October 25, 2010 GMT
Its a Bend and its Big

Big Bend NP

At least we were heading south, even if it was away from the border. Although, while there we camped by the Rio Grande, which is the border.

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USA to the right, Mexico to the left.

Back in 2002, the local “soft” borders were closed, Mexicans still try and cross to sell souvenirs, if caught they risk a large fine.

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The park is as low as 2000 feet, and raises to 7000 feet in the middle, temperatures can be in the 35-40 range on the camp site at the bottom, to a cool 24 at the top.

The ride is from desert to lush green trees and pines. We went for a hike into the Chiso Mountains, we reversed what we do in Wales, we walked down to the view, a waterfall drop off.... when there is water, and then back up to the top.

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It is a vast, open, wide space, with big rocks and big sky.

The camp store owner commented to me "It look like it will be a fine day today", I said "isn't it always?". He paused, thought for a moment and replied with a smile "Well, it does get a bit warmer in the summer, and a little windy in the winter, but we like it"

A warm up for what lies ahead, I hope.

It also has bears, mountain lions, tarantulas and rattle snakes.

We missed seeing a bear by 10 mins, a rattle snake by 5 mins and a tarantula by the width of my bike tyre. Coyotes would howl at night, and wander through the camp site in the morning.

The whole place felt like we were in a movie set for the weekend.

All Pictures from Big Bend are now here , far too many to put in a blog.

Terlingua

An American ghost town.

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Abandoned in 1946, now a hang out for people escaping main stream Texas.

We have delayed our crossing to Mexico by a day, we just felt it would be neat to hang out in a ghost town, sipping beer with the locals, watching the view.

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While sat on the porch, a passing biker thanked the Vietnam Vet we were speaking to, for “everything he did for us all”, the Vet responded with “I didn't do it for you, I did it for a career! Where else could I have worked for 30 years, retired at 47 with full pension and medical benefits”.

Priceless.

The place attracts a motley mix of artists, adventurers, drop outs and lost souls, under it all is a thriving community, hidden unless you stop and look.

It is hot, it is dry, it is dusty, it is off the grid.

The local bar/restaurant, La Kiva, which resembled the cantina from Star Wars, also does the best steak in Texas, OK, it is the only T-bone I have eaten in Texas.

Maybe we will get to Mexico tomorrow.

Posted by Bruce Porter at October 25, 2010 04:12 PM GMT
 


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