Today was our road trip day from Lajitas to Presidio and back along the Texas Mountain Trail on FM 170. This road follows the Rio Grande River as it winds through some exceptional scenery along the Texas and Mexico border.
Today was a mountain bike trail day for us... Heather hikes the trail and I go and ride it! We started out from the East Contrabando trail-head near Lajitas, both setting out on the Dog Cholla Loop. The next loop for both of us was the Crystal Trail and then I continued out about 8.5 miles until I reached the start of the Fresno Canyon Trail. Last year I had made it out to the edge of the Fresno Canyon but did not have the time to explore it further - today I rode about three miles into Fresno Canyon and it was really scenic.
A warmer day (in the 70's) so we headed up to the Chisos Basin area for a hike up the Lost Mine Trail to the top of Lost Mine Peak. The photo above was taken at the top of Lost Mine Peak. We had never hiked this trail and heard that the views and vistas were incredible.
Today was a perfect day to ride the west loop of Big Bend National Park. We started at Maverick Junction, rode clockwise to Castolon/Santa Elena Junction, then proceeded south on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive to the Santa Elena Canton Overlook, and finally took Old Maverick Road back to where we started. 53 miles of some of the best scenery you can find anywhere - I really love Big Bend.
The sign above greets you as you pass through the U.S. Port of Entry at Boquillas Crossing in Big Bend National Park. The crossing which reopened in 2013, is a little simpler than most U.S.-Mexico border crossings... here you pay $5 per person (round-trip) for a rowboat ride across the Rio Grande River to Boquillas Del Carmen, Mexico.
Our first day in the Big Bend area with the Bryant's (Ronnie and Nanette) we decided to hike The Chimney's Trail and then Santa Elena Canyon. Our weather was perfect and to our surprise the Bluebonnets were out in the park. We are staying outside Big Bend in Lajitas at Maverick Ranch RV Park - so a little bit of a drive into Big Bend, but still very close to the edge of nowhere.
Today we did one of our favorite rides from Alpine, along Highway 118 to Fort Davis and Back. Heather the weather guru got it right as we had very little wind today and temps in the mid 60's. It just happens that we rode this exact same route exactly one year ago today - our version of Déjà vu!
Well... planned to ride our bikes today but with sustained winds at 22 mph and gusts to 35 mph, we opted for a hiking day. Our first hike was the Outside Loop trail at the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute. There are a variety of trails to hike at the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute and the Outer Loop covers the best scenery in the area. Located just four miles southeast of Fort Davis, Texas, the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute is a private non-profit organization with just over 500 acres dedicated to the study and preservation of the Chihuahuan Desert.
Goodbye to Tucson on Wednesday and off to West Texas! We drove to El Paso this past Wednesday and planned to stay a couple of days. Our resident weather expert (Heather) predicted very windy driving conditions for Friday, so we drove on to Alpine, Texas on Valentine's Day. We avoided excessive West Texas winds and got to drive through Valentine, Texas on Valentine's Day! Alpine, Texas is one of our favorite small towns to visit and we love staying at the Lost Alaskan RV Park on the north edge of town.
A nice Sunday afternoon was perfect today for an easy going hike at Saguaro National Park East. We had previously bicycled through the park so today's goal was to hike a few trails to see everything a little closer. We started with the Freeman Homestead trail loop and then parked at the Cactus Forest South trail-head to begin a seven mile loop to include the Cactus Forest trail with the Lime Falls Trail and then return on the Javelina Wash Trail back to our truck.