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  • Russ Newton

Big Bend National Park.

Sorry for the week off, longer than I thought I would be. Spent four days at Big Bend National park and I must say an amazing experience. Highly recommend a stop there for anyone that enjoys nature. The part is huge, eclectic and very visual. We drove up the entrance and negotiated the park fee. It was $30 and tried senior citizen (must be 62 and Jim and I are are 60 and 59 respectively) then triple A (No). Then I thought maybe the letter I carry from my doctor might work. The letter is to explain my slurred speech as a result of ALS and show I am not drunk if I get pulled over but thought it might work. And it did! Free lifetime pass to all National parks was the result! Here is a picture we took just after entering the park.




This is called the Chisos Window. It is the only opening in this basin. Every other side is mountain. Is at about 7,000 feet so 12 to 15 degrees cooler than the desert floor. We spent several hours there and they had a splendid meal at the restaurant located there. We then drove into town for our hotel late in the day. We we were staying in the town of Lajitas, Texas about 45 miles away. We arrived after dark and had quite a difficult time finding the office. But we did and checked in. The rooms were fine and the resort very large with many activities to do. Golf, horseback riding, river tours and other things to do. We did none of them, but was a nice place to be.

The next day we rose and went into the Ghost Town of Terlingua for Breakfast. We spent much of our leisure time there. The breakfast was amazing, the scenic background was amazing. Fortified, we headed into the Park. We went to Chisos Basin again, then after a quick hike, we headed for Boquillas Crossing into Mexico. No pictures but an interesting place to visit. You have to go through US Customs, then down to the Rio Grand. Negotiate a boat ride over to the town of Boquillas Del Carmen. The US Customs agent told us the Mexican border crossing had not been staffed in 18 months which gives you a sense of who worried Mexico is worried about illegal immigration into Mexico. We then headed Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive into the Santa Elena Canyon. That was 65 miles of amazing scenery. Here are a few pictures of Elena Canyon.





Then the highlight of the trip. On the map we were following, it showed a short drive up Maverick road to get back to our hotel. Well, after heading out on it for 400 feet, it turned into a gravel road. We went back the other way and discovered the only way to get back on a paved road was to back track 70 miles. It was 4pm and the last thing we wanted to do. We spoke to two park rangers, the said they would not recommend that we take a sedan on that road, we would probably get a flat tire or busted axle. We thought about it and said the hell with it, I will drive slow. We went about two miles at 5 miles an hour when our salvation appeared. It was a Ford Mustang coming the other way! We waved them down to ask about road conditions, they said it was fine. They were also tourists from Russia! Not what I thought I would see in the back country of West Texas for sure.


I mentioned earlier we spent a lot of time in the Ghost town of Terlingua. One of the reasons was it was a great place to recreate and eat. The other reason, was there weren't a lot of options in the area. This is on the patio where we ate breakfast.


Here is Jim with Paul Sprawl a solo musician with great skill. To quote Jim, sounds like Jimmy Hendricks or Lenny Kravitz. (For Jim, you can find him here https://www.reverbnation.com/paulsprawl)


Another friend made, Alice. Her

most famous quote: "I don't do threesomes" This was La Kiva, a place we went to two nights in a row. We were supposed to leave on Sunday but decided to stay one more day and were lucky enough to score the last hotel room in the area. We just relaxed and took it easy. Met a nice couple from Houston next door to us, talked for awhile about life and the darned liberals from California moving into Texas and ruining things.


That is all for now, my record for longest post, sorry about that, but like Texas, the story was too big!


Russ



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