We love our National Parks. We have been celebrating them since we moved to the Southwest. During our 17 day journey to Monument Valley, the National Parks of Southern Utah and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, we decided we had to buy a jeep and tow. We had too many restrictions on where we could take the RV, plus the hassle of setting up and breaking down each day. We found a beauty in Sierra Vista. Jeep Wrangler, only 45,000 miles and it looked like it had never been out of the garage.
We had a towing package installed and we decided our first destination would be Big Bend National Park in Texas.
After two days of travel we finally arrived at the East entrance of the park. Big Bend was established as a national park in June of 1935, preserving the largest tracts of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States. The park is comprised of 1,252 square miles of land, making it larger than the state of Rhode Island. This place went on forever. After we entered the park the sign told us we had 20 miles to go to Park Headquarters. When the entry station is closed, you don’t get a map to the park and most of the park has no Internet access. So we were back to the old ways, relying on signage!! We finally made it to park headquarters to discover we had 20 more miles to go to get to the camp ground. Yes, this park is huge.
We did make it to the campground, got settled in. At eight the next morning we were off to get a map and advice on must sees in the park. We had planned two full days. We learned on this trip, with our increased mobility, we need to start planning longer stays. Our first back country road experience was the Old Ore Road. We were told it would take most of the day to travel the entire road. It was suggested we go as far as the Ernst Tinaja basin and hike back to the ponds. We were off!
On our way we discovered this grave slightly off the side of the road.
It was covered with memorials to Juan and Carmen.
We left a few coins too. There was a glass jar, tucked away from the wind, for paper bills. We had to be looking at both sides of the road not to miss anything. When we travel, we definitely stop to “smell the roses”.
We made it back to the trail head. Love that Jeep. We need to get her a name! Any suggestions?
Along the way I discovered my first fossils! It was hard to decide what pictures to share. There was beauty all around us.
Mother Nature’s past preserved forever.
The formations were breathtaking.
We made it back to the small pools of water.
There are three. The water was deep green, not something you would want to soak your feet in! A place where animals could get a much needed drink. Just looking at these pictures makes me want to pack up and go back.
Yes, you hear everything is bigger in Texas. Big Bend definitely holds true to that image. Highly recommend you don’t miss Ernst Tinaja hike. It’s an easy walk back through time.
Have you been to Big Bend? What was your favorite park destination? Did you camp, RV or stay at the lodge? Would enjoy hearing about your experiences in the comments below.