Texas – Colorado City, Balmorhea, and Terlingua/Big Bend

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CampsiteWe spent five nights in Lake Colorado City State Park in Colorado City, TX.  One or two campers would come in each night and leave in the morning.  Except for those few we were the only occupants of the park.  We thought on the weekend that a few more would come in but nothing happened.  The park really had nothing to offer except quietness and an occasional Roadrunner.  We did meet a very nice couple from Colorado City that came out to the park for a night.  We had a very nice visit and learned so much about the area from Craig.  Cathie and Craig were married in November and were new at the RV world.  Both were retired and hoping to travel a little in their Class C.  Craig spent some of his leisure time drawing and gave me two of his beautiful sketches.  I can’t wait to find frames and hang them.

CampsiteOur next stop for three nights was at Balmorhea State Park in Blamorhea.  An interesting park – very small and sites were confined to a small area.  But what drew people there was the huge spring feed pool that stayed at a consistent temperature of 74 year round.  Of course, if you decide to swim in the pool you have to share it with the local ducks and fish.  The pool was built in the 1930’s by the CCC.  Joe was tempted to take a dive in but it was just a little chilly – only in the 60’s.  Again we enjoyed watching the Roadrunners who didn’t seem to have any fear of people.

Spotted Deer driving to park Deer Summing pool Good catfish fishing Blue Heron Roadrunner Drive to Park

Our goal in our drive southwest was to check out Big Bend National Park, bordering the Mexico/United States border.  We stayed in a private RV park called Big Bend Resort and Adventure.  Why it was called this is way beyond me.  The park was ok and considering it sits in the middle of the desert you can’t expect much more than a dirt parking lot.  So where the “Resort” and “Adventure” part of the name came from – ?   Five miles on one side of the resort sat Big Bend Ranch State Park and three miles on the other side of the resort was Big Bend National Park.  We spent one day driving through the state park and doing a little hiking.  We were glad we didn’t camp in the park because the sites were surrounded by brush.   It would have been a little tough on the Lifestyle.

Streets of Laredo was filmed here Looking for rattlesnakes Mexican border Texas is not just flat 1902 Terlingua Cemetery historic Side Ghost Town

Entrance into parkDay two and three we spent in Big Bend National Park.  As I was getting ready to write this I told myself to stay positive because parts of the park are nice but after all it is the desert and the park is really roads driving through the desert.  The first day in the park we were told we had to check out the basin.  About a 40 mile drive brought us to the Chisos Basin.  It was a very nice drive up into the Chisos Mountains on a windy, narrow road.  We had to compete for the road with about 100 bicyclists which at times required patience.  From there we went to check out Rio Grande Village and the birding area on the Rio Grande.  It was a very long boring drive for nothing except to see some Mexicans across the river on horseback.  We had one more area to check out but decided to check it out the next day and we were so glad we did.  I guess we saved the best for last.  On day two in the park we drove to the Santa Elena Canyon again a long drive through the desert but the canyon was lovely.  We hiked into the canyon along the Rio Grande River up and down the rocks.  It was a wonderful three mile hike that we felt was the highlight of our trip to Big Bend.  On the way we came across a huge fossil of a fish in a rock.  Pretty cool!  On our drive out of the park we had to stop for three Javelinas (also called skunk pigs) crossing the road.  We had been waiting to catch a glimpse of one.

Mexicans across the river on horseback Drive to Big Bend Park Drive thru park Cactus plant Drive thru park javelina; also know as javies, ranch rats or skunk pigs

0206161300_HDR DSC00030 IMG_1340 DSC00038 IMG_1342 DSC00042 IMG_1344 IMG_1346 DSC00033 IMG_1359 DSC00032 (2) Fossel

Would I recommend a visit to Big Bend National Park?  It is always nice to visit our national parks and 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of our National Park System.  So I guess I would have to say I’m glad we saw it but would say it is one of my least favorites and would not return.    That being said Joe and I are so lucky to have the opportunity to check out our wonderful national parks.  At this national park as in so many other national parks we have visited we meet people from other countries.  It is great to visit with them and it makes you appreciate more what we have.

Leaving the desert area tomorrow and I think I’m glad.  WE ARE DIRTY!

Stay safe!  Happy Valentine’s Day!  Love Cate, Alex and kids!