So, we took off for Big Bend National Park next and even though I was highly impressed with San Antonio, Mother Nature always has a way of upstaging anything man can build and this was no exception. What an incredible wonder this park is. I have seen Mt. Hood in Oregon, the Hudson Valley in upstate New York and various other places but this was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Of course, we had to stop and take the obligatory photos in front of the sign going in. Can you tell Capt. Jack was in the military? lol! I've been trying to get him to loosen up a little.
This was the view from our campsite in the basin. It just doesn't come close to the real thing though. This was taken very early in the morning as the clouds rolled over and down the valley. We had planned on staying two nights but rain started coming in and we were really not prepared for camping in such. Our first night was mercifully cool, not cold, and clear. Absolutely beautiful weather. I swore to Capt. Jack I would not reveal any details but let's just say, camping was an experience we will remember for a while. I told him one day we will look back on it and just laugh...Actually, we laughed ourselves silly Monday night in the midst of some trying circumstances but we got through it. I figured I would be sore this morning. Well, we both were but not from laughing and I found out that Jack's occasional snoring sounds just like a bear growling! At least to my imagination anyway.
We spend the late afternoon yesterday doing some short hikes around the area and then went on about a 5 mile round trip hike today, to Window Rock, a vista that looks out over the desert valley. We did not encounter any lions or bears thank goodness. I did hope to see some javelina but didn't get to. We did get see a few other odd critters though. If I get time I will put up some pics. OOOh, and on the way out, going down the highway to the park, which is just long stretches of desert and arid countryside, I saw this thing run across the highway in front of our truck. A little scurrying thing. Jack said it was a spider! A freakin' spider big enough to see from a moving vehicle! That just ain't right. God help if I were to see one right next to me.
This was about half way to Window Rock. You can see that many of the peaks stayed shrouded in the clouds. On our way back it started to get a little warm but basically was fabulously cool and sunny.
This is the view right at Window Rock. If I'm not mistaken, the area waaay in the distance is the desert that you must drive through to enter the park from the north. It takes about 2 1/2 hours maybe to get from Fort Stockton into the park. If you love hiking and places such as this, I would most definitely say. go here! You really need about a week to see the majority of the park though. As I said, we were going to stay another night and hike at least one more trail but the weather turned kinda ugly. The ranger we talked to said the rainy season was supposed to be over in August but some of the hurricanes had brought in some unusual moisture.
Well, we are off to Carlsbad Caverns and New Mexico next. This has been an incredible amount of fun so far. Of course, we have had a few aggravating moments with circumstances but Jack makes me laugh so much it's hard not to have fun anyway. He wanted to pick where we had supper tonight because he thought he remembered a very good rib place from years ago out here. Well, the place we went to weren't it. Our first clue should have been the DeWalt grinder discs that served as bottoms for the paper towel holders. Lets' just say it sucked and poor Jack felt awful but he stopped on the way back to the hotel and got me a salad to help make up for it.
I hope I'm being as good a sport about things as he is. Well, I'll be posting again as soon as I can.
*Paul Winter / I think this is the correct name his song but I'm guessing and don't feel like looking it up.