Gone back to Texas

...the place to share tales of your travels and pics of your adventures...

Gone back to Texas

Postby Tom&Shelly » Mon Apr 29, 2024 2:03 pm

We went down to Big Bend a week ago, but TNTTT hasn't been stable enough to post about it. Still can't seem to add to the thread I started in March, so let's see if this new thread works.

We started with a one night stop at Bottomless Lakes State Park NM, near Roswell. Much nicer with the better weather:

173367 173368

173369 173370

Next stop was for one night back to Davis Mountains State Park TX

173371 173372

Still great, wonderful weather. Finally on to Big Bend! First stop was lunch at the Fossil Exhibit

173373 173375 173374

That last one wasn't a fossil, but he was crowen' about how he wanted me to take his picture! Raven' about just finishing modeling school (or something)

It did seem pretty warm at Big Bend.

173379 173378

Did I mention our campsite in Rio Grand Village didn't have electricity? Hence no AC. When we heard the forecast temperature, we looked into getting a space at the commercial site, or up the mountain at Chisos Basin, but no dice. (Almost as if the other visitors also wanted to escape the heat!) However, when we got there, we found it wasn't too unbearable. We'd do it again! And the particular campsite was great, with plenty of privacy due to the bushes and trees. It had a unique L shape with a spot for tenters.

173376 173377 173380

We were in a non-generator spot, but we were close enough to the generator spots that we did hear them clearly. Oh well. Our host mentioned the truck counts as a generator, so folks aren't allowed to run them in camp just to use their AC. If necessary, he suggested taking a drive to see the park at night.

I'm thinking some sort of 12 vdc swamp cooler for future trips to dry hot places may make an interesting project some day. :thinking: We did run our roof fan on high all night, which took about 10% of the battery. Even with the trees, the solar panel, left on top of the tear all day, charged us back to 100% by evening.

OK, this posting works, but I can't seem to add a new post to this thread! (Or the last one.)

To be continued...?

Tom
173599 170466 173366
Tom&Shelly
Palladium Donating Member
 
Posts: 2304
Images: 2108
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm
Location: Upstate New York/New Mexico

Re: Gone back to Texas

Postby Modstock » Tue Apr 30, 2024 8:29 pm

A few years ago I attempted to make swamp-er from a broken window ac unit. I just needed to bend up a 2" reservoir for the pad to drain into but that project got scrapped. Had our roof redone and had to buy a mobile cooler to get us by for a week.

Sent from my SM-A115AP using Tapatalk
User avatar
Modstock
1000 Club
1000 Club
 
Posts: 1091
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:18 am
Location: Salt lake , Utah

Re: Gone back to Texas

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sun May 05, 2024 2:00 pm

Looks like we're back!

For our first full day at Big Bend, we woke up to low 80's temperature (this was mid April), and after breakfast, we decided to hike the nature trail before the heat got too bad. The trail starts in the Rio Grande village campground, maybe a hundred feet from our campsite.

173429 173430 173431
173432 173433 173438

After crossing some wetlands, we climbed a little hill and saw this

173441

Surely not the mighty Rio Grande?

Indeed it is (and stop calling me Shirley!) That's all Mexico in the background. One could wade across, just getting the feet wet to the ankles, and no one would notice. We soon saw signs someone had done just this

173434

The park brochures warn that it is against the law to buy these items, and they can be confiscated. (The next day we crossed legally. More on that later.)

From across the river we saw a farmer catch his burro, on the Mexican side, and begin working a field. All you can see here is a bit of his orange hat. By then it was in the upper 80's and he was wearing what looked like winter clothing. Guess it keeps the Sun off, but he's a hardier man than me!

173436

After we got back to camp (and finished doing the dishes from breakfast) we decided to drive up to the Chisos Basin for a picnic lunch. Found it comfortable in the high 70's

173437

Went on to take the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive with the Old Maverick Road (dirt road) on the Western side of the park. High temps and desert, but, of course, we had AC in the Tundra. Can't remember what they call that peak with rocks that look like Mule's Ears...

173439

Shelly had made some pasta salad before we left on this trip, and that was a sufficient dinner in the nearly 100 degree heat of early evening. After dinner, we decided to scout out the Boquilles Canyon Overlook and the entry point to Mexico that we planned (and did) take the next day. The cows can go back and forth without a passport

173440

Can't remember which evening, but we were visited in camp by a strange pink snake that went right under the tear

173421 173420

Shelly took these pics with her phone, and I think there must be something wrong with it, because I remember a snake about 30 feet long and 6 inches in diameter. :thinking:

Turns out, the coachwhip snakes in Big Bend are pink.

