21 May 2013

West Texas, Day Five

We began another full day at the Big Bend Museum at Sul Ross University in Alpine. This is a MEXICAN black bear, not to be confused with any other black bear. He was found in the park and apparently, spoke fluent Spanish.

Driving east out of Alpine, we made a stop in Marathon, TX where just about the only thing in town is the famous Gage Hotel.

It was a lovely oasis out on that desert.

However, this was right across the main road. It didn't look very promising, but hey, I guess it's better than nothing.

From Marathon, we literally had - a marathon - to drive. The road south seemed to go on forever. And see that mountain FAR OFF in the distance as though it's right where the road ends? Our destination was WAY beyond that mountain. Yeah. Long way.

When we finally got to the entrance to Big Bend National Park, a couple of hours later, we still had a long way to go.

Yet, the blooming cacti along the road way kept us spellbound.

We headed to the far eastern side of the park to Boquillas canyon. It looked as though the canyon walls were just over the next bend.

But we just kept going and going...

And then there was the border crossing.

And the town of Boquillas, Mexico across the river, in the distance.

A scenic overlook gave us a beautiful late afternoon view of the Rio Grande...

As well as some Boquillas residents on the other side.

We watched them for a few moments.

Oh look - here they come across the river!

Dad was worried. We were, literally, in the middle of nowhere, and our car was one of three in the parking lot. Plus, the sun was sinking low in the sky.

But I talked him into heading up the hiking path.

When we got to the top of the incline, we found this...

And after we passed it by, we saw the two Mexican guys riding up the hill to collect any profits from the day.

Dad went back and bought a small, beaded ocotillo from them. :)

We finally made it to the bottom of the canyon. We weren't far from sunset, so we hurried back to our car for the 50 (yes, you read that right) mile drive to the only available motel in the area.

Copyright © 2013 - Paulla Estes

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