The Beauty of Big Bend

I didn’t know there were mountains in Big Bend National Park. The entire Chisos Mountain Range lies within the boundaries of the national park.

If there’s a place to visit, I tend to want to go. Gotta see what’s around that next corner, right?

So when the opportunity came up to go camping in Big Bend National Park, I jumped.

My aunt and uncle spoke volumes of the beauty of the area. But I was a kid then and didn’t give their talk or photos much attention. Yet here was an opportunity to go somewhere I’d never been, and I had a national parks pass too. So despite an overwhelming schedule, I packed two of my three kids in the car to explore southwest Texas. I had few expectations or hopes, except to see a rattlesnake from the safety of the car.

Casa Grande captured my attention. This view from the Chisos Basin was my favorite.
Thunderstorms occasionally soak the desert. The Chisos Mountains receive more rain than the desert floor, so more varied flora and fauna are found there.
Things I never knew: Millipedes are huge. The photo doesn’t do it justice.
The Rio Grande isn’t as wide or as deep as I expected.
Stones shimmer the riverbed.
This is THE iconic image of Big Bend. For the best perspective of the Santa Elena Canyon, renting a canoe is a must. I wish we would have done it.
A short walk to a trail that we thought went in the Santa Elena Canyon instead took us up the side of the cliff. Surprise.
Pictographs and petroglyphs are visible on the trail near the hot springs. Yes, Big Bend National Park has hot springs too.
The ghost town of Terlingua, outside the national park, was a historical and cultural treat. The mining town died after World War II reduced the market for mercury. Cinnabar, a mercury ore, was mined there.
Always looking out the windows and doors to see the beauty.
Big Bend is known for stargazing because of its dark skies designation. The ranger-led astronomy program added a special touch.
I didn’t expect mountains or all the cacti to bloom. Our last night, on our way out of the park from the astronomy program, the rattlesnakes provided a show too. No photos, but we saw two from the car. Perfect.

5 thoughts on “The Beauty of Big Bend

  • Kate, what a joy to awake this morning and wander in to your blog! It opens up the possibility of happy trails ahead.
    In passing Janice has mentioned your being in Canada, etc but now I can travel with you. We camped in the Chisos Basin when she was a freshman in high school.

    • Hi Bobbi. I’m glad you found me. I’m still figuring a lot out, including what to write about, as well as the technical skills for WordPress. The Chisos Basin in beautiful. I have several travel blog ideas on my “editorial calendar.” Haven’t used that phrase in decades.

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