We awoke in Marathon, Texas, to an incredibly windy day,
with reduced visibility from blowing dust.
But we were on a mission to visit Big Bend National Park. You really have to want to go to Big Bend. It’s not on the way to anywhere, and the
closest regional airport is more than 200 miles away. But we did want to go, and we arrived at the
park well before noon. The visibility
improved as we drove south, and I was looking forward to seeing the grand
vistas, as well as the smaller vignettes.
|On the Way to Big Bend|
The mountains and desert opened up to us as we entered
the park through Persimmon Gap. The park
is really three distinct entities – the desert, the mountains and the
river. We first made our way through the
desert, which is a part of the Chihuahuan Desert, most of which is in Mexico. The Chihuahuan is one of four deserts in
North America. The others are the Great
Basin, Mojave and Sonoran. We will
likely visit at least two of them on this trip.
After a stop for a short walk to view an exhibit on
fossil bones that have been found in Big Bend, we stopped at the visitor center
for maps and my passport stamp. We
planned to spend the day in the Chisos Mountains where we had campground
reservations for the next two nights.
The drive up the mountain is steep and the turns are sharp, and the road
is not recommended for RVs over 24-feet in length. We were just fine, however, and the RV seemed
to climb with ease. The mountains are
rugged, and really beautiful. As we
climbed, we passed from the desert into the woodland community where we began
to see trees.
|The Desert Is Vast Here|
|The Ocotillo Are Blooming|
|Tim in the Desert|
|It's a Different World Here|
As we approached Panther Pass, the entire Chisos Basin appeared before us. What a beautiful sight! Unfortunately, the blowing dust was beginning to interfere with the visibility, and we were barely able to see the view through the Window, the low point within the Basin. We stopped for lunch at Chisos Mountains Lodge and then made our way to our campsite. On the way I saw my first roadrunner as he scurried across the road, but alas, my camera was not at hand.
|Approaching Chisos Basin|
|Chisos Basin - Our Campground Is in the Center of the Photo|
The wind had really picked up and it was starting to get
chilly – quite a change from the 85° temperatures at the visitor center. We changed campsites several times, trying to
find one that was level. All the while,
the RV was shaking in the wind. We
finally settled in, but the wind and the dropping temperatures made it too
unpleasant to spend any time outside. Kitty
couldn’t even be enticed to venture out for a walk. The people in tents were also hiding. It’s predicted to drop to the low 30s
|The Chisos Mountains|
We’re hoping for calmer weather tomorrow so we can get
out, hike and explore the park. I would
hate the wind to be my most vivid memory from Big Bend.
|Casa Grande at Sunset|
What a landscape!! Beautiful pictures Sarah. I guess everything is big in Texas, including the wind! LVReplyDelete
LV, Thank you. Yes, everything is BIG here, and it is gorgeous. SarahDelete