Our world famous "OutinDeWoods" blog has moved as of 4/22/2012. The constraints associated with trying to keep updated while traveling in very low internet availability areas have gotten to be too much. I have found another service that makes it easier to prepare the blog posts while offline, with only a short time needed to finish it up online. All posts after this date will be at
The 6 plus years of our blog here on Blogspot will remain as long as possible, but I may eventually move some of the more significant places we have visited to an archive on the new service. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for enjoying our travels with us and please check out the new OutinDeWoods.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Chisos Basin Warning Sign.
The weather was just too darn hot in Rio Grande Village (100+℉) so we were back up at Chisos Basin for a couple more days. One last important hike remained and that was the Santa Elena Canyon at the western edge of the park. We took the camper off and drove the 30 miles to the trailhead in the truck.
The Rio Grande enters the park through a steep walled limestone canyon on it's western border. Normally we would kayak a place like this but the low water levels prohibited it so we hiked the one mile trail along the river and up the canyon. Actually the Canyon was nice but it was disappointing that the trail was so short.
On the way back to the campsite we stopped to check out one of the other campgrounds in the park and finally got some pictures of Javelinas (Collared Peccary), and we checked out a few features on the way back to the campground.
The Many Layers of Big Bend.
The "Mules Ears".
Big Bend NP has been a most pleasant surprise with it's variety of flora and fauna, and some great hikes. Clouds are moving in with the promise of rain (much needed). We'll leave tomorrow through the west entrance and drive to the Texas / New Mexico border and Guadalupe Mountains National Park, wherein resides Texas' highest point, Guadalupe Peak, at 8,749 feet.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Campsite at Rio Grande Village - Big Bend NP
Rio Grande Village has a store, one of the parks five visitor centers, a campground, laundry facilities and an RV park. We camped at the Rio Grande campround for a couple of days to do some laundry and offload the camper for some truck maintenance. The campground is quite nice with sites separated for privacy by Cottonwood, Mesquite, and White Thorned Acacia trees.
Ocatilla and Prickly Pear above the Rio Grande River
We did a short hike from the campground to a river overlock. It was only about a mile, but gave us a nice view of the river and into Mexico.
The border at this point must be rather porous because you can wade across the river, though it certainly is illegal to do so. However, many do and leave small trinkets for sale along the trails like this short nature walk. If they are caught they are shipped 100 miles away to Presidio and held for deportation. We were told that the goods would also be confiscated.
On our second day the temperatures were in the upper 90s but we decided to hike to the Rio Grande Hot Springs anyways. We had plenty of water and food, dressed appropriately for the hike and set out around 10:00AM. We found a couple of real treasures along the way.
Cliff Swallow's mud houses.
A Cephalapod Fossil, still encased in rock.The hot springs were quite fashionable at one time, with bathhouses, a cafe, and some lodging, but all that remains today are the shells of the old buildings and this riverside spring. A hot soak at 105℉ wasn't too appealing to us after a hot and dusty 3 mile hike, with another 3 to go to get back to the campground, but there were folks there enjoying the spring.
Rio Grand Village was nice, we did get some laundry done, and the campground is very pretty, but it was just too hot for us so we will head back to the Chisos Mountains for a day or so before leaving Big Bend.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
That's Emory Peak just to the right of the branches of the tree on the left.
Emory Peak, the highest point in the park (7,825 ft) is one of the big ones. Our route starts at the campground on the Visitor Center trail (0.5 miles) then the Basin View trail to the Pinnacles Trail to the Emory Peak trail (5.3 miles) for an 11.6 mile round trip hike.
The trail is in great shape and while it is relentlessly uphill for the entire hike, very little of it is steep. Mostly just a steady uphill climb.
The Beautiful Texas Madrone. The Madrone tree sheds it's red bark periodically as it grows
The ubiquitous southwestern lizard, commonly referred to as a "Blue Belly", Note the belly of the lizard just visible in the lower right of the picture.
Yuccas in bloom on the basin rim.
Unusual rock seen along the trail.
Claret Cup Flower in the pinnacles area of the trail.
At the summit
Looking Back into the Chisos Basin, 2.725 feet below, from Emeory Peak
Of course the problem with any 5.8 mile hike to a fantastic peak is you still have a 5,8 mile hike back down when you are done. When we get down, we will head south to the Rio Grande Village area of the park and some hikes along the Rio Grande.
Friday, March 30, 2012
to the desert floor below, but it's hard to tell because it is so smooth and slippery that you can't get very close to the edge. The view out across the valley is fabulous. It was a great short hike and we met some mule deer on the way back up.