The SpaceThanks 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.
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 $40 per night and can accommodate two. No young children, please, 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.
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. There is no oven and no microwave. Filtered drinking water, cooking oil, 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, 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. 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 $145 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! Guest AccessYou 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 adobe houses the water heater and is currently used for storage. It isn't part of the guest house yet, but will eventually be an indoor shower/sink/dressing area for guests... There is also a separate 8'-high deck with a shaded area and chairs on the stone patio below, sometimes used for sleeping under the stars with your own sleeping bags. This is a great thing to do, weather permitting, during any of the meteor showers that occur throughout the year. Also a nice place to just enjoy the view! Interaction with GuestsI'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 31 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. The NeighborhoodSome things I love about my 'neighborhood' are the view! And the quiet! And the proximity to area attractions... I also consider the folks across the Rio Grande to be my neighbors and friends, and if you are so inclined and have a passport, it can be a wonderful experience to cross over (by rowboat) into the village of Boquillas, Coahuilla, Mexico. Located across the river from Rio Grande Village in Big Bend National Park, the crossing reopened there (finally!) awhile back. I mention it here so that if this interests you, you'll know to bring your passport... Getting AroundThere is no usual taxi sevice or public transit in Terlingua, except for a gal who has a business called 'Help Me, Rhonda' (yes, that IS her name). She runs a safe and comfortable van during some of our local events, such as the Terlingua Chili Cook-Off. Other Things to NoteI 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 three great horned owls that hoot regularly in the early hours of the morning, mostly during the warmer months...