The Astrals finally got back to camping and we did it in a big way: at Big Bend National Park in south central Texas. Big Bend is very remote and that's one of the reasons it's among the least visited National Parks. To give you an idea of how remote: we used Fort Stockton (pop. 7419) as our staging area. Fort Stockton is a 5 hour lonely drive west of San Antonio. The entrance to Big Bend is a two hour even lonelier drive south of Fort Stockton. The park campground we stayed at (Rio Grande Village) was another hour south of the park entrance. The campground was nestled on the northern shore of the Rio Grande river and set amidst some spectacular mountain ranges and desert vistas. Coyotes would amble through the campground at will and roadrunners were in abundance.
The drive down to Big Bend was through some dense mountain fog.
Speed limit 70MPH? I don't think so.
The fog finally cleared and we could see the mountains ahead. I had
no idea that southern Texas was so mountainous.
We stopped for gas at Panther Junction and ran into a couple
from Vermont going old school in a VW Westphalia. Old van,
young van, feel alright...
Mountains everywhere you look. This is from close to our campsite.
There were two Chihuahua Ravens there to greet us.
Our campsite was nestled between two large stands of mesquite.
Setting up camp with the Eurovan is pretty easy. 1) Unload, 2) Pop top.
There was a natural spring near our campsite which created
a little wetland before it emptied into the Rio Grande.
Herons? Of course.
The weather was perfect: mid to high 80F in the day, mid to low
40F at night. Drinking a lot of water was essential.
This range is in Mexico.
Much like the Grand Canyon, it's hard to capture the scope
in photographs. (Despite Wendy's talent).
It was awe inspiring.
Only desert plants around here.
Great shot Astral Wendy.
Our campsite had a roof over the picnic table, which was nice because
the afternoon sun was really hot.
An Astral first night tradition: chile con carne.
I'm staying put until those coyotes go away/
Dining Al Fresco.
Rio Grande + Meadow + Mountains
No shortage of cactii here.
The rest of these shots speak for themselves:
Sunset was spectacular every day.
More Big Bend to come....