Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Years

Let’s catch up on what’s been happening.

Our new best friends, Kim and Chris, have a trailer full of toys.  Motorcycles, bicycles, and two kayaks.  Deciding it was time to get the boats wet, they needed someone to drop them off upstream.  So we load them up and take them to Grassy Flats, where they can launch themselves into the Rio Grande.  Being new at kayaking they got their test shortly after launching with some rapids. We really couldn’t get a good view, due to brush, but there were a number of nervous comments coming from the river, including a little whining.

But not to fear, they made it through without getting wet.

We left Kim and Chris and headed back to camp.  Later, when they got back we found all went well until they went to get out of the river, where we left their truck.  Some how Kim managed to fall in?

 

New Years Eve brought friends and good food together.  How about some steaks on the grille with all the fixings.

Yes there were a few spirits on New Years, too.  And some of us made it past midnight.

 

After a recovery we decided to make a trip into Big Bend National Park to check the damage from flooding. 

Over the summer there were heavy rains, here as well as up stream.  The Mexican dams had too much water to hold so they opened the floodgates and said, “Here it comes.”

The water in the Rio Grande ran high for 30 days.  The best golf course in the area, at Lajitas was washed out, leaving only 4 holes to play.  (Boy, I lost a lot of sleep over that! NOT!)

Going into the Park we made our turn down Old Maverick Rd for the 13-mile trip.  Its gravel and really is 13 miles of bad road.  (http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/roadsides_oldmavrd.htm)

The hiking trail into Santa Elena Canyon was washed out and is closed.  (http://www.americansouthwest.net/texas/big_bend/santa_elena_canyon.html)

Cotton Wood campground was half washed out, with repairs still underway.

Driving up, on pavement, to Castolon for the best ice cream in the park we made our way into the store walked over to the freezer and selected a one of the pre-packaged goodies. (not Baskin Robins…) (http://www.texasescapes.com/TexasGhostTowns/CastolonTexas/CastolonTexas.htm)

It may not sound that good to you but after 13 miles on Old Maverick Rd it’s the only ice cream for 80 miles, and it was great!

We make our circle tour safely back to camp in time for …you guessed it …Happy Hour!

 

On January 4 we rounded everyone up for a trip into Ernst Tinaja, just because we love it so much, and Chris and Kim had never seen it.

Chris and Kim, still having toys in their camper that have not been used, wanting to use bicycles to make the trip from the pavement into Ernst Tinaja.

Giving Chris and Kim a head start we made our way to Old Ore Rd, 6 miles of rough rocky road (not ice cream, ROAD) which leads to Ernst Tinaja.  (Old Ore Rd makes Old Maverick Rd look like a freeway.)  Thanks to Larry and Polly we are in their 4-wheel drive truck.  Finding Chris and Kim’s truck parked and the bicycles gone we make our way down the road.  About a mile or two we see two people hiking down the road.  As we get closer we discover them to be Chris and Kim?  Where are the bicycles we ask?  Seems as though just after they started out one of those bike tires went flat. They stashed the bicycles in the bushes and began hiking in.  They gladly hopped in the back of the truck for the rest of the ride in.

We all looked over the fascinating rock formations, with water in the Tinaja.

Chris, Kim, and I walked up the canyon to what has always been the end of the trail due to a large rock blocking the way.  But Chris, being 6’5” was able to reach up, pull himself up, and get Kim and I up as well.  COOL!

I have been coming here for 6 years and have never been able to get past this point!  We walked up the canyon following its curves and turns enjoying the rock formations.

As with every hike we enjoyed our carried in lunches while relaxing and taking in the beauty of Big Bend.

 

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