Monday, February 28, 2011

Big Bend Adventure Day 4

It must be Sunday morning, 2011 02 13, it's easy to get confused.  I mean who is paying attention to what day it is with so many places to visit,  I'm a bit dizzy.  We wake up for the second time in the ghost town of Terlingua, I won't say if we saw ghost.
               Second morning in Terlingua

       Here's another look at the Candlelilla House.

We walked to breakfast,  just a stroll down the road to Espresso ...y poco mas (Espresso ...and a little more).  Yum they had great coffee and breakfast burritos, we sat out in the open air of Terlingua and enjoyed the morning.

We did stop by the local cemetery. It's right there along the road near where we stayed for the two nights. It is a good sized cemetery, some graves very old and some quite new.

                     Terlingua Cemetery

I didn't have my camera along but we toured the town, lots of ruins and partial ruins, where people are living now.  We packed up after breakfast and left Terlingua behind.

We drove southwest on highway 170 for about 13 miles until we came to the Rio Grande River, and to Big Bend Ranch State Park.

See the Rio Grande, on the left side is Mexico.

Along this river road we saw lots of rocks and mountains, various colors, shapes, and sizes.

Here we are along the Hoodoo Trail at the Rio Grande River.
 Hoodoo trail

We traveled along the river road as far west as Presidio Texas then headed north about 80 miles to Fort Davis.
This is just north of Marfa Texas.

Tonight we sleep at the Indian Lodge (the lodge was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and features the original interiors and furnishings) in
Fort Davis State Park.

While in the parking lot of the lodge along came two javelinas snorting their way through!

This is high above the Indian Lodge and the javelinas at Fort Davis State Park.  This was the end of day four of our Big Bend Adventure.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Big Bend Adventure Day 3

February 12 2011    Day 3    Big Bend Adventure continues...
    Waking up in Terlingua Texas, a gorgeous sunrise and so relaxing.
After rising and shining, both us and the sun, we went east - then south a total of 33 miles to the Chisos Basin in Big Bend National Park.  We are going to walk to the Window, this trail is about 5 miles round trip, elevation loss 574 feet.  It was another beautiful day, I would not walk here in the heat of the summer.

                                         The Window -
              Chisos Basin Big Bend National Park

     Looking out the Window

 This is as we were walking back to the visitor center where we parked, that is Casa Grande Peak ahead.
We had lunch on a picnic table, after that we decided to drive south on Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive.

Here are various mountains and rocks we saw along the way, which our geologist son told us all about, very interesting, but I usually retain little of the details. I can see the different kinds of rock, and the different formation- some have vertical lines, some horizontal, some rock is sharp and some is smooth.  Yes it would be interesting to study geology. 

 On our drive down Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive we stopped at Sotol Vista Overlook.  Cool.
Next we hiked a bit at Burro Mesa Pouroff.  A 1/2 mile trail takes you into a hidden box canyon to a high dry waterfall, where a variety of desert wash plants and magnificent geology surround you.

                           Burro Mesa Pouroff
Next stop was Santa Elena Canyon.  The Rio Grande has cut a 1,500' vertical chasm out of pure limestone. Mexico makes up the left wall and Texas the right. A trail follows the river upstream and enters the canyon.

Every stop we made I would think this is the coolest place, then we would go to another cooler place! 

 This is the beginning of the Santa Elena Canyon Trail.
That big rock is Mexico and the water is the Rio Grande, we left the Grand River in Michigan to visit the Rio Grande River in Texas!

                                        Santa Elena Canyon   

                   As we left the Santa Elena Canyon.
So many places, so many mountains, rocks, and hikes, what fun.  But there are only so many hours in a day so we head back to the Ghost town Terlingua.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Big Bend Adventure Day 2

Friday 2011 02 11 We are up early for our 3+  hour car ride from Midland to Big Bend National Park.  We gather up supplies, a cooler with sliced turkey, cream cheese, some pop (soda), various snacks, and water.
  Heading west out of Odessa

As we drive the 220+ miles to Big Bend National Park the topography goes from flat to mountainous.

After driving about an hour and a half we could see the mountains in the distance. 

We stopped for a lunch break at a rest area along U.S. 385. 
      Since there were 5 of us on the trip, we took both of Andy's cars-  a Mazda MX-5 and a Subaru Forester.  We took turns riding in the Mazda since it only holds two people and at times we all rode in the the Subaru and left the Mazda behind.    
Rest Area                

It didn't seem long before we pull into Big Bend National Park! Here's a website about Big Bend.

Beautiful Country - Big Bend National Park
We stopped in at the Panther Junction Visitor Center, friendly people, nice gift shop, and exhibits.  From here we drove SE 18 miles on Rio Grande Village Road, we set the Mazda on a turn off, and we all headed mostly north about 5 miles on Old Ore Road (a very rough road) to Ernst Tinaja Spur Road.  

Here you find some primitive campsites and the trailhead to Ernst Tinaja.  This was an easy trail about 1.5 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 245 feet.  The weather was warm and sunny, perfect, with a deep blue sky. 

 Tinaja (pronounced tee-NA-ha) is a Spanish word for earthen jar.  This tinaja is named for Bill Ernst, a Big Bend settler murdered in the early 1900's.

We got back in the car and bounced over the rocks back to the main road then went back past Panther Junction some thirty miles west to Terlingua, a ghost town, that's where we will sleep!
Along the way out of the car window we saw mountain after mountain this was on Maverick Drive, SR118, and FM 170 to Terlingua.
The place we stayed was unique, and had recently opened for renting.  Big Bend Holiday Hotel Candlelilla House.  Here is their website

Two large bedrooms, a main room with futon, dining table (with snacks), kitchenette, a separate building for the bathroom, and a shower building up a couple of steps (that's the shower building with the star on it). It was all very clean and had much character,  for around $160/night.
    Looking out at Terlingua from the Candlelilla House.
That night we had dinner at the Starlight Theatre Restaurant & Bar, great food and live music, what a place!
I think that was about it for day two, wow, we did so much I was exhausted.  A real Big Bend adventure so far!