September 5, 2016

Views at Terlingua Ranch Retreat

In my Graboid post you saw some of the lovely desert-y locale I was talking about. Let me show you the whole place. Welcome to the Terlingua Ranch Retreat.

You might remember, or know, that my husband and I really love the Big Bend National Park area of Texas. We went last year at in the spring, at Thanksgiving, and at Christmas. Well we didn't go this spring, and were itching to get back, so we rented another small property in the same group of houses as LTM Ranch from Big Bend Vacation Rentals. These houses are all managed as a group and it is now part of my bucket list to try out each and every one.
Downstairs from the front door. Stairs upstairs to the far right. Kitchen to the left. Bathroom behind the fridge wall.
This house was pretty small but very charming. Perfect for two people and a dog. I'd say the whole place was maybe 1000 square feet. It faces so that the one of the two porches on each end of the main living area is always in shade. It has a small downstairs containing the kitchen, small eating area, a living room and bathroom.
front porch views
Right inside the front door is the stairs to the bedroom which is the same size as the whole downstairs, so you can get an idea of how small the place is.
Upstairs is pretty roomy, queen bed, two closets. You can see the swamp cooler in the wall to the left.
Being there in the summer might not have been the best idea as it runs off the grid. Power to the house is generated from a wind turbine, a solar array and a small gas generator. The trick was balancing the power consumption with keeping the house cool. By the last night we had it down to a science, running the window AC units in the morning off the generator, shutting the house down and letting the batteries charge during the hottest part of the day while we went out, and then using the swamp (evaporative) cooler through the night.
View from the upstairs windows.
The days got up to about 101 degrees by 2pm and the nights only cooled off to about 88 after midnight. We brought a huge 5 gallon igloo cooler for ice water and it made the whole trip so much better. Keeping us and the dog hydrated with COLD water was the best.
Simple is the best.
The other way to keep cool was to use the outdoor shower. Let me tell you this simple amenity made all the difference after a long day. As there is no one for miles, it was lovely to look out on such a view.
View from the shower 
I would wait till just before sunset so that most of the heat of the day had passed and I could watch the colors change. And what sunsets there are!
You can see the wind turbine and solar battery shed to the left, back porch to the right.


Even Gingko had a great time I think. We kept her close but let her roam around and was sure to have plenty of water for her too, while keeping her paws off the hot ground too much.

on the back porch
We for sure want to go back, but maybe in the Fall, as we'd love to just stay at the house all day with the windows open, chilling on the porches and relaxing.

A photo posted by Anthos (@anthos_root) on

And I have yet to mention the real reason we went... the Stars! This fourth of July had no moon out and had Sagittarius high in the sky which is the direction of the center of the Milky Way. So my husband and I spent every night up till about 2 am watching and photographing the sky. Check him out as JohnnySideways on Flicker to see more.

Big Bend in July (18 of 25)

It's no wonder every time we go that we think about buying a place out here to retire in.