A charming solar/rain-catchment adobe and stone cabin in a prime location, very peaceful and private, with an unbeatable view of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. This small off-grid/solar/rain-catchment cabin offers a queen sized bed, plus a comfortable cot when needed for an extra person. Also available is a separate campsite with a raised 15'x15' tent pad, a picnic table and fire pit.
Thanks for your interest in the Leapin' Lizard. The Leapin' Lizard Guest House is a small rain-catchment and solar-powered adobe and stone house on 20 acres, located 2 miles from Terlingua Ghostown, the cultural center of Terlingua's universe. It's convenient to both Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. Hiking, mountain biking, rafting and canoeing, atv, jeep, air tours and golf are all activities close by. The porch of the Terlingua Trading Company in the Ghostown is the local 'family room', where live music is often played. The Starlight Theatre, also in the Ghostown, offers fine dining and music as well. La Kiva is another popular restaurant nearby.
The Leapin' Lizard sits at the end of a dirt road - very private and peaceful, with a great view of the Chisos Mts. in Big Bend Nat. Park. It's located nine tenths of a mile off of the pavement, but it's a good road, fine in any weather, for any vehicle with normal clearance.
Water at the guest house is provided by a rain-water collection system, fairly common here in our desert. Mindfulness about the amount of water you use is important here. The Leapin' Lizard is also a solar-powered place, and while there are lights, plus you can charge any devices you may have, I recommend that you leave high-electricity-use items such as hair dryers at home. Please don't bring ANY appliances of your own such as fans, coffee-makers, MEDICAL DEVICES or electronic toys... An oscillating floor fan is provided during the warm months.
The adobe has a very comfortable queen-size bed, with linens and towels provided. The guest house really serves two people best, but if you have up to four people total in your group, a campsite with a raised tent pad, fire pit, and picnic table is available for overflow for $20 per person per night and can accommodate two. There is also a cot available, which can be set up in an adjacent room that has its own entry door., and works well for a third adult or a child. Please, no toddlers, though, as there are safety concerns. The house sits in a native environment and there are steps, rocks, and cacti all around. If you have children that you hope to have stay as well, let's talk about it first.
Wi-fi is available on the property, but not accessible inside the guest house. You'll find a good signal and a comfortable place to sit at the campsite.
The outdoor kitchen has what you need to fix meals from breakfast burritos to steaks, including a small propane refrigerator, a 4-burner cook top, and a charcoal Weber grill. A good-sized ice chest is provided, handy for icing down cold drinks. There is no oven and no microwave. Drinking water and spices are provided, as well as coffee fixins and a selection of teas. The coffee system is a porcelain Melita cone/ filter and insulated carafe, which is ready for coffee lovers upon arrival. There are plenty of dishes and utensils of all kinds. The kitchen facility is simple but very serviceable. The sink is an old enamel/cast iron one from the 50's, with built-in drain boards and cupboard space below. There's a large stainless steel container with a faucet that provides water to the sink. You can also bring hot water for dish washing from the spigot located in the outdoor shower a few steps away, in the enameled kettle provided for that purpose. Simple, but it works.
The, ahem, bathroom facilities are about 30' from the house, in a little adobe structure that houses a sink and a county approved propane incinerating toilet, and the most necessary requirement - a seat with a view. An incinerating toilet is meant mostly for solid waste, but can also handle some liquid. Peeing in the great outdoors is not a requirement and at your discretion, but is greatly appreciated. The stone outdoor shower is plenty private, yet you can still enjoy the view of the mountains over the top of its cedar gate. There's lots of hot water, of course. There is also a separate campsite convenient to the guest house, equipped with a 15'x15' raised tent pad, a picnic table, a fire pit, and two Adirondack chairs. If you are interested in setting up a tent for, say, your teenagers, or another couple, consider the campsite an option.
You can light a small fire in the chiminea out on the porch if you like, and there's also a stone fire ring available when Brewster County is not under a burn ban, plus a fire pit as well at the campsite. Firewood is sometimes available in limited quantities, but you're certainly welcome to bring your own. Our grocery store also sells small bundles.
