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

Sotol Vista

Goat Mountain

This cactus has a purple-tinted flesh.


Burro Mesa

Another view of Goat Mountain

The Mule Ears

Cerro Castallen

Tuff Canyon



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. 


The Chisos Mountains in the distance

Tom labeled this cactus variety "ankle biters".

Well-disguised lizzard


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.


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.


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