We had an awesome day again at Big Bend National Park, and Lajitas.
Today was another no school morning. The Internet was not working much, kept dropping every few minutes. I woke the girls up at the usual time, Bia tried school, but no luck. Bella didn’t even try online, just did some paperwork and we called it done. I wrote a few things down, caught up on a day from last week, but was not able to finish writing, so just jotted down important points. Carol was up by 8, and we started getting things ready to go. Carol made burgers in the InstaPot\Air Fryer so we could take for lunch later, and also got a few snacks lined up. The girls were working on whatever they could from school, getting changed and ready to go, and also working on the puzzle they started with Carol. I cleaned up and loaded the truck, emptied the tanks in the trailer and hosed down the trailer quick. I especially wanted to hit the slideout tracks to make sure any big chunks of dirt or what not were out of there, so tomorrow I can spray a bit more with the silicone spray and hope it’ll continue running smooth. The trailer and truck need a wash ASAP, the trailer is looking ok now with the hose down, but the truck is super dirty, it even has salt and sand from white sands park and all. As I was doing everything outside, I noticed what our “neighbors” had by their trailer. hahahaha
We were able to leave around 10am, and drove right to our first stop, the Rio Grande Village Nature Trail. We had to go through an interesting tunnel on the way.
That is another awesome area, aside from all the mountains around, you also have the Chihuahuan desert, there are sand dunes in the area, and because that nature trail is right by the water, there are some trees and lots of birds. We found a parking spot right in front of the nature trail entrance. This is a short trail, that goes around a nearby peak and you get a nice view of the surrounding area from that peak. We first crossed a boardwalk that was kind of like a floating dock, and there was muddy water under it, with fish. The girls were excited to see some fish.
Then the trails goes around and up the peak. Right as we hit the first part of the loop around the peak, there were some hand made Mexican things on the ground, with a sign saying it was from a family in Boquillas, each item had a price and there was a can to put the money in, in case you wanted to buy something. Well, Carol and the girls wanted to buy something, but I said we’d stop on the way back.
We kept going and there were more of these spots with hand made stuff. Bella was interested in walking sticks, and Bia in the animals made out of bent wires and stones. As we walked up, the views of the area were pretty awesome, such amazing combinations of flats, the Rio Grande, and mountains. We made our way up, took some pictures, and continued on our way down. At the bottom, we had to stop so the girls could get something. I only had $16 change, so they agreed Bia would get something for $10 and Bella something for $6. Bia got a large peacock, and Bella got a small scorpion.
Next, we drove towards Boquillas Canyon. The first thing I wanted to do was see the spot where you can actually cross to Mexico, to the town of Boquillas. We looked for that entrance, but it was closed. We kept driving then and stopped at the Boquillas Canyon overlook, and had lunch there. The overlook allows you to see the entrance of the canyon, and it is another spot you can see the whole area around, like the prior nature trail. I walked around the area while eating my burger, and took some pictures. Carol and the girls stayed in the truck.
Then went to the Boquillas Canyon trail. The trail is easy but you have to go up first, so a bit of effort to start. It is a nice area, with cliffs and the Rio Grande right there. There were some Mexicans from the other side selling stuff, one had crossed and was offering souvenirs and tamales. The one on the other side was singing, and had his boat by the water. On the way back a park ranger and a border patrol agent were coming that way, so those guys moved on pretty quick. While the trail was not hard, it was quite warm though.
The canyon is pretty cool… wide open, and then it keeps closing in and funneling up, and it also looked deeper in the water, so we didn’t try to cross today, even though it was much warmer and it would have been quite refreshing. We walked the trail, which was 0.7 miles each way, and stopped at the end as the girls wanted to play in the water, and with the sand\mud. Carol sat under a tree by the shade, and I walked a bit further into a smaller trail until the path ended in the water. I could hear the water flowing by the edge of the canyon as it almost connected the two sides, but unfortunately there was no easy way to get there. I went back and we hung out a bit longer.
Bella spotted some crows up in the cliff, and while she was pointing at it I snapped a picture that I think turned out pretty cool with the sun in the background.
That canyon are is very nice too, peaceful with the water, birds and just very pretty. We walked back, and ran into the ranger and border patrol guard as they were going towards the water. I overheard them say “there, there they are, moving and trying to hide” but that’s it. They stopped at a spot they could see far into the desert and we kept going. This was around 2pm and it was 79F out, in the sun, with no shade, so it felt quite hot.
We had one more hike to do, which was the Grapevine hills hike, which has some cool rock formation at the end of its 1.1 mile hike there, but by time we got there it was 82F and we decided to pass. We have now seen all the major points of Big Bend National Park, it is quite an amazing park, full of beautiful sights and views, with mountains, desert, canyons and wildlife. Then, we decided to go check out Lajitas, which is just 15 miles away from our campground.
We didn’t know what to expect in Lajitas, so I first filled up the truck, and paid the most expensive gallon since leaving CA, at $3.70… ouch. And while I was filling up, I looked up a bar so we could stop and have some cold drinks. So, we went to Thirsty Goat Saloon, which is inside Lajitas Golf hotel place, and it is an amazing place! It is like an Oasis in the desert, beautiful, green grass, nice buildings, even has a water fountain running. We had an awesome time there. The girls were playing on the grass for hours, while we just sat outside by the grass. They did cartwheels, they sat, laid down, ran, played tag, pretended they were in a play, it was great to just watch them play and have a good time. Carol and I had some beers, talked to her parents. Then we decided to just have dinner there, and the food was awesome too. Service was great as well. I’m glad we went to Lajitas as it was a nice last thing to do during our visit to the area. And we went back to camp after dinner.
When we got back, we all agreed to try to leave early tomorrow, so the girls can try to do some school work on the road. I’ll start waking people up at 7 (Carol), and will just jot down final notes here. We all showered, put a few things away, and went to bed.
It was a great day at Big Bend National Park, and Lajitas.