May 24, 2017
(Photo credit: nps.gov)
As you may have guessed from this map of the vicinity where I was staying (in Alpine in the upper left hand corner) one of the places I wanted to visit during my stay was Big Bend National Park along the US border with Mexico. At 1,252 square miles Big Bend is bigger than the entire state of Rhode Island (“only” 1,212 square miles).
From Alpine I drove 31 miles east to Marathon, then 69 miles south to the Park. Just before I entered the Park a bobcat trotted across the road about 70 feet in front of my car, not in any particular hurry but too quick for me to get the camera on my phone activated.
Once in the Park I drove to the Panther Junction Visitor Center.
(Photo credit: desertsportstx.com)
From the Visitor Center you have the option to go east towards Boquillas or west to Castolon. I headed east first. Later in the day I went west and after getting to Castolon (the road was closed there because of damage from flooding earlier in the year) I backtracked and exited the Park towards Study Butte. From there I took Route 118 back to Alpine.
I took a gravel side road at one point which would take me down very close to the Rio Grande River and got these photos. Later in the day I saw a truck hauling a big trailer ignore the warning signs and try to enter the same, narrow road. I doubt if he got very far and I have no idea how he would have gotten out. Those signs are there for a reason, folks….
The road looked plenty wide there but got narrow very quickly. That’s part of it in the distance.
You can see a vehicle on the road ahead of me.
We finally came to a parking area near this abandoned building.
In the parking lot was a small area where someone was selling handmade crafts (supposedly from the Mexico side).
There were lots more than that. I bought 2. There was no one there but there was a coffee can with a slot in the lid (honor system). I bought two items, a peacock (about 9 inches from nose to tail) and a scorpion (only about 4 inches long).
I put my $16 in the slot and was on my way.