We left Big Bend NP (last post) about an hour before dusk without a real plan for where we’d stay that night. There were “campgrounds” outside of the park but those turned out to be RV parking lots. We figured that we would find something in Big Bend Ranch State Park, west of and adjacent to the National Park along the Rio Grande, and get in another day of hiking before Matt and I left the next morning from El Paso.
This is the area where we camped. I got up when I saw the sunrise to explore near the river. We had heard rapids but couldn’t see the river from the campground. After all the signs at the previous day’s stops I did start thinking about mountain lions as I walked along deer trails though those willows and brush to reach the river. So I made plenty of noise, but I also decided to move to higher ground where there was no cover. I was also glad when Matt showed up with the same idea (early morning photography) in mind.
Logs and rocks in the river were enough to create the sound of rapids that we heard from camp.
This is the view back to the camping area. That green speck in the middle is the truck.
We looked at the map to see where we might hike in this park and found Closed Canyon.
This is a canyon that leads to the Rio Grande.
Absolutely stunning! The photos don’t do it justice.
You can walk in about 7/10 of a mile before you can’t go farther.
If you’re a mountain goat you can try to go farther … or if you want to get wet.
Matt went around the bend and came back. The map shows that it is a relatively short way to the river.
You wouldn’t want to walk here in the flash flood season.
That slot in the shadow is the entrance to this incredible canyon.
On the road again.
The next stop was the HooDoos Trail.
Hoodoos refers to these eroded formations.
Matt showed me how to do photos with my camera that you can later turn into panoramas. This isn’t distorted like the pano shots on the phone.
More spikey things.
We left the park and were on our way to El Paso where we would spend the night and Matt and I would take an early flight home the next morning.
We entered the town of Marfa and Matt found on Trip Advisor that visitors could check out the dome of the city hall.
That was a good excuse to get out of the truck and stretch. This small West Texas town may be worth a second visit someday to investigate it’s art venues and to find out more about the Marfa Lights (google that).
Entering El Paso.
Flying over southern California where the fires were (are) still burning.