Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Big Bend Day One

The West Loop




Some variety of small juniper? A small shrub which I have not been able to identify.

Mountain Sage
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Sotol Vista







Goat Mountain



This cactus has a purple-tinted flesh.


 



Burro Mesa


Another view of Goat Mountain
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The Mule Ears









Cerro Castallen
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Tuff Canyon












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Castolon


There is a visitor center plus a small store at Castalon. In the picture below, you can just make out a small village on the Mexican side of the river.

The park map names it "Santa Elena" but google map labels it as "Benito Jaurez" (see below). The village lies snuggled against a cliff reminiscent of the Cascade Gorge. In earlier years when the border was "open" the residents were able to freely come and go to shop. 


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The Chisos Mountains in the distance









Tom labeled this cactus variety "ankle biters".



Well-disguised lizzard







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Santa Elena Canyon








Terlingua Creek meets the river just as it emerges from Santa Elena Canyon.


I crossed one channel of the river to a sand bar. I jokingly said that I went to Mexico, but it was probably more like "no man's land".

View into the canyon from the sand/gravel bar.

And a look at the cliff on the U.S. side of the river.

I called Cathy across to join me.




Arch in the cliff on the Mexico side.


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Old Maverick Road



Sotol with blossoms. It turns out that sotol is an amazing plant. Good for walking sticks, fiber, and even a most amazing alcoholic drink.







Igneous rock deposited on mud.




The colors of the landscape were almost unbelievable.








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Luna's Jacal




Amazingly cool inside the structure.


Composition of the roof




The jacal was built against a large boulder for its base.









Ocotillo bloom

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