Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Friday, May 16, 2014

May 14 to 15 Big Bend National Park

May 14 to 15 Big Bend National Park

One of our bucket items was camping in Big Bend National Park, Texas and being able to look out the door of the camper and see Mexico. That can now be crossed off the travel list. Somehow the list never gets any shorter once we hit the road as there are always new places to see and enjoy.

We left Garner State Park in rain (as usual). Traveling on the back ranch roads from LBJ to Garner was very interesting as the country was full of emu and bison ranches plus what appeared to be "shooting ranches". Big game hunters can come in and shoot elk, etc. in fenced in ranches. Not quite sporting in my way of thinking but looks quite popular. Some of the ranch houses are top of very steep hills with concrete drives. They looked like compounds all fenced in.

Sun finally came out and along Route 83 we found the Judge Roy Bean Museum in Langtry, TX. Joe had once done a lot of reading up on him and said the museum was fascinating. I spent the time outside in the cactus gardens.


First of several stops on this trip at Border Patrol stations. Very cursory on their part as we just don't look like what they are looking for. Two old dudes from Maine in a truck camper? Let them on through. We of course have all our ID, passports, etc. and are always willing to have them inspect truck and camper. We aren't off the border yet so who knows what will come tomorrow.

We took route 90 to Del Rio to Marathon to 385 and into Big Bend National Park. It is a long, long way to the entrance of this immense park. Along the way there are many small dirt roads leading off into hikes. We took several but quickly found that the dry heat is deceptive. You don't sweat as the heat just wicks it away quickly so it is easy to overheat. We'd taken quite a few water bottles with us and drank them all. My main problem with walking long distances out west isn't as much the heat as the altitude. At 3200 feet it is a long way from the sea level I'm used to so just take it a bit slower. Lots of blooming cactus, birds and small lizards along the way.

We camped at the Rio Grande overlook near Boquillas in the no hook up portion. Love the truck camper as the systems work fine without power or water. The solar kept us topped off even with a 12 volt fan going overnight.Thanks again to Mike T who installed the big inverter before we left on this trip. It is nice to have that extra power use in the morning for coffee.

The Rio Grande is narrow at this portion and folks do walk across it. We found several spots on our walk where craftsmen had left hand made items by the side of the trail with glass jars for payment. I did buy a pretty painted walking stick that had been shellacked - very nice work. The next day it had been replaced and the money was gone so figure someone walked over at night and replaced it.

Another couple out birding on the same trail, nicely took our picture.

Second day we traveled over the Ross Maxwell Scenic Trail which leads to Castoldon. Again along the way there are a lot of side trails to follow. We walked into the Sam Nail Ranch site and wondered how anyone could have survived in this harsh land much less raise livestock. The windmill was the reason they could stay and when it failed, they had to leave.

The Sotol Vista is the top of the road to Castoldon. The view was astonishing but so vast the camera won't catch it. Joe and I travel to enjoy the geology of our country. This area is full of volcano cones, petrified ash with thrown lava rocks on top.

We camped at Cottonwood CG, a very small boondock right on the Rio Grand. It is a silent place with only birds, wind in the trees - and a very persistent woodpecker who decided to pound away on the truck mirrors. Closed the mirrors against the side of the truck so then he beat on the chrome. Fortunately birds don't fly at night.


Anonymous said...

Looks wonderful thanks for posting :)

Carol said...

Oh, Anne. This is so very enjoyable to read. You are such a great writer. Look forward to more posts. Enjoy your travels.