Chisos or Bust
Texas Travel Blog› entry 1 of 7 › view all entries
The intention was to hike the Chisos but we ended up doing backcountry desert instead. Grrr. I'll get back there some day. Some logistical issues prevented us from actually hiking into the mountains and seeing the magnificent views. A bit of 411: the Chisos is the only mountain range to be contained inside of one state and one nat'l park, Big Bend Nat'l Park. It is home to desert cacti and intense rock formations that have existed from millions of years ago. We actually drove in and camped the first day in the Chisos and did one day hike to the Windows, which is a pict I'll post. The Chisos are phenomenal, magnificent, incredible. "Chisos" apparently means ghosts and the name was given by the Apache's. There are many stories about where the Chisos got their name but this one is the most consistent.
The next day we made the hard decision to drive out and into the desert. We did day hiking, swam in the Terlingua, and somehow erected a wing to shield us from the heat. We were lucky that the Terlingua was running because it was so hot. A fun thing we did to occupy ourselves was to dig out some black clay from the river to do hair and face masks. Overall, pretty nasty after having sweated for multiple days in the 100 degree heat. But, let's face it, when it's that sweltering, you'd bath in anything if I told you it would cool you down. Nights got down to a pretty chilly temp and I woke with mild hypothermia once. The coyotes lulled me back to sleep.
Things you want if you're down and b-packing here: solid water filters or lots of dromedaries if water levels are low (we lucked out); gaters-it's all rock and sand here; def your camera for the amazing sights; knock out your boots-if you get a scorpian kiss it won't kill you but it also won't feel good; a wool cap even if you go in the summer-it's chilly at night, ya'll.
One of the cooler things we did was hike the Santa Elena Canyon...one side Mexico, one side America, with only a 60 ft. span between banks. The walls are about 250 feet high, all of which was under water in the Cretateous period. This trip was challenging because of work related issues. It is disappointing when you plan a trip and it doesn't go the way you want for it to. I look forward to getting back there at some point to actually backpack the Chisos. In the meantime, this brief synopsis will have to do.
Peace, fellow travellers. Happy trails.