Saturday, January 10, 2015

Big Bend or Bust

We started the year off right!  Cloudy hasn't been to school in over a month and Ben missed the first week back after the holiday break - they are stoked!

Early December we decided we would take a week camping trip during the school break.  It wasn't until New Year's Eve that we decided on our destination.  Our trip started off with an ice storm and a detour to Abilene.  We let the ice melt a day before continuing our journey southwest through the Permian Basin and Chihuahua dessert.

Southwest Texas views from the road

A short hike from our campground to view the Rio Grande (left is Mexico/ Right is Mexico -- I mean Texas). 

The full moon during our trip flooded camp with light, but it took until 9pm for to rise over the canyon wall.  From 6-9 we had great views and saw several shooting stars and satellites zip across the sky. 

As we arrived to Big Bend the attendee at the Visitor Station said to us "Don't Panic, there's no electricity."  If that was the biggest problem we sighed in relief, laughed and said no problem.  He then told us the good news, with no electricity in the park it was a free day.  After a brief chat and directions to our campground we asked about the nearest gas station.  He looked at us like we didn't hear his first statement.  With no electricity there was no gas pumps, and he assumed when the gas pumps did come back online gas would be rationed.  We averaged around 7-8 miles per gallon and had 1/2 a tank to make it the next 48 miles to our campground.  It was going to be CLOSE!

We had a great campsite, a little strange to see Border Patrol as often as we saw Park Rangers though.  There were plenty of trees to hang hammocks from, but national park rules here didn't allow hanging anything from natural objects.  Pete improvised and used our Nebraska hammock stands and the truck to tie hammocks for the boys.

Our first hike was to the Boquillas Canyon.  We saw a Mexican peddler selling souvenirs, and slid down sand hills.

From our camp we dropped in the canoe and paddled up river for 1/2 mile until we hit a rapid, then floated back down.

We took a trip to Hot Springs where we saw a river raft, which gave Pete the brilliant idea of dropping in and floating down to camp.  While he and Ben paddled, Cloudy and I hiked.  

View from the paddle trip

view from our hike 

Hot Springs bath.  105 degrees of awesomeness.  

Hike out to the Window View.  The closer the boys were the edge, the more on edge I became. 

Balanced Rock hike.  One of our favorites.  Seems smart enough: stand under a giant boulder balanced in the air while I take your picture.  

Santa Elena canyon.  

On the way to Santa Elena we blew a tire in the truck.  On the way home the next day, we blew a tire on the camper.  

More pictures are posted on our google+ drives. 


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