Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Big Bend Ranch State Park February 2018

February 2018  Our trip to Big Bend continues...
One of our days at Big Bend we drove to Big Bend Ranch State Park.  It is  ~ 72 miles from Terlingua to the Sauceda Ranger Station in Big Bend Ranch State Park.
"Big Bend State Park is a 275,000-acre preserve managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Brewster and Presidio Counties. Much of The Park is high desert uplands and peaks that average over average over 4000 feet. The predominantly igneous rock tells the tale of violent volcanic activity between 15 and 30 million years ago."

 From Terlingua to the state park we drove west along Camino del Rio or River Road.  Again, the river is the Rio Grande and it is the border of Texas with Mexico.
 Our first adventure was the Ojito Adentro Trail.  It is just a short walk but an interesting area.  I really enjoyed the green of the cottonwood trees and the very blue sky.
 See the cottonwood trees off in the distance...
 We had to do some scrambling up and over huge boulders, finally it got to the point we just couldn't go any farther. And we never saw the main water feature here, Bofecillos Creek. 
 We did come to some wet areas and this is what we saw there!  A beautiful yellow monkeyflower! 

We made our way back to the car, then onto the next fun place.  Which was Cinco Tinajas Trail, where you will find several tinajas (Spanish for water-filled basins).  We followed the trail down to the lower tinajas first.  Mike climbed up into that canyon, I stayed put.
Leyva Creek is near here but we didn't go that far, or maybe we did and it was dry.  Since this was last year, it makes it a bit difficult to remember. 

Looking down into the canyon, we were just in.  I didn't want to get too close to the edge.

 We walked up out of the canyon and found more tinajas.  Then we saw some perfect Texas Bluebonnet! 

Back to the truck once again.  We drove the mile farther to the Sauceda Ranger Station then turned around and headed back to Tiny Terlingua. 

 Our final night at Tiny Terlingua.
The next morning we packed up and drove through Big Bend National Park.  We decided to check out the balanced rock, even though we have been here before.

Grapevine Hills Trail

Difficulty: Easy; Distance: 2.2 miles round trip
Begin 6 miles down Grapevine Hills improved dirt road at the parking area

This trail leads to a group of balanced rocks in the heart of the Grapevine Hills. Initially, the trail follows a gravel wash, then climbs steeply for the last quarter mile into the boulders. Grapevine Hills is an exposed laccolith, with many giant, rounded boulders that are tempting to climb, but watch for snakes.


We drove the four hours back to Midland, and had another day to play with the grandkids.  Then back to Michigan.   


Allen Norcross said...

I never realized until I saw your photo that Texas Bluebonnets are lupines!
I'd love to visit this place. The geologic formations are amazing!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Allen. The rock formations are fascinating. Monkeyflower in Texas! That's a Life Plant for you, isn't it? What was the yellow flower? Or do we just say it's a composite? The purple color of your Texas Bluebonnet was intense. I remember them growing in a field when we lived in San Antonio. Loved the green cottonwoods. The Rio Grande is a very misunderstood river. The vistas! I'm glad to see where you went but also glad I didn't have to scramble over boulders and look out for snakes. Great place to visit but I still would rather live in West Michigan! Thanks for posting. M :)

Plants Amaze Me said...

Yes Texas Bluebonnets are lupines, they are beautiful. Usually our son Andrew is with us on these trips, he is a geologist, and is great at describing the rock and how they have formed. He tells things in a way that is very interesting, even if I don't retain much of it.

Plants Amaze Me said...

M :) Monkeyflower, Texas Monkeyflower! Yes. The other yellow flower we will call a composite of some type. I have identified some plants in Big Bend that grow only there. I don't remember what it was... It was near the Hot Springs Trail.
Bluebonnet in San Antonio, did you take it as a Life Plant? I would definitely rather live in the woods here in Michigan, but all the rocks are fun too.