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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Big Bend National Park, Texas, United States

Dec 31, 2020 - Happy New Year

After a less than restful night, what with the wind howling and rain/sleet hitting the windows and roof, we woke up to cold and wet here, and a foot of snow at Panther Junction just 26 miles north of us. The higher elevations in the Chisos had a couple feet of snow. Unheard of for the desert! And of course the whole park was shut down with blocked roads and vehicles stranded, stuck or off in a ditch. As for us, we only had mist and light snow which was not accumulating at all. What was scary though was that Ben’s small travel trailer was...

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Big Bend 2020-21

Dec 30, 2020 - Interesting Riders

Susan and Matthew, VIPs who work at the Persimmon Gap VC, rode with us on Old Ore Road today. This is a mother/son team who are full time RVers with just a small van. This is their first time here at Big Bend, so they were excited to see some parts of the park that they are unable to drive to with their vehicle. Matthew is hearing impaired, so spoke only in sign language. Susan was a teacher before she retired, and taught several different subjects in ASL (American Sign Language.) Together, they have volunteered all over the world,...

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Big Bend 2020-21

Dec 29, 2020 - Almost a Good Day

Glenn Springs road was pretty calm and peaceful. We only had a couple of campsites that were occupied, and the rest were no problem. We did find some light tracks on the road, and thought we were going to get away with an easy day until we got back to River Road and found an area where some yahoo had done figure 8s in an otherwise pristine area of the desert, and we were back to raking again. These were fairly deep, so took a good bit of time to smooth them out. It was really nice weather today, so we had our happy hour outside when we got...

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Dec 28, 2020 - A LONG Day

After spending yesterday resting (except for laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc) we started our 3 days with River Road. Terry hiked the Marufo Vega trail for her last 2 days, so we figured we had better get back on the back roads since we have so many visitors in the park for the holidays. Our day started with cleaning up the remains of a campfire that someone had in the parking lot of the VC. Then we turned in a vehicle that was parked on River Road so the occupants could hike in to the Hot Springs, which is closed. Then we spent about an...

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Big Bend 2020-21

Dec 26, 2020 - Hike in the Desert

While Jeanne and Mike went back to work at the VC and Terry went back out on patrol, Cathy joined Don and me for a hike in the desert. There was a canyon that I had been wanting to hike to off of River Road. I figured that it was at the end of Glenn Spring draw and very possibly just south of the Compton ruins. Don thought I was nuts, naturally. But he did agree to hike in to look. One way was just under a mile and a quarter, with the last ¼ mile being rough going as we had to bushwhack our way through the brush (mostly catsclaw and...

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Big Bend 2020-21

Dec 25, 2020 - Christmas

We did Old Ore Road and Route 11 for our last 2 days on patrol, and then it was Christmas. We all got together at Jeanne’s place to exchange gifts and partake of the feast. Turkey, dressing, Cornish hens, potatoes and gravy, seasoned green beans and cranberry sauce. Then there was dessert: pumpkin cobbler, my pecan cake, whiskey cake and turtles. As you can see, we never starve! After we had recovered from an awesome meal, we walked over to Alex and Priscilla's place for a short time to celebrate with some of the neighbors. Their party was...

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Dec 22, 2020 - River Road

Jeanne agreed to go with us as we patrolled River Road today. It was another warm and beautiful sunshiny day. During our patrol we stop by every campsite, so it was really good for Jeanne to see where they were and the road conditions getting there for her work at the VC. We pointed out the location of several rock houses, and of course the mine was obvious. But we didn’t have time to hike in to any of those places since all our extra time was spent raking tracks. Although not as rough as Old Ore Road, I think Jeanne was really glad to get...

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Dec 21, 2020 - Girls Day

Jeanne, Cathy and I drove into Ft. Stockton today for some shopping, and lunch of course. We left at 7:30 (much to Cathy’s dismay) so we could get a lot done and still get back home in time to get stuff put away and join the guys and Terry at happy hour. We covered a lot of ground: Dollar General, Tractor Supply, Walmart and Dicky’s for lunch. And we did make it back before dark. We had fun, laughed a lot, and generally enjoyed girl time. Only Terry being able to come as well would have made it better.

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Dec 20, 2020 - What is it?

Don shared a picture that was posted on Facebook of some people by a large rock (?) in the Tuff Canyon area of the park. At least I recognized the area; he did not. And I could tell him where to find this particular rock, since I had always wanted to get out and hike in this area. So we took off today to do the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive as it would take us right where we needed to go. Sure enough, it was right where I thought it would be, and we did get out to hike. Such an interesting area! Black and red rocks on top of white tuff, and of...

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Dec 19, 2020 - Success!

Since this is our day off, we decided to go back to where we found all the great petrified wood and dinosaur bones and GPS my finds from the other day. Miracle of miracles, I found them with little difficulty, especially the egg which basically sticks out like a sore thumb. It was a very good day!

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Big Bend 2020-21

Dec 18, 2020 - Route 12

We thought we would have an easy, and possibly boring, day today with this patrol. While up at PJ we picked up mail for everyone (and Don’s meds finally) as well as litter in the parking area. A few minutes after we left the area we got a call from one of the rangers asking us to check Pine Canyon 2, as there had been a campfire reported. The campers were getting packed up to leave just as we got to the campsite. And sure enough, there had been a charcoal fire there, which they had lightly covered with dirt. The coals were still hot, and...

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Dec 17, 2020 - River Road

We loaded up Anita’s kayaks last evening when we got home, and transported her and Terry to the gravel pit river access for a trip down the river before our patrol today. The weather dawned clear and COLD, so we both accused them of being slightly crazy. Terry assured us it would be fine as long as they did not get wet. The road was busy, but not too much in the way of off road tracks. BUT, we did check in a small group of young men who were camped in the Cross Canyon trailhead area, with a valid permit no less! Someone who was writing...

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Big Bend 2020-21

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