In praise of place: the dry lands (part 11) — Ten Bits Ranch
The rugged and remote Trans-Pecos region of Texas holds boundless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts of all ilks, photographers included.
Back in the Spring of 2005, Anne and I decided to head to the Big Bend, and were looking for a place to spend a couple of nights in a setting involving roof and bed (i.e., not camping). As I recall, the Chisos Mtn. Lodge was booked up, and in the process of looking farther afield we came across an internet pitch for a guest ranch called Ten Bits.
Just on the basis of its setting amongst the rocky crags, I was ready to give it a try; and Anne — being a green fiend — appreciated the fact that the entire operation ran on solar. And so we booked a room.
Ten Bits sits on private ranch land a dozen or so miles north of Study Butte, offering visitors an intimate view of some of the most dramatic Chihuahuan desert scenery you’re likely to see outside of the nearby government-administered parklands (Big Bend Natl. Park & Big Bend Ranch State Park). Jennifer and Steve Wick are charming and entertaining hosts, and included in the B&B amenities are numerous guided field trip opportunities visiting sites of both archaeological and paleontological significance.
Given the scenic attractions of the guest ranch itself — and the tasty Mexican food to be found in nearby Study Butte — we ended up making only one trip into the national park itself during our extended weekend outing, instead spending most of our time right there on the Ten Bits property.
It’s probably too late to consider a stay in this part of the country this year — until Fall rolls around, anyway. Unless you like your weather has hot as your tamales.