Big Bend was as great as we had hoped, except for the continuing clouds and cool weather.
We took two hikes which took us along the Rio Grande. The first hike (1.44 miles — David’s X-Motion tracking app on his phone is very specific) was in the Boquillas Canyon. From our campground we headed out in that direction (after checking our email near the campstore where they have WiFi). We stopped at the Boquillas Crossing where one can take a row boat and then a horse into the Mexican town of Boquillas. We may do this on a warmer, sunny day. From there we went to the Boquillas Overlook where we saw a number of Mexican men with horses standing around on the shore and another wading through the water on his horse to the Mexican side. No idea what they were doing. From this point we drove to the trailhead. The walk took us over a slight hill and then down along the river to a point where the Rio Grande has cut a 1300 foot deep slice through the rocks. The river isn’t much more than 50 feet wide at this point with sheer cliffs on each side. As everywhere in the park, the layers in the eroded sedimentary rock are fascinating and beautiful.
Our second hike was to the Langston Hot Springs. Yes, there are hot springs in Big Bend. In the early 1900s the Langston family moved here to farm because Mr. Langston had malaria and was convinced that bathing in the hot springs would relieve his symptoms. He eventually covered the hot springs with a cabana, built a store with a post office, and hotel. Unfortunately, his hot springs never took off as those in Arkansas, probably because of its remote location. While the hot spring along the loop hike (2.56 miles) was the attraction, we found the wildflowers, cactus, rock formations, and river views to be more interesting. The mountain sides look as if they are dry walls stacked by men rather than nature. In fact, the roadside walls (built by man) look just like the cliffs.
Wildlife sightings have been few. Quite a few birds — White Pelicans and cormorants on the Pecos river and plenty of song birds, woodpeckers, ravens and vultures. The only large mammals have been deer until tonight. While we sat preparing dinner, a herd of javelinas hurried through the campground on the way to the Rio Grande. Unfortunately no pictures.