Tom
Last edited by Tom&Shelly on Sun May 05, 2024 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
173599 170466 173366
Tom&Shelly
Palladium Donating Member
 
Posts: 2304
Images: 2108
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm
Location: Upstate New York/New Mexico
Top

Re: Gone back to Texas

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sun May 05, 2024 2:28 pm

That next day, we decided to use the port of entry in the park and cross the border to Boquillas del Carmen. Luckily, we'd thought to bring our passports on this trip! Getting into Mexico is easy, but you need the passports to get back to the US later that afternoon. (If you're too late, after the rangers and border patrol go home, you get to spend the night in Mexico.)

From the entry building, you walk down to the river, and are taken across in a row boat. ($US5 per person round trip.) You could wade across, but you'd get your feet wet. The guy operating the boat simply walked it across. On the other side you are greeted with a friendly "Hola, welcome to Mexico." I responded with "Ola, Grazzie-iss," which seemed to work okay. You are encouraged to take a burro (or horse) from there, but we decided to hike the 3/4 mile. Once in Boquillas, you pay a small fee to the Mexican authorities (in the only air conditioned building in town) for visiting the Protected Area (like a national park). (All transactions in town are in US dollars, btw.)

Boquillas

173415 173414 173413

sells many hand made souvenirs and has several restaraunts

173417 173416

Very good food. I think the raw material comes from the US side. On a map, the road from Boquillas to the rest of Mexico looks long and pretty rough!

We didn't buy many souvenirs and, it may just be me, but the folks seemed just a little less friendly as we walked out of town in the afternoon empty handed. But it just may have been the heat... (I decided I already have enough T-shirts, but if I did buy one it would be the one that says: "Welcome to Boquillas, the FUN side of the border wall")

I will say, despite any concerns regarding illegal immigration, drugs, or anything like that, we felt perfectly safe the whole time. Very enjoyable day, even without leaving with any pretty hand-made items.

Tom
173599 170466 173366
Tom&Shelly
Palladium Donating Member
 
Posts: 2304
Images: 2108
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm
Location: Upstate New York/New Mexico
Top

Re: Gone back to Texas

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sun May 05, 2024 2:50 pm

We spent two full days in Big Bend NP. If we had more time we would have investigated the hot springs, hiked some of the trails in the Chisos Basin, and tried driving some of the 4 wd back roads. We did drive Old Maverick road and found it was in wonderful shape, and could have been driven by almost any car. One of the volunteers in the park gave us the story on the other roads, and there are one or two not to be taken without some experienced back-roaders in a companion vehicle.

Next time, we may investigate Big Bend Ranch State park to the west, and also look into a float or canoe trip. The latter would have to be later in the season as the winter run-off from snow in New Mexico and Colorado begins to reach the area.

On our way out, we stopped at Terlingua Ghost Town, which I noticed on the NP map of the park. Basically a big gift shop, but not a bad one. Think I remember a bar there also, but this was still early in the morning.

We went back to Davis Mountain State Park, this time for two nights

173445 173444

This time we had to take a full hook-up spot. It shared a nice meadow with a few other sites, which was great for bird watching. Also had some deer come though. Tempertures were moderate, and rather nice after Big Bend's heat.

Tom
173599 170466 173366
Tom&Shelly
Palladium Donating Member
 
Posts: 2304
Images: 2108
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm
Location: Upstate New York/New Mexico
Top

Re: Gone back to Texas

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sun May 05, 2024 3:15 pm

While in the area, we visited Fort Stockton TX, where we toured the Anne Riggs Museum (local history), got a personal tour of the old jail, and old Fort Stockton.

173443

I wouldn't necessarily recommend a special trip to Fort Stockton, but if you're in the area these are worth a stop. We were camping at Davis Mountain in March, and already spent a lot of time in Fort Davis, Alpine, and Marpha, and so were looking for something new.

From Davis Mountain, our next campground was Brantley Lake in New Mexico. There were two about equally long routes, so we decided to go by Guadalope Mountains NP, and maybe have a picnic lunch and stretch our legs on one of the trails. But something weird happened with the weather that morning, and Guadalope Mountain was stuck in a 40 degree cloud bank. Yuck! (We'll go back some day.) We've both been to Carslbad Caverns several times, and so we weren't interested in stopping there. We drove on to the town of Carlsbad and had lunch at a restaraunt.

