A quick tour of Lajitas, Texas

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Much going on these days, it must be the "winter" stigma with shorter days and avenues to take on some projects as if I did not have enough of those! It is amazing how we can stay busy living on the road. The conception that we get up late and loaf around and just ride, eat and sleep… well, is so off from reality. I keep joking with Spirit telling him that we need a vacation! Projects that I have taken on to fill the increasing darker hours, small steps into some new avenues as I do have the freedom and now the time to go there. I have decided to pursue the idea regarding printing "postcards". I have no idea what the colors will look like as I have for the first time ordered just a few through two printing company as samples. Regardless, they are too expensive to go that route and the thought is to try to purchase a Canon photo printer. It is a dedicated printer for postcards, 4 x 6, seems an easy printer to use as the ink and postcard ready paper are both in one cartridge. Along with postcards, as I have been lately into researching for better dog food and treat ingredients, is to make my own in small batches, for Spirit of course, but also along… could be offered as a package deal maybe with postcards, for sale on this site. "Spirited Treats" I call them! Nothing that would tie us down, post offices are everywhere and my little oven here, a very efficient one by the way will bake them out per order. It’s all good…

 

Yesterday’s morning Sunrise was magical. I happen to glance out of the window and two seconds later I was out there sitting on the limestone ground endlessly clicking that shutter. It was a gift, it was a sight just so truly unreal, a hair raising experience, this is when ultimately one’s senses totally detaches from the past and the future to only "live" the moment. There was no alteration to those pictures… and yet, as beautiful and breathtaking I think the pictures present themselves as, it is not near its true vision.

All in a few minutes, constant new strokes of the brush, what a show it was!

 

And again there is Spirit with his new helmet… A much better fit now! Better air circulation as I added some more padding which comes with it, it sits right on top of his Doggles. He likes it now and his yesterday’s attitude (poor guy!) is gone. He is actually funny when he gets an attitude and yet, only complains in silence, puts his head down, will not respond when I talk to him and right away my heart goes to him to alter the ordeal he goes through. I am sure that he will have plenty to write about soon! Rough life…

 

I am just realizing however that he is lost in the pictures now with his helmet and Doggles being black! Will have to switch colors and maybe get some stickers for that helmet!!! So yes, Lajitas… a controversial little town… a big expensive Resort going through some serious financial trouble. Only a few miles west of Terlingua but thousands of miles away in its neighborly feel. I have never seen and experienced  the original Lajitas, only listened to the locals telling me stories about it. Terlingua and Lajitas were at one time as one, the structures were real, the feel one finds here was also present in that small village. Today the Airport is called an "International" airport as guests are shuttled from bigger cities, but… not much traffic these days. The Resort is actually up for auction, they are looking for a 20 million dollar tag, a bargain I feel considering the original investment was 100 million dollars and another 13 or so borrowed and still at default… Anyone?

All has been redone, it has been rebuilt and built to "look" authentic. Authentic can only look it when it really is left alone, untouched, maybe repaired but standing still, weathered by the years of Mother Nature’s abuse… Again, I can only imagine how all looked before the take over a few years ago to built this Resort which to this day never showed a single penny of profit. Who knows, maybe someone else will take over, lower its prices to again attract newcomers, locals from Terlingua, maybe more job opportunities.

We where looking for the Mayor, Henry II, who resided across the Trading Post and was not there. I asked an employee driving by about his whereabouts and was told that Henry II died… We met him last year and already being a beer drinking goat his belly just did not look too healthy. So he has been replaced by now Clay Henry III… a good looking Mayor who must have won the elections with no problems. There is a thoughtful streak in his eyes and he was grunting the whole time he was looking at Spirit, maybe sensed the competition not knowing that Spirit I don’t think would ever run for Mayor…

I do have a favorite spot a bit past Lajitas where the river guides start most of their rafting trips. When border crossings where relaxed, there use to be a small boat which would take you across for a small amount, you are looking at the banks of a different country, Mexico, just a few steps away.

 

One can still cross here but has to come back through a Class C border crossing as in Presidio, many miles west.

We stopped at the Resort’s entrance itself, with rooms way above the one hundred dollar mark, expensive golf course and a deserted Shopping Mall, a modern Ghost Town in such a contrast with Terlingua. The only feeling I could express, having been in the hospitality profession myself all my life, was of sadness. Millions of dollars involving such constructions of the Restaurants, rooms and condos, even a Theatre. The stores are still open, I also felt for the employees sitting behind their counter hopefully immersed in some good books.

 

But maybe all this will change someday soon even thought the buildings will never go back to their original state. Someone with a "genius" idea might get the wheels turning and create an attractive destination for all, affordable, fun and interesting.

It was back to camp, back to the real Ghost Town where we have been for a while. Will we even get to ride it all before we leave? The State Park… a couple nights at the Chinati Hot Springs, Fort Davis, Balmorhea Springs with its huge pool, Marathon, Del Rio… Art Gallery Night coming up this weekend in Alpine, who said there was nowhere to go in Texas!!!

Till next time, you all be well…

Ara & Spirit

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Ara Gureghian   853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245   Naples, Fl 34108

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