Living full time in our motor home allows us to be Ready To Go. . .on to the next adventure!

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco Skyline as seen from the Marin Headlands - California

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Big Bend in One Day? IMPOSSIBLE. . .

but due to weather restraints
with more ice and snow predicted,
we had to give it a shot. . .

as you know, we were unable to stay
in Terlingua, right at the West Entrance to the park
due to no power and no fuel available. . .

The weight of the ice caused the power lines to sag. . .
so when a truck caught a line that was sagging,
that caused a pole to break off. . .
which caused a domino of poles falling over. . .
30 power poles in total came crashing down
between Alpine and Big Bend. . .
causing Terlingua, and the National Park
to be without power for 4 1/2 days. . .

with all that said. . .here’s our day trip to Big Bend. . .

ALPINE TO BIG BEND . . .via MARATHON – 72 miles

25* when we headed out this morning,

Day Trip from Alpine TX into Big Bend National Park

heading East on Hwy 90 toward Marathon, the sun is trying valiantly
to break through the clouds hanging over the mountains  straight ahead. . .

Day Trip from Alpine TX into Big Bend National Park

but yikes. . .looking to our right. . .these mountains are still covered in ice. . .
still not sure if we’ve made the right decision for today. . .but on we go. . .
turning south on US Hwy 385 in Marathon. . .
42 more miles to the Persimmon Gap Visitor Center,
which is the North Entrance of the Park. . .

Day Trip from Alpine TX into Big Bend National Park

it’s a bit hazy, with a bit of a weather system
covering the Santiago Peak. . .but temps are rising,
so we are still hopeful for a great day. . .

Big Bend National Park

and there it is. . .we have arrived. . .

Flowers in the Chichuahuan Desert - Big Bend National Park

another view of Santiago Peak from inside the Park. . .
flowers are still blooming in the Chihuahuan Desert. . .

Big Bend National Park

but that looks a little ouchy. . .

Chisos Mountains - Big Bend National Park

continuing south towards the Chisos Mountains. . .

Texas 2015, Big Bend National Park, Panther Junction Visitor Center

the road ends at the Panther Junction Visitor Center and Park Headquarters. . .
nice place for a restroom break and water refill. . .

Big Bend National Park

we turn East toward Rio Grande Village

Rio Grande Overlook - looking into Mexico - Big Bend National Park

Rio Grande Overlook - looking into Mexico - Big Bend National Park

our first peek into Mexico from the Rio Grande Overlook.. .
the town of Boquillos Mexico is visible. . .we’ll see it better at another stop. . .
no sign of the river though. . .
(you should be able to enlarge the pic by clicking on it)


Full Hookup Campground - Big Bend National Park

continuing to the end of the road we find
the full hookup campground

Primitive Camping Area - Big Bend National Park

the primitive campground

Dry Camping Area - Big Bend National Park

and the dry camping campground
both primitive and dry come complete with bear proof food storage boxes. . .yaaaa!

Big Bend National Park

they also come with these warning signs. . .

Big Bend National Park

no warning signs needed for this cute guy though!

back out and around to another overlook where we think we can see the river. . .

Big Bend National Park - Mexico


there it is. . .the Rio Grande. . .International Border

Big Bend National Park

flowing through the beautiful Boquillas Canyon

Big Bend National Park

and another look at Boquillas Del Carmen, Mexico

Big Bend National Park - MexicoBig Bend National Park - MexicoBig Bend National Park - MexicoBig Bend National Park - MexicoBig Bend National Park - MexicoBig Bend National Park - Mexico

also seen at the overlook. . .on the US side. . .
I guess you choose and pay in the bucket?

Mexican Good and Mexican Camp - Big Bend National Park - MexicoMexican Good and Mexican Camp - Big Bend National Park - Mexico

guess the stuff might belong to these guys. . .
we saw Border Patrol all over the park,
so I assume they haf’ta know this type of thing is going on. . .

At the next turn back from this one is an International Crossing. . .
I bet the Border Guards can see this from their Border Station. . .

Tour Group - Big Bend National ParkTour Group - Big Bend National Park

whoo wee. . .enough of that excitement. . .
back to the main part of the park,
where this geology class has hiked to the crest of this hill. . .
they all seemed to have notebooks,
so I’m sure this was a classroom setting for them. . .

Now on to the ONLY ROAD in the park with Restricted RV Access. . .
NO trailers longer than 20 feet,
and NO Motorhomes longer than 24 feet are allowed on the
Chisos Basin Road . . .

Big Bend National Park

this is the road you will drive to reach the most beautiful vista in the park. . .
”The Window”

we simply did not have time to hike all the way out to “the slot”. . .
but we could do the 4/10 of a mile hike out to the “Window View” 
just spectacular. . .
glad I at least got a peak of it on this whirlwind race of a day. . .


and now to the last thing we will see in the park today. . .


St Elena Canyon - Big Bend National Park

where the Rio Grande flows out of the canyon. . .
my pic does not do it justice at all. . .
there is beautiful stunning artwork of this
in all the gift shops. . .just magnificent. . .

and that was it. . .
a day that did not do justice to a magnificent place. . .

We shall return at a better time of year. . .
maybe when the cactus are in bloom. . .

Big Bend National Park

there are many, many dirt roads in Big Bend
that are labeled auto roads. . .considered suitable for regular vehicles. . .

We did not take any of them today, due to time constraints. . .
however
at the Visitor Center. . .the Ranger told us. ..
after you see St Elena Canyon
just go ahead and take the Old Maverick Road into Terlingua. . .

it’ll save you 30 miles he said. . .
it’ll be fine he said. . .
your all wheel drive Jeep won’t have any problems whatsoever he said. . .

he was right on all those points. . .

what he didn’t tell us was that we would rattle the fillings out of our teeth
AND. . .that we would be crossing a couple of washes. . .big washes. . .
I forgot to get a pic. . .but we made it out alive. . .thank the Lord!

Will we take that road again. . .ummmm. . .NO we will not!

We have now driven 132 miles inside the park. ..
plus 8 bone jarring miles to make it to Terlingua. . .
which was originally going to be our staging ground. . .

Big Bend Resort RV Park - Terlingua TXBig Bend Resort RV Park - Terlingua TX

we think the park we were scheduled to stay in at Terlingua looks great. . .
so we will plan to return. . .and stay here. . .much, much closer 
allowing us to do multiple trips on multiple days,
rather than trying to cram all this into a few hours. . .

We missed so much. . .so many hikes. . .so many explorations. . .
what a jewel of a National Park. . .no wonder it is on so many must see lists. . .
well deserved!

Alpine Texas - 5 miles out

and 82 miles later we see Alpine where our warm and toasty motorhome is waiting. . .

If you’ve made it this far. . .I apologize for the length of this post. . .
Normally, we would have broken each section of the park into a day,
and would have explored it completely. . .with it’s own individual post. . .

but. . .just wanted to pass along the oversaturation. . .thanks for sticking with me!

Weather Forecast Alpine TX

we are scheduled to stay in Alpine through Friday,
and move to El Paso on Saturday morning. . .
however
due to the lovely forecast above with the promise of more ice and snow,
we are packing up and moving to Van Horn on Friday. . .and still El Paso on Saturday. . .

see you there,
Janice and Dave

P.S.  We had Verizon Cell Service at all the Visitor Centers inside the park,
and have had great service in every town in the Big Bend Area. . .