We still had the afternoon, and the weather wasn't nice, so we thought we'd go to the Carlsbad museum (free, run by the city), but we didn't notice until after our late lunch that it was Saturday and the museum closed at 2. We decided to spend another hour and half driving, each way, with teardrop, to Hobbs to see the Cowboy Museum. Can't say it was worth the extra 3 hours driving, but it probably was better than sitting in the teardrop enduring the cold, damp, and cloudy weather. Every trip has a low point.

The weather did begin to break that evening, and the Sun came out by the time we got to Brantley Lake. The campground itself was okay--about what one would expect with a New Mexico State Park

173447 173446

Tom
173599 170466 173366
Tom&Shelly
Palladium Donating Member
 
Posts: 2304
Images: 2108
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm
Location: Upstate New York/New Mexico
Top

Re: Gone back to Texas

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sun May 05, 2024 3:42 pm

As often happens after a long drive in yucky weather on a Saturday, we woke up the next morning and found it was Sunday. Shelly had a business meeting in Roswell on Tuesday, and so we had two more days to explore the South-East New Mexico area. Weather was supposed to be windy with a high of only 61 (which would have felt great at the start of the trip; but Big Bend spoiled us!) so we decided it was a good day to see a museum.

This time we picked the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Arts in Roswell, which I'd been to once years ago, but Shelly had never seen. It showcases local artists who had grants to work there in Roswell (if I understand correctly). I'm not much on abstract art, but that's not quite what this is...anyway, I like it! (No pics here, but if you're interested they have a web site.)

Monday morning, the weather was warming up, and we had a choice of going back to Guadalope Mountain, or seeing Living Zoo State Park in Carlsbad NM in the morning, and doing something else from there. We decided on the latter, and it wasn't a wrong choice. We still have Guadalope Mountain on our list of places to see.

Living Zoo has a wide variety of plants and animals from the region

173449 173450 173451
173453 173454 173455
173457 173459 173461

That last gal is a Mexican Wolf, but didn't seem to take offense when we confused her with a coyote. My favorite though was this mountain lion

173472 173471

who meowed, at which point my instincts took over (I've owned multiple cats and pride myself on speaking to them in their own language) and I meowed back. We ended up having quite a conversation, mostly about the smelly dogs (wolves) next door. He also mentioned being kept on a Purina Mountain Lion Chow diet, while there was all this fresh food over there

173466 173467 173470

I sympathized (to a point). After seeing the livestock, Shelly and I had our own picnic lunch in the park.

Tom
173599 170466 173366
Tom&Shelly
Palladium Donating Member
 
Posts: 2304
Images: 2108
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm
Location: Upstate New York/New Mexico
Top

Re: Gone back to Texas

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sun May 05, 2024 4:11 pm

After lunch on Monday, we decided we didn't have time to get to Guadaloupe Mountain, and so went to Carlsbad Caverns, not to see the cave yet again, but to take the Walnut Cavern Desert Drive. Much to our annoyance, it turns out to be closed indefinitely due to washouts a few years ago. They have the warning on the Alert web page for the Park, but not on the specific web page for the drive. But, a ranger suggested a drive to Sitting Bull Falls on National Forest Service land West of the park.

Totally worth it! (Actually, I took the Walnut Canyon drive years ago, before Shelly and I met, and this drive is so much better!)

173476 173475 173474
173473 173418

Turns out, this is also the drive to get to the Dog Canyon area on the North side of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. If you're headed there, Sitting Bull Falls is worth the stop. There are protected picnic tables and grills, so it's a great place for lunch or dinner--or supper--depending on time of day, and regional dialect. The hike to the Falls is a short one.

By the time we got back to Brantley Lake the cold spell had passed. Next day, after completing her business in Roswell, we spent our last night camping at Brantley Lake and it was in the mid 90's.

All-in-all a good trip!

Tom
173599 170466 173366
Tom&Shelly
Palladium Donating Member
 
Posts: 2304
Images: 2108
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm
Location: Upstate New York/New Mexico
Top

Re: Gone back to Texas

Postby philpom » Mon May 06, 2024 6:10 pm

Looks like a super fun time!
philpom
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 197
Images: 103
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:53 am
Top


Return to Trips, Pics and Hiway Tales

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests