Monday, April 2, 2012

Big Bend National Park - Rio Grande Village

Rio G CampsiteCampsite 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.
Nature walk at Rio Grande villageOcatilla 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.

Mex trinkets along the trail
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.

Ocotillo blossom close upOn 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.
Mud housesCliff Swallow's mud houses.
FossilA Cephalapod Fossil, still encased in rock.
Hot Springs at Big BendThe 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.
Ocotillo sunset

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