Saturday, April 18, 2009

Biker Gang

We haven't been keeping up with the blog enough. Getting caught up today during the rain storm. A couple of Sundays ago we met up with Shelly to do some road biking at Hershey Park. We did 20 miles and all had a great time.
Post ride


Robin has been sick on and off for a couple of weeks. Today it has been pouring rain too so there's nothing to do but watch TV and movies and lounge around with Sam.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Loooong Drive Home

We woke up early to begin our trip home. Since we didn't know when we'd get out this way again we decided to make a slight detour and see what Marfa was all about. Marfa is about 30 minutes from Alpine and Alpine is about 1 minute from the middle of nowhere. Marfa is unique to say the least. There are 2000 residents and I think nine art galleries. About half the residents are typical small town folks and the other half are straight out of Austin. Marfa is the polar opposite of Terlingua. And thank God for that. As we were eating lunch Robin looked at our car and noticed that we had a flat tire. Since I wasn't used to this car's spare being under the car I thought I'd get the flat fixed rather than bumble around trying to change it. Since it was lunch time on a Saturday I learned that everyone was closed. I knocked on the door of a closed auto parts shop and a very nice man opened the door, aired up our tire and made several phone calls until he found a mechanic on duty. Our quick stop for lunch in Marfa turned into a three hour layover. As unusual as Marfa was the people were even nicer. If you're going to get a flat in the land of No Country For Old Men I highly recommend you do it in Marfa.
Marfa water tower
We drove around looking for a place to eat lunch for a bit before we saw this "roach coach". We decided to give it a shot since there were about 40 people in line and eating. The Food Shark was actually really good.

Minor setback

Big Bend Day Four

On our last day we decided to head out to the Santa Elena Canyon along the Rio Grande. I originally wanted to rent a canoe or kayaks, but that in itself may have been an all day affair. Instead we decided to see the sites by foot. Once we got near the water we couldn't resist going for a swim. Floating on your back in a 100 foot wide river and looking up to see 1000 foot cliffs on each side of the border is pretty amazing. Another great day.
Lone bluebonnet growing out of the sand next to the Rio Grande
Robin at the end of the road

The Santa Elena Canyon at the Rio Grande

We had to check out the water. When we got back to camp there were signs that said to be careful not to drink from the river as it "may have a laxative effect".

Santa Elena

Post swim lunch break

Big cliffs

Unusual stick plant with red flowers on the ends

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Big Bend Day Three

Neither of us really wanted to get up on day three. We each had some serious aches and pains from our hike up and around the South Rim. We decided that this would be a good day to cut back on the exercise. We biked a bit and did a couple of short hikes, but spent the bulk of the day driving through the park.

We also left the park to the west to check out Terlingua and Lajitas. Lajitas is a small town with an upscale resort. It seemed really nice if you're looking to relax in the middle of nowhere and play golf. Terlingua on the other hand...where to begin. It was a mining town prior to WWII and is a ghost town now. There are a couple thousand people that live in the county and supposedly about 20 people that live in Terlingua. I've heard that lots of people think there is something neat about this place. Not sure what is neat about hanging out with freaks and outcasts that think living in ruins in the middle of nowhere is a good idea. For some reason I couldn't get The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes and every other creepy horror movie I'd ever seen out of my head.

Getting ready for a short bike ride
Huge cliffs at Boquillas Canyon
Boquillas Canyon on the Rio Grande
Flowers magically growing out of rocks
This is one of the hot springs that feeds into the Rio Grande. I didn't think that 105 degree water out in the desert sounded all that great at first. It was actually very relaxing until the Boy Scout troop in this picture showed up.
This is a very old cemetery without any signs that Robin spotted while we were driving. There are about 25 plots there overlooking the Rio Grande.

Luna's jacal (hah-kuhl). My man Luna built this out of rocks, wood, mud and cactus around 1850. He somehow not only farmed this desert land, but he also lived here until his death at the age of 108.
Old Terlingua jail that is now a public restroom. My personal highlight of Terlingua was the sign above the toilet. "If it's yellow let it mellow. If it's brown flush it down."

Ruins of Terlingua

Big Bend Day Two Deer

I need to hire a blog editor. This guy got left out.

Near the top of the mountain we saw this deer eating. We were 15 feet away from him but he didn't seem to care about us. He never budged during the five minutes we rested there.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Big Bend Day Two

Since this was our first entire day we thought we would try the big hike. After a ridiculous power breakfast of eggs, sausage and a leftover steak we headed out to the top of the South Rim. After chugging a ton of water we loaded up our backpacks with close to a gallon each of water along with a few Gatorades and a bunch of food. Need to be prepared when hiking 13 miles roundtrip up and down a mountain.

Let's hike
Casa Grande
Getting close to the top
At the top of the mountain. 7000+ ft. There used to be 100 miles of visibility up here just 30 years ago. Due to pollution it's now half that.

After you stop staring at Robin's awesome style check out Mexico 50 miles in the background.
Not sure how I missed this guy but apparently I stepped right over him. Robin wisely stayed behind and screamed till he moved on.
Still hiking
Odd rock formation on the left
We learned that hiking up a mountain stops being fun sometime after the 10 mile point. Robin wasn't too excited to see the end of our hike still so far in the distance.
We drove through this old tunnel on the way to to the showers that were 30 minutes away.
Javalina near camp at night