Terlingua Texas Thursday April 20
It is currently 98 degrees Fahrenheit in Terlingua. We are very happy we chose to schedule our canoe trip on the Rio Grande River for the morning. Far Flung Outdoor Center in Terlingua was the outfitter; just a few hundred feet from our casita. There were 18 people and three guides on this trip. While on the Rio Grande, it was not within Big Bend National Park. We drove past Lajitas, a small town with one resort and the entrance to the Big Bend Ranch State Park. The state park is one-third the size of the national park, still very large. There is a national park in Mexico that is on the opposite side of much of the two Big Bend parks.
The drive to the put-in location on the river takes about 45 minutes from Terlingua. The actual canoe ride is about two and one half to three hours. We had a mild current with us but there was a headwind pushing against us. It was a curse for slowing us down, it was a blessing as a cooling factor. If you did not paddle, though, you did not get anywhere. So arm exercise was the health benefit of the day. This stretch of the river involves a few minor rapid type spots, most of it was easy for the canoes to handle. Close to shore you might get hung up on low water and rocks but the main channel was probably 3 to 4 feet deep. There were “S” curves where some skill was needed to not run into the weeds growing high along the bank when you got to turn two or three.
Not all of our companions were skilled in handling a canoe. I would call Chris and I “advanced beginners” and we seemed to be about the best of the bunch. One canoe in front of us made a habit of going from one bank of the river to the next; frequently we had to hang back in order to avoid ramming them broadside. One couple, most were man-woman couples, were sad to see it end as “we were just getting the hang of it”.
We made one stop during the paddle, it was on the south side of the bank so we were in Mexico at the time. The rock walls were high on both sides of the river, although frequently a flat stretch of land ranging between fifty yards to a half mile existed before the walls came up.
By the time we returned to Far Flung, had lunch and showered, we decided to take the rest of the day off. Too hot to hike the desert and too far to get anywhere.
Ed and Chris Thursday April 20