Terlingua – must see tourist destination
The original Terlingua is now a ghost town, the current Terlingua just a few miles away adjoining Study Butte. Terlingua was a mining town – mining cinnabar, from which Mercury is derived. Study Butte and Terlingua were also important points of commerce in early pioneer history and have a rich history of trade with and development by Mexican nationals who lived and worked in the area before the borders became as rigid as they are today.
It is also one of the few places one can get a cell signal near or in the park. Wi-fi is generally available at the private concessionaire RV Park at Rio Grande Village, at the Chisos Mountain Lodge and at the Visitor Centers. While there are convenience type stores within the park, there is a small grocery store in Terlingua. You can also get gas and propane a bit less expensively than in the park.
As a town, Terlingua/Study Butte is not very attractive. It’s spread out, half ghost town itself, and doesn’t look like it’s ever seen an urban planner. There are businesses dedicated to tourists – a few motels, RV Parks, curio shops and River rafting, horseback tours and helicopter tour outfits. A few bars and diners round out the offerings.
The cemetery seems to encapsulate the town effectively. To my eye, completely disorganized and largely falling apart, there was a mix of old, abandoned graves, well-tended gravesites for a religious subset of the community, and an eclectic set of gravesites seemingly belonging to the ‘booze and bikes’ section of the community.
|older, but still well maintained|
many, like this one - unknown and decaying
|somehow, however well-intended, I can't see the bottles as respectful|