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First visit to Big Bend and I have been blown away. Day 1 we planned to do the Window but there was an open spot at Lost Mine so we did that. Simply amazing. Perfect weather for a hike, 70 degrees. We even saw 2 black bears.77449340b80c0f8ad8696c0c4799642d.jpg01c985eb6c68b373a99b22dc6260e7ce.jpg4dba71c6b38fddd4c489f4693bee841a.jpgcb790855f111d6bb3ce0168c227e71a6.jpg353a543306f5086c583fec3aa9340ea5.jpgcb3f0ccaca67fb1cbdfe62c6f8af1bb5.jpgd31445e95be0ba7a5e59667fbbd0d160.jpgdf397260a96a08b1f36c910776e1ad3c.jpg

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Day 2 we rafted Santa Elena Canyon, via Big Bend River Tours. We had a beast at the helm. The water was low so Jared rowed nearly the entire day, 21 miles. 17ed522ce2be64c6c871cc51a2580b22.jpg0ed9fdb382f8c9990c2ecc5175094b19.jpg56814138997c70d6dbf68822b27604b1.jpg106d9c447c9821a3fc2e712ba4232ab5.jpg0fb71a550b3911e0bb968fde34fb91b0.jpgfb78540a58795b82985cdaea05a90985.jpg6cd517463b3577be4bf950dc562906ed.jpg17ed522ce2be64c6c871cc51a2580b22.jpgb7cd15bfd18bac92f8562be7374bcc89.jpgc7f326f9230ef12a9f5330244163e99f.jpg

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Hiked the Window today. Gorgeous! I think we liked the Lost Mine better bit this was nice. The weather was overcast and sprinkled some and even drizzled at the end. I love the Lost Mine hike ends all downhill. The Window is all uphill. We walked at pace since the weather was threatening.
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Last stop was the hot springs, maybe a bit underwhelming, maybe because it was crowded but we got in and worked our way to a great spot. Ended up being pretty cool with the river right there and the hot springs on the other. The Rio G was crazy cold but it was cool seeing so many jump in and hang then get back in the hot springs. Someone recorded the temp in the spring at 104. It didn’t feel that hot to this wimp. This was a far #3 on our list of what we did. We had 2 great nights of stars and 1 with overcast. The consensus was the highlight was rafting the Canyon, followed by the Lost Mine hike, then the Window. However, I had a hard time picking between the 2 hikes. I like them both, just different
ef3763902de5deecd0c4dc2e1c3a5cd8.jpg

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@dlatin great photos. The end of the Lost Mine trail is one of the single coolest points in Big Bend. To experience that on your first day must have been awesome.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 11/22/2019 at 11:39 PM, Cajun said:

Just came across this on YouTube.  Documentary type deal called "Change in the Big Bend" featuring the family of yours truly, the Stillwells, and some friends or ours, the O'Neils. 

I know some of you will get a kick out of it.  If you're a No Country For Old Men fan, you'll get that itch a bit scratched too by the narrator.

Enjoy...

 

about to watch this, think I've seen parts of it before.

came home sick from work this morning and picked up a book I bought at the PJ ranger station last trip (Big Bend Country by Kenneth B Ragsdale). just finished the chapter on Hallie. and just ordered her book "How Come it's Called That?; Place Names in the Big Bend Country". can't wait to get it. what a great woman she was.

 

Edited by tejas60
terrible at remembering names...

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On 11/25/2019 at 8:36 AM, dlatin said:

First visit to Big Bend and I have been blown away. Day 1 we planned to do the Window but there was an open spot at Lost Mine so we did that. Simply amazing. Perfect weather for a hike, 70 degrees. We even saw 2 black bears.77449340b80c0f8ad8696c0c4799642d.jpg01c985eb6c68b373a99b22dc6260e7ce.jpg4dba71c6b38fddd4c489f4693bee841a.jpgcb790855f111d6bb3ce0168c227e71a6.jpg353a543306f5086c583fec3aa9340ea5.jpgcb3f0ccaca67fb1cbdfe62c6f8af1bb5.jpgd31445e95be0ba7a5e59667fbbd0d160.jpgdf397260a96a08b1f36c910776e1ad3c.jpg

great pics!  congrats on your first trip.  i've been at least 10 times, maybe more, but those pics make me want to go again.  no pics of the black bears?  i've yet to see one.  

