Dakota Goes to Big Bend, TX

May 6, 2014

big bend signageWe made it to one of the lowest sections of the United States! Big Bend National Park was named after the large bend that the Rio Grande River borders between Texas and Mexico.  I think that it should have been called “Huge Bend”!  It is actually an 118 mile international boundary and has over 800,000 of acres to explore.  Summers get pretty hot and you can explore a lot of the canyons, valleys and mountains with a long winding drive around the park.  This park has one of the largest varieties of wildlife and there are more than 450 different species of birds here!  One of them is Paisano, which is another name for the roadrunner and I chased him all over!  He’s fast!big bend

Geologist love it here because there are so many old bones to dig up.  I can totally understand the excitement of digging up bones and wanted to help, but was not allowed.  I have to say that the big mountains were my favorite.  They were really cool because of their awesome shapes!  Over millions of years of sea, volcanic activity, pressure of earthquakes and erosion formed the geology of Big Bend.  I had fun imagining what the formations of the Chisos Mountains, at the center of the park, were shaped like.  One ridge looked like Abraham Lincoln sleeping.  Another looked like a gorilla head.  I didn’t get to see the one called Elephant tusk but I did see “Dakota’s Ears”.dakota ears

National Park Service said they liked the name, but it had to remain as “Mule Ears”.

ghost townWe also went to a ghost town.  IMG_0268I searched and searched but found nobody ghostly.  I found out later from a new friend, Dr. Doug, that it was a deserted town that used to be busy with miners and then everyone left when all the valuable mercury was gone.

Big Bend is considered a “dark sky park” which means that it is one of the best spots in the world to check out all the sparkling lights in the sky.  The Ranger night program while we were there included legends and facts of Big Bend and was perfect for the big sky filled stars.

Besides, rattlesnakes, bears, mountain lions and coyotes…watch out for…IMG_0293
At first, I thought it was just a name of the local hog and thought it would be nice for me to introduce myself and get acquainted. Javelina is sometimes called a skunk pig and apparently can be territorial, mean and aggressive.  After finding this out, I decided to call of my search for her.

IMG_6907When you are out in nature, you have to be prepared for whatever may come your way.  Sometimes it is crazy thunderstorms and lightning (which we experienced) and sometimes it’s just being respectful of the animals and wildlife that exist in their home that we are visiting.  See ya around the bend…

 

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