Monday, February 19, 2018

MOVED TO THE WEST SIDE OF BIG BEND

Monday, February 12 – We moved on this morning checking out of Big Bend National Park. We moved over to the west side of Big Bend pulling into BJ’s Campground in Terlingua, TX. We drove straight across the park exiting on the west end. It was an uneventful drive, but a little slow going because the speed limit in Big Bend is 45 mph and strictly enforced.

BJ’s Campground is nothing to write home about. There are 20 pull thru sites with full hookups and with a picnic table at each site. The sites are gravel, and the street is gravel, pretty dusty in the dry South Texas environment. Many of the RV'ers staying here are regulars that return each winter.

Site 11
BJ's RV Park

BJ's RV Park

Looking right. The white building at the end is the restrooms and laundry.
BJ's RV Park

Looking left.
BJ's RV Park

Outdoor gathering area.
BJ's RV Park

After setting up in Site #11, we jumped in the truck to check out two of the nearby towns. Our first stop was Lajitas, TX. This is pretty much an upscale area primarily centered around a Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa. The neighbor here at the RV park said it has recently changed hands after the developer spent a great deal of money and was unable to make it profitable. The “must see” here is the golf course pro shop. It is filled with very interesting mounted longhorn cattle heads and amazing horns. Very unique!

 Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa

Pro Shop.
 Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa

 Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa

Cool horns.
 Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa

 Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa

We couldn’t find the greens on the golf course.
 Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa

 Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa

We then stopped at Terlingua. It is an eclectic little town of mostly bars and restaurants. There is a trading post type touristy stop called the Ghost Town. We stopped and enjoyed the unusual items offered to the tourists. We plan on stopping back to enjoy the bar/restaurant at another time.

We then returned to the RV Park to relax for the of the day. Again, the weather remains outstanding with today's high of 71 degrees after a low of 37 degrees last night. Temperatures vary by about 15 degrees depending whether you are down by the Rio Grande River or at higher elevations. We have numerous adventures planned for the west side of Big Bend NP, so stop back and enjoy the area with us.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

BOQUILLAS CANYON TRAIL…BIG BEND

Sunday, February 11 – We woke to strong winds in Big Bend National Park. We waited awhile to head out hoping the winds would subside. We finally decided they weren't going to lesson, so we headed out for our planned short hike.

We chose an easy hike for our last day on the east side of Big Bend NP. Boquillas (Bo-key-us) Canyon Trail is 1.42 miles long. It begins with a short climb and descends down to the Rio Grande River via a sandy trail with some stairs. The river is fairly narrow here, probably only 30-40 feet wide.

BOQUILLAS CANYON TRAIL…BIG BEND

BOQUILLAS CANYON TRAIL…BIG BEND

BOQUILLAS CANYON TRAIL…BIG BEND

Beauty along the trail.
BOQUILLAS CANYON TRAIL…BIG BEND

BOQUILLAS CANYON TRAIL…BIG BEND

BOQUILLAS CANYON TRAIL…BIG BEND

BOQUILLAS CANYON TRAIL…BIG BEND

The Canyon.
BOQUILLAS CANYON TRAIL…BIG BEND

BOQUILLAS CANYON TRAIL…BIG BEND

More beauty at Big Bend.
BOQUILLAS CANYON TRAIL…BIG BEND

There isn't much of a border patrol presence here. We saw a Mexican cowboy on horseback driving a couple cattle across the river to the US side for grazing and also saw more trinkets for sale.

BOQUILLAS CANYON TRAIL…BIG BEND

Man was the wind intense blowing down the Boquillas Canyon. It must have been gusting to 40 or 50 mph. It nearly blew us to Mexico. With that wind, we didn't linger long and were back to the truck and returning to the RV park in short order.

BOQUILLAS CANYON TRAIL…BIG BEND

We spent the remainder of the day relaxing at the RV and doing a little preparation for our departure tomorrow morning. When you hear from us next, we'll be in Terlingua, TX, on the west side of the National Park.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

CHISOS BASIN…PINNACLES TRAIL

Saturday, February 10 – We hiked our last trail today here on the east side of Big Bend National Park. It also began back at Chisos Basin as do many of the most popular trails requiring a 30 mile drive to the trail head.

We are hiking the Pinnacles Trail. This trail is a very populated trail because it is used to access several other trails in the Basin area. We noticed it getting pretty busy later in the morning as others finished their morning chores and hit the trails.

The trail is very well marked, but the surface could be troublesome. It consists of dirt with many areas rocky with golf ball/tennis ball size stones that could easily twist an ankle. It wouldn't surprise us if we saw several people limping around with sprained ankles, but it doesn't seem to be a problem. Wear sturdy shoes!

CHISOS BASIN…PINNACLES TRAIL

CHISOS BASIN…PINNACLES TRAIL

The trail moves uphill the entire 3+ miles. It begins with a fairly steep grade straight up the mountain and then continues with many sets of stairs and numerous switchbacks. The elevation gain is about 1600 feet in the 3+ miles of uphill trail.

CHISOS BASIN…PINNACLES TRAIL

An unusual flat area. Ahhhhhh.
CHISOS BASIN…PINNACLES TRAIL

A tree with character.
CHISOS BASIN…PINNACLES TRAIL

The overviews and scenery are fantastic. We especially enjoyed some of the high meadow grasslands we hiked through between the hills. On the way down the trail we stopped in one of these meadows, sat on a large rock and enjoyed a snack and a water break.

CHISOS BASIN…PINNACLES TRAIL

CHISOS BASIN…PINNACLES TRAIL

CHISOS BASIN…PINNACLES TRAIL

View from the top.
CHISOS BASIN…PINNACLES TRAIL

It was about 49 degrees when we started out on the trail and remained somewhat chilly because the majority of the trail was in the shade of the mountain and surrounding trees and shrubs. It is a good idea to dress in layers because by the time we finished the hike, the temperature was in the mid 70’s and eventually reached reached the 80's in the higher elevations. It was nearly 90 degrees at the lower altitude of the Rio Grande River.

We saw several Mexican jays.
CHISOS BASIN…PINNACLES TRAIL

This is another hike we truly enjoyed and would certainly recommended to others camping in the area. We were on the trail for about four hours and covered 6.6 miles and 17,949 steps. The trail is rated moderate. We say that is correct and maybe even moderate+.

We sat out with our neighbors, Julie & Mark, until after dark enjoying happy hour and celebrating their first RV trip. They recently purchased a new to them trailer and are enjoying their first “shake down” trip. It was neat to share the knowledge about RVing we've learned over the past nine years. It brought back all the funny and enjoyable times on the road. The night sky was amazing. We could actually see the Milky Way….wow!

We are only doing a very short hike tomorrow; then relaxing the remaining part of the day before packing up and moving to the west side of the park and camping in Terlingua, TX. Hope you can stop back and enjoy the western part of Big Bend National Park with us.

Another gorgeous sunset.
sunset

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!