Thursday, May 5, 2016

Big Bend - The Last Texas Frontier

For Spring Break this year, my family went camping.
There is just nothing I love more than spending time with my family in God's creation.
We camped in Big Bend Ranch State Park and hiked in Big Bend National Park.
The desert landscape is so rugged and beautiful!

I have been to Big Bend once before with Mr. H. back in 1995 when we were first married.
Mr. H. has been 7 times now!  
He went almost every Spring Break while he was in college, and he went 3 times as a graduate student to do field study for his Master's Thesis entitled, "Vegetation Patterns of Pine Canyon, Big Bend National Park, TX, in Relation to Elevation and Slope Aspect."   
Yeah, he pretty much knows the scientific name of every plant in the park. ;-)

It takes about 10 hours to drive to the park from our home in Central Texas.  
Of course we had to stop in Fort Stockton for a photo op with Paisano Pete.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous the whole time we were there!
Highs in the mid 80's and lows in the low 50's and sunshine everyday, without a cloud in the sky.

We saw this aoudad family on the hillside as we were driving in.

After we set up camp the first evening,
we drove a bit down the highway to these hoodoo rock formations.

Sleeping outside - one of my very favorite things.
(I would love to have a screened in sleeping porch one day!)

Our campsite was right on the Rio Grande, with Mexico on the other side.

Mr. H. started a fire using only flint and char cloth.
He's my wilderness man. :-)

The first morning was so beautiful as the sun came up over the mountains.

We hiked Closed Canyon in Big Bend Ranch State Park the first day.

It is a narrow, slot canyon not quite a mile long. 
At some places the canyon can nearly be spanned by holding out your arms.

The stars at night really are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas!
Especially in Big Bend, which is one of the darkest places in the United States and perfect for star gazing.  "On a clear night, expect to see 2,000 stars, plus planets and meteorites." ~ Fodor's Travel.
(Photo cred for this picture to Mr. H.!)

The next day we drove into Big Bend National Park to hike.

First we did the very short Window View Trail.

And, then we did the Lost Mine Trail to the top of Lost Mine Peak in the Chisos Mountains.

It took us about two hours to get to the top.

This is Mr. H. overlooking Pine Canyon where he did his research so many years ago.

The top! 7, 536 feet

Halfway up my daughter mentioned that she was, "more of a laying on the beach type of girl..."
Haha - she made it though!


heart shaped :-) prickly pear

century plant

cane cholla

desert bluebonnets :-)

Goodbye Big Bend!
I can't wait to go back again. 

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