old 02-21-2020, 09:13 PM   #8
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If you like being in the middle of nowhere and paying a premium for everything you buy, you may like it. For us, Big Bend was a once in a lifetime trip.
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Old 02-23-2020, 03:41 PM   #9
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Hi Brian,
We are leaving the area tomorrow after about 12 days at Loma Paloma RV Park (super informal, just pull in, pick a site and the owner, Maxine, will find you. Rustic desert park. It's on the western end of Big Bend Ranch State Park, which is west of the national park. We drove through the park several times thru Lajitas (didn't stop) and into Terlingua. Definitely check out the Terlingua Ghost Town, which is being settled by artists. The trading post there is interesting. Good BBQ at DB's Rustic Iron BBQ food truck. We bought the 2 meat meal for $20 and had 3 meals out of it. If you are heading west, then research Marfa, Alpine and Fort Davis, too. We spent a couple of days exploring those areas from our base in Presidio. If you like to hike, we loved Closed Canyon in the state park, but beware that you can't get all the way to the river without vertical climbing gear. Otherwise most of it is a beautiful trail through the canyon. Hope this didn't get to you too late to be helpful! (oops, just reread your inquiry and you were here last month.)
Grace
Thanks Grace. We stayed in Lajitas and loved it. Spent the month of January hiking and savoring the local culture. It felt very Bohemian to us. Stayed at Maverick Ranch which is well managed and has hiking trails right at your doorstep with no need to drive to a trailhead. You are quite remote, but that didn't seem to be an issue. Terlingua has a grocery store that is well stocked for such a remote spot. We will stay again next winter for a month. The area is quite stunning. It was an unexpected gem for us. Staying in Terlingua or Lajitas gets you much closer to the national park than you were. It frustrates me that there are those that seem to have irrational fears about the border. This area gives you a glimpse of what it could be.
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Old 02-24-2020, 02:01 AM   #10
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You sound like you have a vested interest.
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Old 02-25-2020, 06:34 PM   #11
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Vested interest?

Not sure what you meant by that or to whom you were replying?
Grace
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Old Goat & Grace View Post
Not sure what you meant by that or to whom you were replying?
Grace
Hey Grace. That gentleman seemed as if he was being critical of my reply to your note. I have no vested interest; just trying to share as much info as I can to enhance the value of this forum. I really appreciate your notes.
Brian
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:32 PM   #13
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If you like being in the middle of nowhere and paying a premium for everything you buy, you may like it. For us, Big Bend was a once in a lifetime trip.
Let. Keeffer,
You are absolutely correct about over paying for EVERYTHING. It is an interesting area to say the least. Kayaked on the Rio Grande within the park and hiked The Window and to the top of Emery Peak. Three experiences I'll never forget.
Brian
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:33 PM   #14
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Let. Keeffer,
You are absolutely correct about over paying for EVERYTHING. It is an interesting area to say the least. Kayaked on the Rio Grande within the park and hiked The Window and to the top of Emery Peak. Three experiences I'll never forget.
Brian
Lt, sorry for the typo of your title.
Brian
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:36 PM   #15
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overpaying in small towns

I agree that prices were high for things, gas in particular was in the high $2.70s when it was as low as $2.01 in Rockport, Texas the same day. Guess these isolated areas cost more to bring things in. But, as there was little shopping other than some groceries and gas, it was offset by the low price of our camping ($110 for the week, $250 if you stay a month at Loma Paloma, with a nightly rate about $22).

The vistas and R&R are worth the extra costs, in my opinion, and we'll definitely go back. In fact, we are in Las Cruces, NM now, and are planning to drive to New Orleans by going back through the Big Bend area so we can see the National Park, too. Might just try the Maverick park for a night on the way, or one in Terlingua so it isn't as much driving in a day.

Thanks all for the good conversation and info!
Grace
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