Saturday, January 5, 2019

I is for Inspiring - Big Bend Part Two

December 29, 2018
Terlingua, Texas

Photo overload warning!

Bill wins "said it first" this morning - Happy Anniversary to us! Family and friends check in all day, making it even more special.

It's cloudy and very cold when we head out for nearby Big Bend Ranch State Park. We expect to see more people here on this Saturday with the national park shutdown of services and campgrounds. The ranger at the small visitor center tells a couple hikers that they are "trying to accommodate as many as possible" which seems to support our expectation. 

The reality is that we see very few people, none of the campgrounds are full, and no one is out on the dirt roads. It means another wonderful day to ourselves in another beautiful place.

Foliage and geology compete for best color.

More beautiful views along the Rio Grande River.
Love this dark red arch over the monuments.

Interesting formations

The cliffs here look hand-scraped (by really big hands!).

A soft spot among all the heavy brush and rocky hills.

On loan from Utah.....

Small hoodoos along the river.
Whatever made these claw marks - I'm glad it's moved one!

A loop that becomes more of a sunburst, having to make several attempts to find and stay on the trail.

Petrified sand dunes.

Before you get close enough to see it's a cement mixer, this abandoned space craft is very interesting!

We get home with lots of "desert pinstriping".
Worth a few challenges to get here.
The long views at the top of the off-road loop are inspiring, even under the clouds. I have to turn around a couple times in large rocks and thick brush, but most of the return is easier to follow. Bill's good about how he pushes my comfort level. As evidenced by his still being alive - it's our anniversary after all :-)

A much steeper angle than this shows.
 
A thin (comparatively) layer of basalt peeks out above the slope.
We continue outside the park to the sad little border town of Presidio, Texas. Maybe 5% of the businesses remain open - strangely this includes a Payless Shoe Source. We enjoy some tasty tacos at the only eatery before returning to Terlingua. 

Only the fanciest places for our anniversary!
There's always new views to enjoy in the other direction!



I continue to mourn the potential loss of all this natural beauty should that stupid wall be approved.
It only looks like it's snowing, but it's still very cold!
The sun is setting when we tuck in at home. It was a great day. I highly recommend visiting the state park when you're here to see Big Bend. There are several hiking trails, campgrounds for smaller units, and a few 4x4 roads - something for everyone!

We wrap up 2018 and our time in Big Bend in the next post.

Before Uncle Jeff returned to Seattle after spending a year in SoCal, Ezra took his family to play in the snow.


19 comments:

  1. The diversity in the rock formations and colors is amazing. Beauty at every turn. Love the rocks that are on loan from Utah:) Such a nice red-orange. At first glance I thought it was a space craft...haha! Sure looks it from the photo. My idea of a dinner place for the anniversary. Probably much tastier than a high priced meal. Thanks for the tour of the State Park!

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    1. It turned out to be great to see on a cloudy day. I know you guys will love it.

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  2. I think the Jeep looks better with some pinstripes! Notsure what keeps the PayLess shoe stores open,but there is one in Tecate, California too! Along with a liquor store, just a few yards from Tecate, Baja Norte.

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    1. Actually it may be the proximity to the border that keeps them open, I didn't think of that!

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  3. OM, what amazing geology! It doesn't matter what the outside looks like if the food is good and you're with the one you love.

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    1. It's a crazy beautiful area!! We agree 100% on that criteria :)

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  4. What a fantastic area! We never made it to that part of TX...perhaps in the future if we get a small RV. That F*ing wall needs to die.

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    1. It is a surprisingly beautiful area and one we're so glad we visited! Lots of smaller RVs running around the park itself. Anyone who favors the wall should be required to visit the border along the river and see if they still want it.

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  5. Presidio was the low point of that drive for us, but the rest of it was amazing! Closed Canyon was the first slot canyon we’d ever walked in. Very, very fun place to visit!

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    1. We never saw anything for Closed Canyon, but it was so cold I'm not sure we would have braved it that day. Next time!

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  6. Happy Anniversary!! What a great way to spend it. Your terrific pictures really show how gorgeous it is. Thanks for showing it all to me. Surprised to hear it's cold there. Right by the WALLESS border, I would think would be the warmest spot in Texas. No pics of use guys or the fluffy one. Now that's unusual.

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    1. We weren't surprised to find the cold after reading Laurel's post from last year, but still......it was cold until we got north to Van Horn! So weird :-) I'm bad about remembering to include us.

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  7. LOL at the space craft—that's exactly what I thought it was at first glance, too!! Thanks so much for the grand tour of Big Bend Ranch State Park. We just saw a fraction of it when we were there last year. We ran out of time. Gives us something to look forward to on our next trip to Big Bend! Happy belated anniversary! :-))

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    1. Thanks for getting us there in the first place!! You'll love seeing more of the state park (maybe in warmer weather though).

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  8. Your photos are beautiful Jode! We spent last November in Hill Country. Looks like we need to return to Texas and do some exploring in Big Bend! Now you have bragging rights...Texas pinstriping! Happy Anniversary!

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    1. Thanks Gay!! You'll love the Big Bend area - and you can get some of your own pinstriping :-)

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  9. Love your space craft. I see a small 4x4 in our future, can't always get to far in wide hipped truck. Great photos, glad you enjoyed your time on the border.

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    1. We love being able to get off the road and into narrower spots - although even the Jeep couldn't suck it in enough to avoid the brush and rocks this time :-)

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  10. It would be great to have a Jeep, but unfortunately it couldn't tow Raven. So we'll just have to follow your journeys and enjoy your views :-)) Happy Anniversary!! How fun that Ezra got to take his family to the snow :-)

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