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We were there from 1/2 - 1/5, camping at RGV. Caught a pretty intense rainstorm right when we finished cooking dinner the first night, but otherwise weather was pretty much perfect. Did the Marufo Vega trail our first full day there. Incredibly beautiful and solitary, we saw two other day-hikers and a BP agent in addition to one backpacking group each in and AM/PM heading out/in. My girlfriend is the photo buff, so I will post the photos if I remember once I get my hands on them, but the views of the Rio Grande and the Sierra Del Carmen are something else, not to mention the desert floor and wash you hike through.

That said, that trail is not for the faint of mind, body, or soul. I'm in my 20's and in decent enough shape that the South Rim loop was not hugely physically taxing or anything. MV blew that out of the water. By far the hardest hike I have ever done. I was sucking wind on the steep ascent up from the Rio, which is made even more difficult by the terrain, which is far rougher and less maintained than most trails. It's more of a scramble at times. We started the day with overcast skies and chilly temps, the sun broke through throughout the day but we had cloud cover for most of it. High probably didn't get to 70. I would not recommend doing that hike in anything warmer or sunnier than that. I was fucking beat. I can't imagine doing it with direct sun all day, let alone warmer temperatures. We skipped an early start in the Chisos and just went and soaked in the hot springs the next morning because it just completely whipped us. I'm glad we did it but I have no intention of ever doing it again.

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Ok gang,

Wife (no pics) and I are planning a little getaway from kids and life next month and thought it'd be cool to drive out that way for a new moon.  Probably gonna drive out of SA on Wednesday 2-19 but don't have any concrete plans shy of being back by Sunday midday.  I'm wanting to hit McDonald for obvious reasons during a star party.  Should I also bring my 8" dob?  

I now realize after perusing this thread and getting advice from her coworker that we should have planned this long ago. No doubt #103 is gone as is much of anything nicer.  We'd be game for spending a night in a different place too if that yields for experience.  Maybe hit Balmorrhea for a night on the way there, then mcDonald obsv/fort davis the next, then terlingua etc.  Wife hates camping so thats out.  We're out of shape novice hikers so don't make us end up in 127 part 2: pocketknife boogaloo. Aside from hiking, any other day trips worth mentioning?  We were last out of the country a decade ago and sadly, we've let our passports lapse so Boquillas is out of the question. Is Balmorrhea pool comfortable this time of year?  Big bend hot springs?  canoe trip down the river?

I haven't been to BB since I was a wee little deft so this is basically all new to me.  I'm a sad Texan who hasn't appreciated whats over there so now I'm carving out some time.  Make me a plan surly.  

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Terlingua Ranch Lodge is a great place to stay, though it’s a little far from the park itself (unless you take Old Marathon Road, but you need some good tires for the sandy parts.

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deft,

definitely go to McDonald's Observatory during a new moon. and book NOW. we stayed at a ranch between Fort Davis and the observatory, can't remember the name, but booked through the Fort Davis Drug Store if I remember correctly. found it, Sproul Ranch.

as the above poster says, the Terlingua Ranch Lodge is a good place to stay. if you have 4WD, drive up the Christmas Mountains (book when you get your room). 

you can also stay at Tin Valley Retro near the Lodge. kinda cool place that has fixed up old RV's and other crazy stuff (like a boat and VW bug) that you can stay in.

I haven't canoed/rafted the Rio yet, but that's on my list. there's plenty of easy hiking trails, just ask the rangers at Panther Junction. you should really get your passports and go to Boquillas some time.

as far as places to eat, I've heard Tivo's is great (damn place is always closed when we go by). the Bad Rabbit at the Lodge is decent. in Terlingua, Rio Bravo is best for authentic Mexican. there's a bbq place people say is good but I haven't been. La Kiva has good pizza, but the last two times I've been, the service has sucked. and of course, if you want to wait forever for a table and good food, try the Starlight. for breakfast you have to go to El Milagro or Chili Pepper Cafe.

 

 

Edited by tejas60
ou sucks

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Taking my first trip out to BB. Heading out of Austin at 3am and staying at the Terlingua Ranch Lodge.

