National Park #25: Big Bend, Day 1

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.” – Edward Abbey

Big Bend was probably are most hastily planned trip.  We hadn’t planned on heading down to Texas until a couple of months beforehand.  We were originally reluctant to head down here because we were arriving just at the end of the main visitor season and all the park facilities would close the day we left.  As a result, our rhythm here was different from any other park we’ve visited.  We would be up an hour or so before sunrise and hike until just before noon.  We’d then find a shady spot for a nap, and start moving again in the evening.  Having time during the middle of the day to thoroughly explore a single spot was great, and because of this, the birding was fantastic.

We landed in Midland-Odessa where the airport has advertisements for fracking fluids and “down-hole equipment” whatever that is.  For the first hour, we were surrounded by oil fields and degraded scrub-land.  Once we escaped this area, however, we found ourselves in hilly nothingness that reminded us of a desert version of the Alaskan tundra.  We arrived in Terlingua a few hours later.  This small town first saw a boom during the late 1890’s as a mining town, then deserted, and eventually occupied by folks there to accommodate the tourists to the national park.  The nightly hotspot is the Starlight Theater. (A)  We ended the evening sitting on the porch with our beers, petting the dozen or so dogs that seemed to permanently reside there, and watched the lightning over the Sierra del Carmen.

Starlight Theater

The Starlight Theater

Next Day

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