The Leapin' Lizard is normally available to guests from September through May, but if the lack of a.c. in this solar-powered house is not an issue, accommodations can be arranged during the summer months for a discounted rate of $160 per night's stay.
There's another building, which began life as a two-stall horse barn, about 200 feet west of the rental (the porch/ main windows/ views from the rental face east, towards the National Park). It's being converted into a home now, and is where I live. I understand, however, that peace and privacy are two of the best things about being at my guest house, and I make certain you have plenty of both. Hope to see you in Terlingua!
You have access to the whole 20 acres, the adobe bedroom, the porch, which contains the kitchen area, has a small dining table, a chiminea, and comfortable seating for relaxing with a book or enjoying the view. The stone addition to the main adobe is accessible when a cot is requested for an extra person. There is also a separate 8'-high deck, nice for stargazing or throwing down a sleeping bag, with a shaded area on the stone patio below. Up on the deck is a great place to be, weather permitting, during any of the meteor showers that occur throughout the year. Also a nice place to just enjoy the mountain view!
Interaction with guests
I'm available to address any needs and questions my guests may have, but unless they initiate fellowship, I give folks plenty of space and privacy. I've met some wonderful people who have stayed with me, but understand that everyone is different and some are more interested in friendly interaction than others. I've lived in Big Bend 32 years and am happy to share my knowledge of the place, the outfitters and activities here, some of the best hikes to do, etc. Feel free to ask! There are also a few chores I do around the place, such as watering plants and checking on your drinking water supply, that I take care of as unobtrusively as possible - generally when you are out and about enjoying your day.
Other things to note
I feed the birds here regularly, and you're likely to see a variety of feathered locals at the feeder, especially in the spring. Scaled quail come in, as do Scott's orioles and Mexican cardinals. There's a regular furry visitor - a young, one-eyed female coyote I call Thin Lizzie - you may also see her if you're lucky. It's common to hear the coyotes singing in the evening or early morning. There are also several great horned owls that hoot regularly in the early hours of the morning, mostly during the warmer months...
*Turn off ALL valves in the shower area after use. (Clockwise is off for all the valves.)
*NO CACTUS/ PLANT DIGGING OR ROCK COLLECTING anywhere on the property, Unless you're ok with me coming to your house and helping myself to plants and rocks from your yard.
* While I do accept children, I make an acception for very young kids. There are too many ways a little child can get into mischief or hurt themselves here. Thanks for understanding.
*Dogs are sometimes allowed, but you must provide a crate for your pet, your pet MUST be crated when you are not there with him. Failure to crate your pet inside the house when you are gone constitutes a forfeiture of your deposit.) Poop patrol is also appreciated.
*Please, no smoking indoors. Ashtrays are provided on the porch for those who must smoke.
*This house is on a rainwater collection system, which means every drop of water used is either harvested from rain that falls on the roof, or is physically hauled to the property by means of a tank on a trailer (and that's a job!). Please try to be mindful of this; leaving the water running down the drain while brushing your teeth is a cardinal sin. Close ALL SHOWER VALVES after use.Thanks in advance for being considerate!
*Please turn off lights and fan - ANYTHING electrical -when you go out in the evening, so as to conserve the batteries in the solar/electric system. This is especially important during the winter, when daylight hours are short and we're more likely to have overcast weather. There are some outdoor solar path lights, but flashlights are a must to carry when you come and go.
*Please do not bring any of your own appliances such as fans, hair dryers, medical devices, or multiple electronic toys. A fan is provided during the warm months.
* There is a fire ring to enjoy, as long as Brewster County is not under a burn ban, and there's also a chiminea on the porch which you can use anytime. Whatever you burn in the chiminea must actually fit inside it; otherwise you run the risk of cracking the chiminea lip. You may want to bring firewood with you (it's a scarce commodity in the desert), or you can purchase bundles of firewood at our local grocery store.
*There's a charcoal Weber grill, and while I don't provide charcoal and lighter fluid, guests often leave behind what they don't use. Ask; chances are there's a supply.
* No firearms will be permitted anywhere on the premises outside of your personal vehicle. Thanks for your cooperation.
The BIGGEST rule is to make yourselves at home!