Friday, March 27, 2015

Big Bend National Park: Journey & Arrival

In less than 48 hours, Zak and I had made two visits to both Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The third leg of our spring break stool lay roughly 240 miles almost due south -- Big Bend National Park.

U.S. Route 90, Northwest of Marfa
We enjoyed good weather for most of the four-hour drive, with the exception of our pass through Marfa where we went through a small storm.  Fortunately, we had plenty of advance notice of it.

Aermotor Windmill, Terlingua, Texas
It must be nice to completely own the market for something ubiquitous, as the Aermotor Windmill Company has since 1892.  The company was actually founded in 1888, but sold only 24 units that first year.  Four years later that number had skyrocketed to 20,000, and the landscape of the arid plains and deserts of the United States would never be the same.

Texas Windchime, Terlingua
Soon enough we arrived in the town of Terlingua.  I expected it to be quirky, and was immediately reassured by this piece of roadside art.

Study Butte
I think this formation is Study Butte, but I can't find confirmation online of that.  Only that there's a community called Study Butte just east of Terlingua.    I assume it's named for this ... butte.

House Sparrow
More wildlife of the not-especially-wild variety -- a House Sparrow just outside the Panther Junction Visitor Center.

Rio Grande near Boquillas Crossing
After a helpful discussion with a ranger (Is there any other kind?), we decided to head down to Boquillas Crossing to check out the Rio Grande and evaluate the area as a possible spot for shooting the sunset.  The river was a little less "grande" than I'd expected -- narrow and shallow enough that we saw a fellow cross on a mule.  But it definitely cut a beautiful swath through the arid landscape.

Much more to come!

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