We had planned to drive the Scenic Highway "El Camino del Rio", which winds through the Big Bend State Park and the "Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive", which is in the Big Bend National Park, have a picnic lunch, and do a hike. Well, the best laid plans are always subect to change. In our case, distance between Point A and Point B was farther than we thought and we would not make it back in time for Happy Hour, plus it was HOT. Revised plan...Big Bend National Park today...no hike and Big Bend State Park and golf tomorrow.
Big Bend National Park is quite the park. It spans from the Chisos Mountains all the way to the Rio Grande River. After viewing the 22 minute film at the Panther Junction Visitor Center, we drove to the farthest Eastern point, Boquillas Canyon Trail Head and Rio Grande Overlook. This is also where you can cross the border into Mexico via a pedestrian walkway. They just reopened the border crossing after a 10 year siesta. Not all of us had passports with us so we stayed stateside. Not to worry, there was lots more to see. Next, we retraced our drive and continued on to drive the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, 22 miles of the most awe inspiring desert scenery. You think of a desert as being bland and sand. Not so, the variations of color in the limestone cliffs and mounds were vibrant and dramatic. Throw in blooming wild flowers and all types of cacti, such as the Prickly Pear and you have a masterpiece.
The end of the drive brought us to the shores of the Rio Grande. A perfect place to have our lunch. It was cooler here and thought we would take a walk along the water's edge. We navigated through bamboo until we ran into a dead end...all of 10 minutes total time.
Time to head back. Happy hour was fast approaching. If we went back the way we came in, it would have taken 2 hours. However, there was a dirt road, Old Maverick Road, that could possibly shorten our trip. It was only 13 miles back to the Park entrance. We left it up to Walt to make the decision. It didn't take him long to say, "Why Not". We were in the "Beast", Walt's truck, which has four wheel drive. The drive was a hoot. The beast handled well through gullies and dips. We even got to visit Luna's Jacel,(a jacel is a low long house). Luna was 108 years old when he passed away and had raised 8 children. There is a picture on the internet. Quite interesting. We made it back to pavement and saved an hour. Walt was back in time for Happy Hour.
After a cooling dip in the pool and game of cards, Bob and I served up Reindeer Dogs with grilled onions and all the trimmings.
Tee time tomorrow...10am.