Bend National Park, Texas
A visit in December, 2003
Click on the photos for enlargements and scrolling panoramas.
The Window at Chisos Basin is backlit; light splashes over the high
cliffs to the right as sunset approaches.
BELOW: We spent our first night at Prude Ranch outside Fort Davis, TX. We were the only guests and enjoyed the seclusion. At Big Bend we stayed three nights at this unit of the Chisos Basin Lodge and saw a little spike buck from our patio. It is said that at sunset, you can peer into Old Mexico through The Window and "see clear to the day after tomorrow." We visited two places where the Rio Grande cuts deeply through the rock: Boquillas and Santa Elena Canyons. Jackie and Mary Lou pose in front of a massive palm tree near Hot Spring, across from Boquillas, Mexico.
|At Hot Spring, Roly
haggles with some Mexican kids over the price of walking sticks made
from the flowering stalks of Sotol. The sticks are surprisingly
light, yet strong. The river is quite shallow, and vendors wade
back and forth freely despite Homeland Security concerns. A
beautiful roadside tree caught our attention. Roly tries to climb
up the Pouroff chute, and a Roadrunner reminds us of home.
|A panoramic view
of the Pouroff Canyon. The hike in from the road was a pleasant
mile. Click the thumbnail for a view that scrolls in
Vista provides a stunning view of Boquillas Canyon as it cuts sharply
through the distant cliffs. Note the tall Sotol stalks, source
of our walking sticks. Click on the photo for a scrolling
cliffs near Hot Spring reveal the flat layers of limestone that are
widely used in construction on both sides of the border. The
fragments of stone give Lajitas, Texas its name. Note the vacant
Cliff Swallow nests. Lajitas itself is undergoing massive
development. Soon there will be many condos and single
homes. There is a golf course and "Lajitas International
Airport." We visited quaint shops and a luxury hotel. A
beer-drinking goat was elected Mayor of Lajitas, allegedly because no
the job. He lives in a compound on the town square, and his
statues and images grace the Ocotillo Restaurant. Note the use of
native stone (las lajitas) at the restaurant and bar.
the Chisos Basin Lodge had good food for our first evening, we
dined out the other two nights-- requiring 100 mile round trips!
First , at the Starlight Theater in Terlingua, Chile Capitol of the
World (last photo, above). Then, simply based on Roly's
impression of the exterior,
we celebrated Mary Lou's (x)th Birthday at the Ocotillo Restaurant in
Lajitas, TX (Hudson's on the Big Bend, operated by the same company as
Hudson's on the Bend in Austin). What a pleasant surprise!
We had the entire
restaurant to ourselves, an attentive staff of three (including the
chef), and were amazed at the variety and quality of menu
selections. The restaurant was full of colorful art work.
A tower with private tables provides views of Old Mexico. We
finished with a tour of the kitchen, which features a private dining
area, and a visit to the smokehouse where a whole deer was slowly
our five days of travel we saw javalinas and a mountain lion. We
took in the lights of "Christmas on the Pecos" at Carlabad, NM.
We also visited McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis. As we
approached, we could see the huge telescopes atop the Davis
Mountains. Click on the wide image for a scrolling panorama.