Big Bend National Park, Monday April 17Big Bend National Park, Monday April 17
Well, we are finally at Big Bend National Park. Along with viewing the sandhill cranes along the Platte River, seeing the Texas wildflowers, this was one of the primary new sights that inspired this trip. It is just under 500 miles from Kerrville, and Chris drove the entire trip. I think the 80 mph speed limit energized her. We thought the scenery along the way would be boring, but found it enjoyable as the topography changed from the Hill Country to flat plains to desert to mountains. Not much color in the rocks though.
Lunch was at a regional chain of steakhouses in Fort Stockton but we both opted for the extensive salad bar-see, we can eat our fruits and vegetables. The skies were a gorgeous blue with fluffy clouds, it was a nice change from the multiple gray days we encountered recently.
We arrived in time to see the introductory video at one of the visitors centers but we checked in at Chisos Mountain Lodge, located inside the park, up in the mountainous area. Big Bend is the 14th largest national park, 7th largest outside of Alaska. Due to its remote location, it is not heavily visited in comparison to the other large parks. The combination of desert (Chihuahuan), river (Rio Grande), and mountains (Chisos range) makes it unique. The park warns that the road to the lodge is steep and winding, but we found it tame. The road is off-limits to RVs and large trailers.
We had dinner in the lodge restaurant, with window view seats overlooking the mountains and a storm off in the distance. By the time we returned to our room, the storm had arrived. Mild at first, it turned cold with a brief, fierce hail storm. When the rain had passed, the sun came out and we took a walk observing a rainbow and the interplay of dark clouds and sunlight. Numerous people joined us at an overlook to watch the sunset and take the requisite sunset photos.
Our camera is unable to take photos of the night sky, but it is amazing out here away from the lights of civilization. The stars are brighter and more numerous. When the moon rises later in the night, it dims the affect of the stars but does not eliminate it.
There is no cell phone coverage at the Lodge, it is spotty elsewhere. There is slow WiFi here but expect postings to be sporadic for the next few days.
Pictures take a long time to load. I may add a few of todays on tomorrow’s post.
Ed and Chris.