Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February 2014. Two week trip to Big Bend National Park, days 1 & 2

In February 2014 we took a 2 week trip to Big Bend National park.  We haven’t been traveling since November and I was getting a serious case of “hitch itch”.  Actually I have been trying to take this trip since early January, but one thing or another came up to keep us from going.

As you read about our trip you may wonder: "What is enjoyable to Sharon about traveling out in the middle of the desert?"  While she may not be able to hike the trails, she does enjoy the desert, especially Big Bend National Park, the sunsets and sunrises, the wide open spaces and traveling through the open country.  She brings a number of books to read while I'm hiking.  

Day 1 & 2  San Antonio to Big Bend National Park (BBNP) Chisos Basin CG
Left home about 9:15 which was very quick for us with the last minute packing we have to do.  A cold front was supposed to be coming in this afternoon and evening.  It was about 45* when we left and when we got to Sanderson, TX at 4:30pm it was about 34*.  We had thought about spending the night at the little RV Park in Langtry, but decided the rough gravel parking spaces and dumpy appearance wasn’t worth the $20 a night for full hookups (FHU’s).  If they would have offered dry camping for $5 to $10 we probably would have stayed.  Sanderson was only about 60 miles farther and we knew there was a nicer RV Park there so we moved on.  Canyons RV Park, while still an all gravel RV Park, is much nicer appearing.  We didn’t feel it was too overpriced for $25 with 30 amp FHU.  With 50amp it would be $30.   We probably would have spent the night in one of the roadside picnic areas along US-90, but it was windy and cold.  We had hopes of keeping Homer (we named our 26’ Born Free motorhome Homer) warm by using the electric heating strip built into the AC.  Not to be, with the temp in the low 30’s and dropping, the fan in the AC was blowing mostly cool air and doing little but creating a cool breeze!  We just turned off the AC and did fine with the catalytic heater. Darn, we could have spent the night in the picnic area and saved the $25 J.
It was 19* with a light mist falling when we got up a 7am this morning.  Chilly.  No restaurants are left open in Sanderson.  Sanderson is slowly turning into a ghost town.  We did stop at the truck stop at the west end of town and filled up with gas. We knew from prior trips that gas in Marathon only 50 miles away would be more expensive.  And it was!  44 cents a gallon higher!  Don’t stop for gas in Marathon!  Gas in BBNP is only 7 cents a gallon higher than Marathon, but they do have to truck it a lot farther than to Marathon.   

In spite of the light mist/fog the roads were dry and the bridges didn’t have ice on them, so we headed W on US-90.  We stopped at this picnic area about 30 miles W of Sanderson.   This would make a decent place for an overnight stop on the way to Big Bend.  There isn't a lot of traffic on US-90 between Sanderson & Marathon. 

It was 18* here at about 9:30.  We had a quick breakfast and continued on toward BBNP. 

This is the N entrance to BBNP. On the hill tops, just below the clouds, you can see the white frost on the plants.  Temp is all the way up to 25*.

It was cloudy and cold at the visitor center at Panther Junction.  The front desk said they are hearing it is sunny at the campground in the Chisos Basin.  We had been trying to decide if we wanted to spend the night at Chisos Basin, or stay down in the lowlands.  The report of sun solidified our decision.  Off to the mountains and sun!  It will be cold, but at least it will be sunny!

There was beautiful thick frost on the plants starting at Panther Junction and continuing until the sun broke out at the pass into Chisos Basin.

Near Panther Junction headquarters

 Starting up the road into the Chisos Mountains and the Chisos Basin in the fog and frost on the plants.

We are parked in site #46 at Chisos Basin CG in bright beautiful sunshine.  It was chilly, a high of about 55 but very pretty.

Chisos Basin CG with Casa Grande in the background.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photos of your trip. As newbies to BF, we are exploring possible trips to various national parks, and appreciate your blog post.