Considering doing both of the longer trails; one tomorrow and one on Saturday. That feel like it'd be too much? Should I do one prior to the other?

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Well, for South Rim you will pass the side trail to Emory (if you do it as a loop which you should), so if you can handle it all in a day I would recommend it, so that you could explore a different part of the park the next day.

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14 minutes ago, Anton Chigurh said:

Well, for South Rim you will pass the side trail to Emory (if you do it as a loop which you should), so if you can handle it all in a day I would recommend it, so that you could explore a different part of the park the next day.

Thats a 15-16 mile trail if both are done at same time

but not a bad idea

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1 hour ago, GreenspointTexas said:

Thats a 15-16 mile trail if both are done at same time

but not a bad idea

So the idea of a 16 mile hike doesn't necessarily strike fear into my bones. What I'm worried about is not being able to take in the scenery if we try and do both the long ones in the same day. Are they really 7 hour hikes, or is that for the slower-paced group? 

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11 minutes ago, lonestar3 said:

So the idea of a 16 mile hike doesn't necessarily strike fear into my bones. What I'm worried about is not being able to take in the scenery if we try and do both the long ones in the same day. Are they really 7 hour hikes, or is that for the slower-paced group? 

Did the south rim with the wife last year

 

13.2 miles

 

took 7 hours just to do south rim, and we only took one, real, 15 minute break at south rim. Adding in the extra 2.5 miles for emory peak will easily add 1.5 hrs, as most of the trail is pretty steep

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Yeah, it can be quite the undertaking. I’ve done South Rim in a day but did Emory on day 2 of a backpacking trip.

It would definitely take all day. The South Rim views are better though, especially if you go up via Pinnacles since you don’t get a preview (if you take Boot Canyon all the way, which you’ll have to starting Feb. 1 anyway since Rita Peregrine season).

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6 hours ago, Anton Chigurh said:

Yeah, it can be quite the undertaking. I’ve done South Rim in a day but did Emory on day 2 of a backpacking trip.

It would definitely take all day. The South Rim views are better though, especially if you go up via Pinnacles since you don’t get a preview (if you take Boot Canyon all the way, which you’ll have to starting Feb. 1 anyway since Rita Peregrine season).

Or you could just flip a coin.

Amirite?

 

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The problem with doing the South Rim all in one day, with or without Emory, is that you miss the best part. Sunrise.
85fe6935c30ab71de13813af97d0d004.jpg


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14 hours ago, lonestar3 said:

So the idea of a 16 mile hike doesn't necessarily strike fear into my bones. What I'm worried about is not being able to take in the scenery if we try and do both the long ones in the same day. Are they really 7 hour hikes, or is that for the slower-paced group? 

Definitely do the South Rim, I'd look into skipping Emory and doing Lost Mine or a desert hike or 2.

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7 minutes ago, TexanTraveling said:

Don't know if this is the right place for this, but heading to MARFA for Valentine's Day. Any recos? We are staying at El Cosmico. 

There are very limited options and spots have undependable hours. so be prepared for places to be closed when google/yelp say they should be open.

Marfa burrito

Food shark

Aster

The Water Stop

Stellina

Bar Saint George for happy hour

 

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Don't know if this is the right place for this, but heading to MARFA for Valentine's Day. Any recos? We are staying at El Cosmico. 


Valentines in Valentine.

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2 hours ago, TexanTraveling said:

Don't know if this is the right place for this, but heading to MARFA for Valentine's Day. Any recos? We are staying at El Cosmico. 

Marfa sucks.

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Been awhile since I've been to Big Bend, but what do you mean by an "open spot" for Lost Mines?

Is there a reservation/queue system now?

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Been awhile since I've been to Big Bend, but what do you mean by an "open spot" for Lost Mines?
Is there a reservation/queue system now?

Parking lot fills up early

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5 hours ago, TexanTraveling said:

Alright, heading there tomorrow...marfa...where are some places to eat esp for valentines night? 

Cochineal, Capri, LaVenture, Stellina

 

 

check their hours before going. Also, maybe they will be full due to Valentines?

 

we spent Valentines year before last at Valentines in Valentines (Big Bend Brewing shindig) then went to Capri for dinner afterwards. Was solid

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