Bamf petite rock climber
We took advantage of the boulder, did a little swimming, then headed back to camp. The next day we climbed another 5 routes with a quick dip in the river. We met very cool people while climbing. Every climber we were next to was friendly, funny and chatty. It was great. We loved both days, and enjoyed very sore muscles for the next few days.
Fun jumping off boulders
San Jose mission, didn't get any photos of the Alamo and not many take here.
We spent about six hours in San Antonio, then headed west to a picnic area for the night on our way to Big bend. Next day on our way to Big Bend we went through a little town called Langtry. We caught a sign for the Judge Roy Bean museum. We had no idea who that was and on a whim turned around to check it out. We learned all about Judge Roy Bean, a man who was one step down from the criminals he charged. It was awesome. In Langrty around the mid to late 1800's it was the wild west. They had no judge or law enforcement and Roy Bean was selected to be the Justice of the Peace. In his history they mention him running scams (selling watered down milk) and having fled Mexico after killing a man. His way of justice was to fine criminals, and pocket the fines. He was a rough and tumble guy, and perfect for the job. It was clear from what we read that if anyone 'nice' were in that role they wouldn't last but his style of justice worked for the area. They had the original saloon/court house where he ran his business and conducted trials, which were often held on the porch. They had no jail so he'd tie the belligerent drunks to a tree until they were sober, then fine them. He was quite the character.
The original saloon/court house
We made it to Big Bend and got our back country permit. Here they have designated back country primitive sites and you have to book where you are staying. We made a plan to stay a few nights in each corner of the park. The drive to our first campsite was treacherous. It was along a 'not maintained' road that required having a 4x4 lifted vehicle. We had no trouble, just a few 'oh sh*t' moments. We are saddened there is no photo proof. There was one good spot when I had to get out of the car to spot him because part of the road had washed out and if he crossed it wrong, I'd be standing there watching him roll down the hill. Oh well, we made it safely to Elephant Tusk campsite, in the middle of nowhere.
at the campsite
Hiking Elephant tusk trail
Purple tinged prickly pear in bloom
Sunset in camp
My new ride
View from pre-hot springs hike
In the hot spring
Our last day at that campsite we spent in Mexico! There is a port of entry in the park that allows you to enter Boquillas Del Carmen. I asked the cashier when we were getting ice cream about it and he said, "It's small, primitive, very Mexican and a lot of fun". We weren't sure if we'd go but that sealed the deal. We had the option to take a boat for five bucks or wade in the water to cross in to Mexico. Since we are cheap or as the nice border patrol gentleman said,"Adventure seekers", we waded through the knee deep Rio Grande.
Margaritas en Mexico!
The following day we drove to a new campsite near Chisos Basin. This is the main attraction in Big Bend. On our way we stopped at dugout wells (a small oasis in the desert that used to be a small town), the fossil bone exhibit (who doesn't like dinosaurs? they have found a lot of fossils here), then stopped in the main visitor center to read about the plants and animals in the area, then we did a 5 mile hike along the lost mine trail, both wearing our huaraches.
The gators used to be pretty big
I forgot to mention I busted through another pair of shoes. I've been alternating between wearing my heavy, clunky feeling Asolo boots and huaraches. I only wear the huaraches for short hikes.
nice shredded hole in my shoe, we walk too much
Matthew on top of Emory peak
South rim, a bit windy
'window' at the end of the Window Trail
Leaving for our last campsite we took a scenic drive that had a lot of exhibits, overlooks and short trails. We stopped for everything. It was an exhausting 'rest' day. I thought we'd drive and do little stops but we did several trails. We estimated by the end of the day we walked 10.5 miles. It was a great day. We saw many beautiful views, two abandoned ranches, the remnants of a town and learned a lot. Top two favorites of the day were the Burro Mesa Pouroff and Santa Elena Canyon Trail. To get to the Burro Messa Pouroff we hiked the upper and lower part to see it from the top and bottom. The Santa Elena Canyon was a short trail with the payoff of silent awe and the feeling of being a minute impression on the earth, it was impressive and beautiful.
Last part of the upper burro mesa
It was hard to get a good shot of the view from the top
Burro mesa from the bottom
Santa Elena Canyon