It's late morning here in El Paso, Texas. Melanie and I are preparing to eat an early lunch. We're located near downtown El Paso in the parking lot of the Memorial Park Senior Citizen Center. We had errands in El Paso today and I chose this location because it's situated near El Paso Municipal Rose Garden. I figured there would be parking for us. There is and it is working fine for me to get this post done and for Melanie to take a call and work some too.
Life on the road.
So, it's been a minute since I've posted. After leaving Marfa (more on Marfa later), Texas, we made our way to Big Bend National Park and stayed in the park for 5 days, four days in the eastern side and one day on the western side of the park. I became ill the last day of our stay after a really wonderful hike into Santa Elena Canyon and was not well for about 3 days afterwards. Nothing serious, I'm much better now, thank you.
During my illness, I was telling a friend back in Birmingham about it and he expressed that being sick while traveling sucked. I'm hardly ever sick, I'm not a good person when I"m sick, but I was home, so it was mostly okay. Melanie was a great caregiver and patient with me beyond what I deserved.
We've now been in Texas almost two months. We are staying in a park just outside of El Paso and just inside of New Mexico, but most of what we've done here has been in Texas. We've had invitations to visit Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but it's cold up that way, so we stay south for now.
We approach our second month anniversary on the road. There's really not much new to say about the mechanics of this life. There aren't any new insights really (try to make sure you don't camp near a dairy ranch because you aren't always downwind). Melanie and I both still get excited on moving days because everything about life becomes new again.
Anyway, more later in the week, but in the interim, here are a few images from the last little bit of life on the road.
Big Bend National Park
We arrived early afternoon to Big Bend. I stopped by a visitor center just inside the park and was told there may yet be a few first come first served, campsites in the Rio Grande Village Campground, so we made our way there. To give you some scale of the place, this was another 45 minute drive for us. The speed limit is 45 miles an hour.
After driving up and down a few roads inside the campground and finding nothing available, we came upon a nice park service volunteer who initially gave us a one night site and subsequently came by and gave us what proved to be the absolute best campsite in Rio Grande Village. Site # 18 at the very back of the campground was perfect and very private. I would not have chosen it because it was in the generator section, but turns out generator use was minimal by everyone making it very quiet indeed.
Melanie and I hiked and rode our bikes most days. The roads are not very busy and vehicles there were respectful of us and kept a good distance when passing. The rides were truly spectacular. We even rode over to the Boquillas border crossing one morning, locked up the bikes at the Border Patrol station, took a row boat across to Mexico and had a good lunch and checked out the town of Boquillas too.
An added bonus for us was an above-average rainfall the region has gotten this year which meant the desert was beginning to bloom. The wild flowers were really nice.
Melanie, Miranda and I took a day trip to the Chisos Mountains while we were still located in the Rio Grande Village Campground. The Chisos are located more centrally in the park. We got there in time to have lunch at the Chisos lodge, take the Window Trail hike and get back in time for a nice dinner before driving back to Rio Grande.
Traveling to Cottonwood Campground and hiking in Santa Elena Canyon Trail
The photos below were taken along the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive on the western side of Big Bend and on a hike into the Santa Elena Canyon Trail. The last photo of the Vermillion Flycatcher was taken in Cottonwood Campground.
Steven and Melanie