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Off to Big Bend National Park


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#1 elstalker

elstalker
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Posted 11 October 2003 - 05:02 AM

Well here it is 7:47 AM on Saturday and we are almost packed up for a week of hiking and camping and eating at Big Bend National Park. If you haven't been to this wonderful park then you have missed one of the jewels of the national park system.

We started hiking out there in the mid eighties and have still not seen it all. This trip we will be exploring the River Road and other areas only accessible by high ground clearance vehicles.

We don't have our Casita yet (Scheduled for delivery Jan 12, 2004), so we will live in a tent again. We are meeting 10 other members of The Woodlands Hiking Club. Six of us will be camping in the Rio Grande Village campground. The other six will be backpacking the Dobson Trail. We will meet them a couple of time to resupply them with water.

Our group sets up our eating by each couple two planning two gourmet meals. Then each couple (not necessarily married) just has to think about two meals rather than one each night.

I hope it is OK to post this about trips. We will post some pictures when we get back next week.

See ya later!

Chauncey and Jane

PS Can't wait for the Jelly Roll (the name of our soon to be Casita)
Jane and Chauncey
The Jelly Roll and Strawberry
17' LD and GMC Sonoma
http://www.casitaclu...t=ST&f=20&t=702]

Expedition to Alaska, 04/2005

#2 Chris B

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Posted 11 October 2003 - 05:53 AM

Hi Chauncey - Where is Big Bend? Sounds like you have a nice trip planned.

I'm going for an one-nighter at Joshua Tree and getting to ready to leave now. There is the annual Didgeridoo Festival and being that we've never been, we are going!

Chris B
Chris B
'03 17' Liberty Deluxe
2005 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
Southern California (Orange County)

#3 elstalker

elstalker
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Posted 21 October 2003 - 06:52 AM

The great flood at Big Bend, or how to camp on the pavement at Panther Junction, or the attack of the Javelina, or how to get a broken legged hiker down from Boot Springs in the Chisos Mountains. What a camping trip?

We arrived in Marathon late Saturday after driving through a torrential downpour that flooded the roadway in places and delayed us by a couple of hours. When we arrived at the entrance to Big Bend we noticed a small note on the window of the closed ranger station. “Rio Grande Campground closed” thinking this meant that the registration station was closed we drove the last 70 miles and arrived to find the entrance to the campground barricaded and completely empty because the Rio Grand would crest during the night and might inundate the whole area. One motor home sat broken down and alone waiting to see if the flood or the wrecker would arrive first. (The wrecker won).

Now for the dilemma, how does one locate one’s camp mates in a park larger than Delaware and where cell phones don’t work? We decide to head back to Ft Stockton and get a motel room and try again tomorrow. We pass by Panther Junction, park headquarters, and in a last effort we cruse the parking lot and low and behold there is one of the other couples in our group, Mollie and Denis. Hugs and kisses later we take the last three parking places and set up our camp. (The rangers gave everyone a special dispensation to camp wherever they felt comfortable.)

Boy, do I wish we had our Casita tonight (to be delivered January 12). But after unloading the back of our Sonoma we open all the windows and crawl in. At one time the wife and I fit the back of a small truck quite well, but that was about 150 pounds ago. Our cat Sugar is cranked and spends the night pacing from window to window and walking over us as Denis sleeps in a lawn chair under a plastic tarp (Crinkle, Crinkle) while his wife sleeps in the front bucket seats of their Ford Explorer. The rain stops sometime during the night and the next morning we have oatmeal and coffee in the parking lot.

The weather continues to improve and Rio Grande Village Campground reopens at noon. Ros and Mary Ann arrive and then begins four glorious days until the attack of the Javelina. While Jane and I are up showering four Javelina invade our tent. Thank goodness we have our cats in the truck and Denis our good campmate defends our tent by hurling pebbles at the critters, so we return to just scattered dry cat food.. Disaster barely averted.

The penultimate hike in Big Bend is a strenuous fourteen mile hike to the South Rim of the Chisos Mountains. This trek takes all day, but the view from the rim is inspirational. One can see mountains in Mexico more than eighty miles away and can see the 750 foot high walls of the Santa Elena Canyon more than 40 miles away. Our group less my wife and I (we stand guard at the tent) make this hike on Tuesday. Everything is great until Ros breaks his leg (Tibia). This is one tough dude as he sucks it up and limps down the trail three miles to the cars. Get well quick Ros we will miss you.

Well after this exciting week of hiking and camping and eating everyone makes it home. We had a great exciting time and will head out there again soon I hope.


Chauncey
Jane and Chauncey
The Jelly Roll and Strawberry
17' LD and GMC Sonoma
http://www.casitaclu...t=ST&f=20&t=702]

Expedition to Alaska, 04/2005