Bodacious Boquillas Canyon, Texas!! March 6th & 7th, 2014

We've seen the Brown Sign by I-10 for many years:  Big Bend National Park, but the time never seemed right. We were either coming or going and had no time to stop.  Or couldn't take the time to detour 150 or so miles from the freeway south to where the Rio Grande River makes its 90 degree turn, hence Big Bend. The national park comprises over 800,000 acres (larger than Rhode Island), and other than comments about its beauty, my chief comment was, "It's way too big!!"  It would take us the rest of our lives to see it all... tho there's no such thing as "seeing it all."  We only hit a couple of the park's highlights, but we vowed to return.  We say that a lot about places we go; this time it may be true.  Big Bend:  where river, desert, and mountains meet and create an outstanding and wonderful diversity.

We opted to stay two nights at (expensive) Rio Grande RV Village because when we called the week before about c/g availability, we were told the non-hookup (inexpensive) Rio Grande Village was booked. When we pulled into the Visitor Center, their signboard said the RV Village was full, but both nights had plenty of spaces available.  The other one had sites available, too, so I guess the moral of this story is don't believe them!  As I said, we opted for two nights and had a reservation elsewhere. Phooey -- we would've stayed longer if we'd had the opportunity.  Oh well!  The RV Village was very nice.

Breathtaking Big Bend views everywhere.

Yup, Tergel fit in the tunnel!

What's left of the Rio Grande River.  Due to "over-appropriation," the river's flow is much less than it used to be.  The river marks the boundary between the US and Mexico.  In this picture the United States is on the left, Mexico to the right. 

 And these men on horseback are Mexicans who regularly cross the river to market "wares for donations."

Jimmy tests the water at Boquillas Canyon entrance.  Not cold.

This Road Runner chose the American side.

Spectacular 1,200 foot canyon walls dwarf all below. 

 Cacti meeting.

 Intrepid explorer, almost at the end of the narrow canyon w/o getting her hikers wet.  That walking stick I found weighed almost as much as me.

 "Wares for a donation" -- the scorpions at most places were $6.  At this last spot they were a bargain at $5.  A Park sign said, don't buy merchandise as you and the seller will be in trouble... so we didn't.

Pin the tail on the donkey?

Silence in Boquillas Canyon is pervasive.  The gentle gurgle of the Rio Grande or a canyon wren's sweet cascading notes the only sounds.  Until, without warning, said silence is shattered by the loud brazen bray from a Mexican wild burro bouncing off sheer canyon walls.  Scared me half to death!  I knew it was a Mexican burro because it was on the other side of the river.  If you can't find it in my photo, it's almost square in the middle, a tad to the left of center.  (It must have crossed the river in the night, or perhaps another burro let loose about 4 am and woke me.  Kind of sounded like those Magellanic Penguins we saw and heard in Patagonia!!)

Magnificent Sierra del Carmen Mountains, with its ribbon ridge that reminds me of bacon...   

What a treat to see these mountains morning and evening, going into and out of our campground.  Views of this range were unbelievably beautiful.  This is one of those places where descriptive adjectives become trite. Layers upon layers of multi-colored rock and ridges and mountains, due to volcanic activity, uplifting and erosion are something to see.  The Chihuahuan Desert climate favors bunchgrasses, cacti, lechuguillas, yuccas, sotols, etc., with creosote bushes covering most of the terrain.  Because we're here after winter rains and before summer's heat broils, wildflowers dot the landscape.  Cool beans!  I especially liked Big Bend Bluebonnets (lupines) that lined the main road.  Many of Big Bend's plants are found nowhere else in the world.  So much to see!  Bird life is amazing, too, and along the river where we stayed, I saw birds not seen in most of the rest of the US.  Would that we could've lingered....

Tomorrow:  Chisos Mountain....


  1. Oh, I just knew you would love it there! We want to go back, too....

  2. So much fun to read your experience with Big Bend and remember my own hike into Boquillas Canyon at the beginning of our journey this winter. You are right, it is an amazing place, and we too, plan to return. Probably not this year, however....the clock is running out and we are heading west after visiting my son in Missouri. Pray it doesn't snow.

    1. Nannie and Sue, maybe we should all plan to return together! Truly an amazing place. Jimmy and I are on our way back to California now. Sue -- good luck in Missouri! (NO snow!) ps: We were sleeted on near Alpine this morning. :-(


We love hearing from you -- please leave us a note! (Comment moderation is turned on, and your comments, including anonymous comments, will be visible after they have been reviewed and published.)