“The health of the eye,” said Emerson, “seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.” I think that is why I am drawn to the Big Bend of Texas. There is something about the expansive views in this wide part of the state that is hard to put into words — but that the heart understands.
Almost a year and a half has passed since we bought our little place in Terlingua Ranch. When we first set foot on what was to become our property, Cheryl and I were instantly captivated by the beauty of the surrounding mesas and mountains. Rising above a sea of creosote bushes and stands of ocotillo stretching spiny fingers toward the sky, these distant vistas made our eyes feel good, really good.
This past week we took another big step in our off-grid journey — the delivery of our cabin. We bought a Derksen cabin from the good folks at Green Desert Living. We added some larger windows to enjoy the views of Black Hill and Nine Point Mesa, two of the most iconic landmarks in the Big Bend Valley.
The delivery of the cabin went without a hitch. Johnny, the delivery guy, maneuvered the cabin with total precision into the area I had cleared on my previous visit to the property. Our larger windows look out toward Nine Point Mesa to the East and our front porch faces Red Bluff and the Christmas Mountains to the South.
Our neighbors, Joe and Lisa, showed up to watch the delivery. Joe has a YouTube Channel called Full Vegan on which he chronicles their off-grid journey in the Big Bend Valley. I have followed them from the start. Joe and Lisa have acquired many off-grid talents. Joe included some footage of our place on his post entitled Deliveries in the Valley at 5 minutes and 35 seconds into the video.
Joe helped me get our air conditioner set up and then wired our generator to the electrical box on our cabin. We will use the generator during the day until we get our solar panels and batteries installed. Loved having cool air during the hottest part of the day. The nights were remarkably pleasant.
Cheryl and I spent the week working on the inside of our cabin. We insulated all of the walls and added sheetrock. I will return later to frame out our bathroom and to tape, float, texture and add wainscoting. We also got a lot done outside the cabin. We are shredding the dead stuff around the property to experiment with making our own mulch and compost.
Perhaps the best part of the day came after all of the hard work. We loved sitting on the front porch, enjoying the evening breeze as the light of day faded and the evening stars and the Milky Way made their appearance. There are no words to describe the beauty of the night sky in Big Bend, regarded one of the darkest places in the nation. The night sky is absolutely crowded with stars.
We are loving our adventure at Dos Arbolitos. Some might not understand what it is about the Chihuahuan Desert that we find so enchanting. A Terlingua Proverb sums it up best: From the outside looking in, you don’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it. We are definitely happy and blessed to be on the inside looking out. Loving the adventure.