Wednesday's drive is beautiful with the last 25 miles through the national park. As expected, signs for the government shutdown greet us.
An email and voice message told me this morning that the Study-Butte RV Park owners are out of town and that we're in Space 2. It's very tight, but we make it work. Level dirt with 50 amp FHUs, and consistent WiFi all week. Dark and quiet, no picnic tables or fire rings. Showers and laundry, but the office is never open even when the owners return. Check or cash only. The park is full nearly every night. Glad I got reservations!
When we grab some tacos at the local gas station (don't judge, they're really good) we overhear that tourists are trashing the park because the restrooms are closed. As it turns out, we see zero trash the whole time we're in the park and the restrooms are all still open. Good reminder that people speak, but don't always know.
The iconic view of Big Bend National Park is where the Rio Grande passes through Santa Elena Canyon - and it's the only place in the park that's closed. Oh well, next time.
|Santa Elena Canyon from the overlook.|
|Wonderful contrast of colors and textures along the banks of the Rio Grande.|
|There are so many layers here, and on a clear, sunny day you can see lots of them.|
|Castolon Station and Historic District|
We pick up River Road at Cottonwood Campground (closed), a four-wheel-drive road that we'll take down to the river and back. Instead we turn left and end up deep into the park. 70 miles later we get back on the highway at Rio Grande Village Campground (partial closed), with another 50 miles to home. It's a wonderful and fun adventure, but pack a lunch if you're going to do it :-)
|A perfect day to go topless.|
|Looking like snow, the petrified dunes glow in the sun.|
|Layers on Castellan Peak tell the story of floods and ash.|
|A small slit in Santa Elena Canyon in the distance.|
|During this visit it's hard to look at the beauty with the threat of a massive wall destroying it. The Rio Grande would be lost to Mexico.|
|Shapes and layers|
|A constantly changing view.|
|We've never seen these formations before!|
|Feeling like we're being watched.....|
|By the end of the drive these cliffs are looking like layer cake!|
|There is a Weeping Woman near our old home and Bill finds this similar formation along the park's highway.|
|Several Yucca in bloom|
|A pop of color along the wash.|
|Long views from Sotol Vista|
|Native Americans roasted the bulbs of the Sotol for food. On New Year's Eve we'll enjoy Sotol margaritas :-)|
|Every turn grabs your eye.|
|Entrance to Lost Burro Mesa Pouroff|
|New added to old for little AirBnBs.|
|Locals expressing their opinion. Other signs are not so subtle.|
|Terlingua is a mix of building up and tearing down.|