Big Bend N.P.

Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
1
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United States  , Texas
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's starting to feel like the west!  Mountains, desert, and cacti.  After leaving San Antonio, we spent one night at Amistad National Recreation Area (just outside border town, Del Rio).  While we were closer to the road than we liked, we got to sleep under the stars (first time without the tent fly), and met a daring young, Czech from British Columbia, Lucas, who was on his way back to Canada after a 5-month car trip through Mexico and Central America.  After stocking up on food for the next few days at the local Wal-mart (yes, I said Wal-mart), we moved on.   

Big Bend National Park, located along the Mexican border in southwestern Texas, is massive, spanning 800,000 acres of Chihuahuan Desert, Chisos Mountains, and Rio Grande River.  We spent two nights in this amazing landscape, and explored only a tiny fraction of it.  Setting up camp in Chisos Basin Campground the first evening was a bit challenging due to cold, windy weather and a surprising crowd (for mid week in April).  However, the following morning, most everyone cleared out early, and we had our pick of sites.  We lucked out, finding a spot farther down in the basin with a great view and hidden tent site.  I called it our "Secret Zen Garden", as large rocks and rugged, curvy trees protected it from the road and sun.  We did our first serious hike on The Window Trail, continuing up Oak Springs Trail and reaching somewhere between 6,000 and 7,800 ft. in altitude, for a spectacular panoramic view of the dessert below.  I had a little trouble at the higher altitudes: my legs felt like lead, my movement was labored, and I got cranky (as John can attest to), but we carried plenty of water with us, and by the time our descent was underway, my energy surged again.  The view from the top and sense of accomplishment was worth the discomfort.  

A drive clear across Big Bend to the southeastern edge of the park, took us to the banks of the Rio Grande, hot springs, and view of Boquillas (a small Mexican village).  Unfortunately, the daytime temperatures were way too hot to enjoy the 104 degree springs, but we dipped our legs into the cooler river water and talked to some European hikers who'd earlier seen a man carefully crossing the swift Rio Grande from Boquillas, to check on his handicrafts and money jar, which he'd set out for potential patrons on the U.S. side.  The close proximity to the heavily watched Mexican border was a first for me.  National land borders are a strange concept for a citizen of a country as geographically immense as the United States, and when one comes upon them, it's a bit of a shock, as if access to the seemingly endless and open landscape, will never end, be questioned, or denied.  We were actually stopped by border patrol two or three times coming and going into Big Bend, and I found it a bit intimidating.  A wake-up call to the privileged mobility we enjoy.
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Comments

ysy237450226
ysy237450226 on

wow
so nice ,so wonderful .

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