Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Big Bend, Texas - New with CAPTIONS!

Austin, Texas is a crazy town, and rolling into the downtown on a Saturday night immediately following a Longhorns W is an exhausting venture for anyone, especially the road-weary! So after some awesome Mexican food and bizarre people-watching, we hightailed to the Johnson (as in Lyndon Baines) Ranch to crash in the car. This is that famous big Texas sky courtesy of the Ex-Prez's digs the next morning.
Some little Germantown with a good bakery.
We veered off of the westbound tack of I-10 to head almost as far South as Grand Isle, to the seldom lauded detour destination of Big Bend National Park.
Big Bend is situated on the Southwestern extremities of the state, where the Rio Grande makes a ridiculous carve northward (hence the name.) It is a gigantic park, rife with mountains, cliffs, caverns, desert plains, and a contested history of human occupation that spans the entire history of civilization on this continent. This is our first campsite, with the largest dormant volcano in the background.
The shadows begin to creep from our tent's vista. Looks fake even when you're there in person.
Texan afterglow our first night in Big Bend.
This rock formation is called Sphinx-Chipmunk in Repose. I'm lying. But it really did look like that in person.
Prickly Pears are our favorite cacti. Especially if they are little pink babies!
Our second campsite, a 'remote' location miles off the road and isolated in arid beauty.
The chihuahuan desert is plush with flora, striking in its beauty even in the onset of winter.
Heading off to hike the desert splendor.
The mountains seem to peel apart the story of the planet's eons. We were told by one of the Rangers that Big Bend has one of the (if not the) only uninterrupted continuous fossil records from Pangaea, to the Dinosaurs, to Native Americans.

Cool camera accident while we trailblaze the desert brush
The distant mountains before dawn's break.
The world shifts from cool to warm. I could have put 100 more pics of this sunrise.

Art imitates life. Also, check how much dew accumulates even in the desert.

They said that Big Bend was the least-visited National Park.
Basically, Big Bend is the center of a volcanic hotspot where a lot of upheaval and mountainous terrain just shoot up out of nowhere in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert. So, you get vast desert for endless stretches and then verdant Rockies-esque altitude, flora and fauna colliding within a relatively small area. It was like every five miles brought a new biome into view.

In the distance, there are some chimneys. We tried hiking to them prior, but got caught by sunset and had to run along the path before we were engulfed in the dark. Damn chimneys, why do they have to be covered in cool pictographs and be so far away! More reasons to return someday...
This was a windy scenic route, where we were leapfrogging a bunch of sightseeing, leather-clad bikers. The cliffs are courtesy of the Rio Grande.
In the desert, even death is beautiful.

Those cliffs are Mexico, and lunch was green apples and sharp cheddar.
It's probably amazing in the springtime too...
Despite the harsh climate midday, when we entered the park at dusk we saw two roadrunners, rabbits, and a coyote within the first five miles.

One of the biggest washouts, and easily one of the most breathtaking views of the entire journey.


nebons said...

looks arid... stay hydrated, yo.

Rambler said...

i only finished the pics sofar. writings soon!

Eliz said...

Hey Reg - love all the headgear :)

luke said...

that is some crazy business. i like regina's plate. tell her to make me one.

have u seen "two girls one cup"

u need to. its the most hideous horrible horrifying 2 minutes of ur life

Michele said...

Ah! you made it to Big Bend. I'm jealous. From wetlands to drylands... what an adventure

Fred said...

Great pictures. Who's that guy you are with?
Did you guys stop in Rhode Island along the way?

Your Uncle Butch

Rambler said...

Hey everyone, thanks for checking out our blog. Nick has been working really hard to make it worthwhile. I myself prefer making jewelry that will hopefully help fund our trip! To Uncle Freddy, that's Nick, my partner in crime. Hopefully you'll meet soon when we finally get to the lake house. NIck and I had such a blast these past 6 weeks, and as sad as it is, our journey ended today. We arrived in Breckenridge tonight and are just getting the apartment together. Time to get back to work. More to come. love reg

Anonymous said...

Regina - I've enjoyed your photography and narration so much! You should open a gallery with those photos! What an adventurous woman you are!

Mary Lynn


i miss u guys!! reg i called u on ur bday but ur voicemail was full so i sent u a long text :) lol i know your crazy hectic but i hope your enjoying every second of it and i hope to talk to you soon!!

ps you keep being added in facebook pictures so you should probably check that soon haha and i added nick!! i'm hoping to be introduced to his brothers... :)

lovee yoU!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you might want to contribute some photography to the Big Bend & Texas Mountains Travel Guide. You took gorgeous pictures! We're a non-profit that promotes travel to the region. Unfortunately, we don't have a budget for photography. Usually we take a handful of photos from local chambers of commerce. I really want to up the quality. If you'd like to contribute for credit, I'd love to have your photos in the magazine. You can reach me at bigbendtravel@gmail.com. The website for our last edition is at www.bigbendtexasmountains.com.