12 Mar 2013--Got back to the Big Bend area Sunday afternoon, to a "town" called Terlingua. Using the word "town" is really an exaggeration...can't imagine there are more than a dozen people within a 5 mile radius! So out in the boonies certainly applies...with no phone service and only one spot for miles and miles where after 15 tries you might be able to send a text message. But we are probably only about 5 miles from the park entrance so after the initial withdrawal symptoms subside, I expect we will be fine for the week we plan to be here. haha
At the Visitor's Center they told us this was bear and mountain lion country...mountain lion sightings were as recent as Feb 10th & 13th, but in a different part of the park. (Although after I ate my orange, I was a little concerned that putting the baggie in my butt pack may make me a target due to the scent.)
All we saw was this one deer, and he was not even in the mountain area of the hike. He was right outside the back of the Visitor Center. haha
So we set off on our hike of the Chisos Mountains area of the park. A week ago when we came down here on a day trip we went to the Rio Grande Elena Canyon area. To demonstrate how big this place is, the Chisos Mountains area gets twice as much rainfall every year as the Rio Grande area, so it is like it is in another time zone. haha
This was a 5.2 mile round trip hike, with an almost 1000 ft descent to the end point, called "The Windows". This is the #1 rated hike in the park, with the Rio Grande hike being #2, but I am not sure if they are rating the actual hike or the views. I thought the views to the Rio Grande were a little better, but this was good, too...just not quite as pretty as we went along. It started out quite cool in the beginning, but we saw lots of people in shorts in T-shirts...figured they must have been from Alaska.
The trail has some rock climbing, but it is mostly laid out with dirt and pebbles, so not difficult at all. At some of the rocky parts they have even cut stairs out to ease the way. That almost golden rock behind Cathy (3rd pic) is not a camera trick...the way the sun was hitting it, it actually looked like that.
The rocks here are really, really slick, I would assume due to the "runoff" over thousands of years. I can't imagine that not a few people have probably taken the plunge!
Cathy, very carefully, climbing back out.
This is "The Window", the runoff area that leads to a deep drop to the valley below.
And because of the wind tunnel effect, it is about 15 degrees colder than everywhere else. I was freezing, but the view was worth it.
On the way down we saw all kinds of little kids being carried by their parents, and more than a handful of 20 yr olds sitting down and sucking win with the effort of coming back up, so I was a little concerned that I may be in another "medivac" situation, but that wasn't the case at all. I think I am in a little better shape than I was 3 yrs ago in Utah...and all those 20 yr olds should be ashamed of themselves!!! haha It certainly got warmer as we made the ascent, but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't kill me! haha
And the view looking down again is absolutely worth it!
And the ride back to the RV park...as pretty as Big Bend itself.
Probably have 2-3 more hikes in us before we leave this area next Sunday. Supposed to get in the low 80s over the next few days, so that will be really nice. Talk to you later!