Itching to get back to the National Park, Gary and I head out the following day to see what we can dig up in the area of the park serviced by the Rio Grande Visitors Center, needless to say, it’s along the Rio Grande. Us on the North and Mexico on the South… so close, but ahahah…. don’t touch. That’s a no no!!!
We found 2 hot springs. The first was an off the map springs made from piling up a bunch of rocks at the rivers edge 1 mile down the trail from our campsite. Nice enough.
The second one was awaiting us at the end of a lovely 2.8 mile trail. This one was a tad more civilized and built up, on the map, quiet, clean, perfect. No typical sulfur odor either.
This kayaker just floated by..
We did a 47 mile bike ride on the dirt roads which encircled Tully Mountain.
We didn’t see a soul the whole time and we were a smidgen too late to see these folks.
And we did a few canyon hikes
The most striking thing to me about being next to the Rio Grande in the Big Bend area is grasping that our little cabin sits not 200 yards from the very same river, only about 700 miles upstream. It’s a very different perspective…
Many would describe the area as “desolate”, and it is in it’s own way. Many also might avoid it because Texas is virtually all private land, true too. But, between the National Park and the State Park there’s a whole bunch of amazing, warm, incredibly quiet, litter free, cattle free, virtually people free land to play in. The National Park has hiking trails and jeep roads, plenty of both. The State Park has some hiking trails too, plenty of jeep roads, and a first rate trail system. In it is an IMBA Epic loop of around 60 miles. I’d rate the trail system an 8 out of 10. It’s hard to do much better than that.
Right next door to the State Park trails is the Lajitas Trail system, these are mostly fast and flowy trails that pretty much anyone can enjoy.
Then there’s some unrecognized trails that pass through private land, no one seems to mind though. I won’t share details on those trails here. I think I did get the chance to ride, pretty much, all of the area trails at least once.
I was Itching to do a little bikepacking, Reilly and Kimberly were too and they were my (perfect!) tour guides. They are both accomplished and talented riders, well versed in bikepacking and they know these trails extremely well. I also really like them both! We rode the ‘Epic Loop’ beginning and ending in Terlingua using trails almost exclusively. They know the unofficial trails that allow this connection. Thanks for the ride(s) you two!
Patti… back at cha….
Before I forget…. I want to give a big thank you to Kimberly… One morning she and I took off to the National Park and did the South Rim Trail which is a 15 mile loop that leaves from the Chisos Visitor Center and goes up up up, loops around the rim and comes back down. Most of all I’m grateful for the close to 8 hours of chatting that went on between us, almost none stop…. Aauugghhhh… I was in serious, serious need of a jabberwalk fix!!!! Thanks!!!!
The beautiful and talented Kimberly…
Overlooking Emory peak…
Mixture of flora up high…
In all we were in this area 2 days short of 3 weeks so we got in a lot of hikes, rides and local stuff like the farmer’s markets, art shows, hanging at the bike shop, Desert Sports**** … You know, stuff.
Terlingua, Reilly, Kimberly, Alex and all the good folks in the hood… We Thank you for sharing your wide, open, space.
One of the things about the Terlingua area that is special are the people. There’s a core group of folks that are passionate about the land- boaters, guides, hikers, mountain bikers, park employees, bike shop folks, etc. I won’t name them all. Many of these folks could be great friends, we share the same passions and values. It’s somewhat refreshing to see ‘our kind of folks’ living the life they choose down there, living simply, active and content.
Next stop… The Chiricahuas.
*Big Bend National Park –
**Big Bend State Park –