Big Bend National Park day 2
Trip Start May 06, 2010
137Trip End Oct 14, 2010
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Where I stayed
Motel Bien Venido
The trail to Balanced Rock goes between two hills with unusually shaped rocks. After walking about half a mile you then head up one of the hills. After another quarter mile you come around a corner and find yourself right next to Balanced Rock. If it's visible from anywhere along the trail I didn't see it. Unfortunately, the lighting was terrible on Balanced Rock too. At least it was a shorter trail than the others.
I continued toward the Santa Elena Canyon in the southwest corner of the park stopping at all of the overlooks on the way and taking a couple of the shorter hikes. This route took me by, and sometimes up into, the mountainous parts of the park, which are quite interesting with a wide variety of exposed rock strata.
When I reached the Santa Elena Canyon I was planning on heading north along the Old Maverick Road so I'd be able to take sunset shots of the Chisos Mountains to the east. It seemed like a good plan until I found that the road was closed due to a washout.
I then backtracked to a point where I reached another road that connected me to the northern end of the Old Maverick Road. Along the way I encountered a tarantula crossing the road. I quickly stopped and grabbed my camera. The tarantula wasn't very cooperative and much faster than I expected. I eventually lost him in the brush along the side of the road. I then continued to the northern end of Old Maverick Road and then headed north out of the park where I encountered another immigration checkpoint on my way to Alpine, where I got a room for the night. I also came across three javelinas, an adult with a baby and then later one by itself. Unlike the two coyotes I came across while driving out yesterday evening, the javelinas seem clueless about the dangers of cars. They looked confused and darted around in the road in from of me. I narrowly avoided accidents, with little help from them.
Tomorrow I'll finish the drive to Albuquerque where I'm meeting my family for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.