BIG and Beautiful BIG Bend

BIG and Beautiful BIG Bend

As our drive out of Austin took us south into some vast open land, my soul felt as if it was headed north into some boundless open air.  This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy our time spent in Austin. I most certainly did. I love city living. I love city working. I love city partying. It’s fast, its social, and it’s a necessary balance when one is living on the road. Nevertheless, there’s something to say about being at peace with nature…..for me anyways.

For one reason or another, we never made it to Big Bend during our travels 20 years ago.  And, to be honest, I wasn’t even really sure what the draw was, then or (up until) now.  It is not one of the busiest National Parks and in doing my research, I hadn’t found much information outside of the fact that it was in the desert, very picturesque and pretty far off the beaten path .  It was more or less word of mouth that convinced us to make it a destination this time around and I am convinced that the decision to stick with this plan was by far the smartest one yet. I must admit that due to the reality of its remote location, our time constraints, and the outrageous jump in gas prices, we almost nixed the plan entirely. What a grand mistake that would have been. I now know and understand the reason why the majority of the visitors to Big Bend are return visitors.   We had 2 days  to explore and experience this enchanted land, and that we did!

Located in southwest Texas, the  park expands along the Rio Grande River, occupies the upper third of the Chihuahuan Desert and contains the entire Chisos Mountain range.  The unique geological structures, formed years ago by the earth’s faults are absolutely stunning!  Rising up from the desert floor into the openness of the blue sky, these formations of nature extend as far  into the horizon as the eye can see. Waking up to these views of grandeur each day was more of a perk than my morning cup of coffee.

We hiked along the river that serves as the boundary between the US and Mexico.   We descended down into a canyon laden with volcanic rock.  We climbed limestone cliffs embedded with prehistoric evidence.

We stood at the foot of a 1500 foot high canyon wall.  We sat  in the naturally purifying hot springs.

We witnessed colorful sunsets with the bats.   We enjoyed the starlit night sky with the coyotes.

We camped without hookups, without cellphone service and without wi-fi.