Yes, we’re back to the real world, and It. Was. Wonderful!! I had the absolute best time with the teens, and Big Bend is so beautiful. The most amazing thing of all? I climbed a mountain and made it back down the other side. This trip was a milestone for me – I was so nervous that I would be the “old fat lady” chaperone, lagging behind and being pitiful – and it didn’t happen. I hiked every trail, laughed, joked, climbed over boulders, skipped down sand dunes, waded in the River, and acted silly when necessary to keep going.
The highlight of the trip was the hike to the South Rim. It’s a 2,000 foot climb, about fifteen miles round trip, and I made it! I was hiking with my friend Elizabeth, who was also chaperoning. We kept each other climbing when we just wanted to sit down and cry.
It was really chilly at the top, and the wind was gusting about 40 mph. It took us seven hours and forty minutes to make the journey. Five hours up and almost three hours down. Down was a whole lot easier, for sure, especially on those turns in the path when the wind was at our backs.
I was amazed at how absolutely gorgeous the desert was, even in it’s present condition. Last winter there was a hard freeze that damaged most of the plant life, and then the past summer’s drought finished a lot of them off. Yes, there is such a thing as drought in the desert. They didn’t get their annual quarter inch of rain, and that made all the difference in survival. It’s such a stark beauty.
The Chisos Mountains are like an oasis in the middle of the desert.
Boquillas Canyon is at the eastern side of the park, where the Rio Grande twists through the rocks.
There’s a sand dune in the curve of Boquillas Canyon that leads up to a cave. Yes, I followed those teens up the dune, right after I snapped this picture. The teens were impressed that I made it up. I was impressed that I made it up.
Celebrate. Keep the Faith.
P.S. Want to see all the pictures? Check the slideshow below.