Day one in Big Bend National Park was a hike down to the Boquillas Canyon Overlook. First we stopped at the Boquillas Crossing.
Love this sign. Boquillas del Carmen is a small village on the other side of the Rio Grande River in Mexico. Here is where villagers or visitors can catch a boat to ride across. There is no wall or bridge separating the United States from Mexico at Boquillas. No man made ugliness to mar this beautiful country. We stopped in the building and talked with the Park Ranger to discuss what we could see at Big Bend in two days. His suggestions were awesome. We soon learned, now that we had the mobility of a Jeep, we had to begin to schedule more time at our destinations. There were so many restrictions driving our RV. Some of the best sights in Big Bend require a high clearance vehicle. Now we have no boundaries, outside of good old fashion common sense.
After leaving the port of entry. we headed on over to the Boquillas Canyon Overlook to hike down to the river.
Along the way we encountered several areas with homemade crafts for sale. The residents of Boquillas come across the river to leave their offerings and to retrieve our money. The park service refers to these as souvenir stands. The park policy, based on what we were told, can change at a moments notice. Individuals who place items are subject to arrest for illegal entry and commerce. They can be held until deportation through Presidio, which is 100 miles from Big Bend National Park. Technically, when you make a purchase, you are now carrying contraband. Full disclosure, we are now in possession of contraband in our home.
As you can see from this picture, many people are living in poverty. This shelter was across the river on the shores of the Rio Grande.
We are looking into Mexico. Two horses, a man, a boat and a river.
We watched this man row back and forth. We assumed he was checking the souvenir stand containers for cash.
Along the way we encountered Jesus the Singing Mexican. Yup, he had a sign advertising his services. Apparently he has been performing for years. He had a beautiful voice. We wanted to invite him along to sing to us the rest of the day. Now it’s time to confess to another bad deed. I gave him $5 and asked if I could take his picture. Great mustache!
Look how small and calm the river was on the day of our visit. You can see where it has spread it’s wings and roared through the valley.
There are only natural walls to separate the United States from Mexico with a river as a boundary.
Getting to Boquillas Canyon Overlook is an easy walk. It was our introduction to the part of the Rio Grande that is the Southern Border of the park. The land looks the same on either side of the river. What divides it is an International Border that separates the haves from the have-nots. The land of opportunity and the land of trying to survive and support your family. At one time you could freely cross this man made line. Today it requires passports. It was wonderful to experience this part of the border and seeing only nature’s barriers.
Hopefully when you hike along the trail to Boquillas Crossings, you will hear the silence of nature broken by the sweet voice of Jesus singing a traditional Mexican song in Spanish.
This was a Happy Trail!