I am on the last leg of my Texas adventure with Mady and Kate and this is perhaps the most beautiful stop to date, the Cibolo Creek Ranch. If you are ever looking for a great place to chill out in the middle of nowhere…but want it to still be in the USA and be where you might just find your inner cowgirl, then you must definitely check out this beautiful spot located in what is known as the Big Bend territory of western Texas.
To my compadres and me, this was the quintessential Texas experience. Surrounded by remarkable mountains and plateaus and wildlife and run with all of the hospitality you would expect when in Texas, the ranch is the perfect escape. There is just the right mix of Mexican and native American Indian culture and frontier pioneer in the design of Ciblolo plus tons of history behind the location, to fill your head with interesting and engaging stories about the buildings and the surrounding land.
The ranch was originally the property of one Milton Faver. Rumored to have been the survivor of a duel, which, subsequently, made him an outlaw, he fled to the high deserts of west Texas and started a new life there as a cattle rancher…where, I might add, he was extremely successful. The property, now owned privately, spreads over 30,000 acres. The main buildings are all of adobe construction and incorporate three forts originally constructed by Faver to protect his family from Indian attacks.
All of the guest suites are housed in these meticulously restored buildings. Wonderfully, the rooms have no TV’s or telephones and all have large double doors which open unto beautifully groomed courtyards. The rooms are decorated with Spanish and Mexican antiques and hand sewn quilts and spanish tiles and offer adobe fireplaces, which actually work.
The serenity is obvious from the moment you set foot onto the property. But, if you want to journey out for a little adventure, there are numerous hiking trails you can take, as well as a wonderful private tour of the property with a guide driving a jeep specially made for the rugged terrain. Or, if you prefer, hop on a mountain bike and do the tour yourself. You can actually see Mexico…really… off in the distance when you are driving around certain areas of the property.
There is also a spa and a man made lake where paddle boating reigns. Did not need the spa services but couldn’t resist a paddleboat tour several times around the lake with my sister, soaking in the gorgeous sunshine and laughing at ourselves being in a paddleboat. Funny, how some things are so much more fun when you are out of your own element.
One evening, an astronomer from the MacDonald Observatory (see post) came over and gave our small group a private lecture about the heavens above using the high powered telescope on the property. How fabulous it was to see Jupiter, Mars, the Moon and so many of the different constellations pointed out in the skies. The sky , day or night, in this part of the world is simply stupendous. I often marveled at how blue it was during the day and how starry it was at night…really awe inspiring.
And let us not forget our exciting trail ride around the property! Really haven’t been up on a horse is years, so this was just a perfect way to get some exercise and sunshine and see the lay of the land from a different perspective. We had a terrific guide on this equine excursion named Dennis, who filled our ears with those little details of the history of the ranch and the surrounding lands while we rode, which just served to make the place come so much more alive.
Meals were a community event and you got to meet a whole bunch of other Texans…they are simply the most polite and gracious people I have met in a long time! Seems Cibolo is a big destination for Texans from Austin, Houston and San Antonio who want to escape to it’s peace and quiet. There were probably not more than 20 guests when we were there, so it really felt as if we were having a private dinner party every time we sat down. And add to the plus list that the food was par excellence, with the delicious meals reflecting the Tex-Mex nature of the ranch.
Hard for us all to leave this little piece of heaven…so tranquil, so different, so out of the box for these city ladies! This is one destination I will definitely return to in the future.
Adios, amigos! Back to the Big Apple…
Activities include horseback riding,