There’s an old saying, “everything is bigger in Texas” and the Big Bend National Park definitely meets the criteria. I have been wanting to visit this park ever since I moved to Texas. However, I was adverse to the idea of the road trip to the park since it is far and I thought there would be nothing much to do on the way. When my cousin told me that they were moving to the US and would be based in Odessa; I immediately looked at a map and learned that Odessa was not too far from the Park. So now I had the motive to get on the road and go.
So, Labor Day weekend came round and we got the chance to visit my cousin (which I hadn’t met in a decade) and visit the park.
Our drive to the park from Odessa was surprisingly interesting. We couldn’t resist stopping the car a number of times for a photo op.
When we arrived at the house that we rented for 2 days; we rested for a little bit before heading out to check the Park.
Tip: Big Bend, is one of the largest, most remote, and least-visited US national park. It covers 801,163 acres and the attractions inside the park are far from each other so to reduce time spent on the road it is beneficial to stay inside the park or as close to the park as possible.
We managed to find a lovely little house in Terlingua which was just perfect for our base.
Fact: By 1922 40 percent of the quicksilver (mercury) mined in the United States came from Terlingua, but production began to decline steadily during the 1930s. In 1942, the main producer, Chisos Mining Company, filed for bankruptcy and from there mining declined till the end of World War II by when most of the population dispersed and Terlingua became a ghost town. Terlingua History
As the Big Bend area is a great distance away from the lights of major urban centers the night skies over among the darkest in North America. This makes for awesome star gazing by the naked eye or with a telescope if you have one. We watched the night-sky and it was magical; made you think again that we are a tiny spec of this whole universe and GOD made this world so beautiful. Come to think of it?!?
It was an amazing stargazing experience for the kids and they enjoyed the Milky Way in its full glory. I wished we had a better camera to document it but thanks to fellow blogger Mike Mezeul II I get to show you some of it’s beauty that he captured. Absolutely stunning!! just looks like the way it is. I mean really O.M.G.!!!
These photos are just too crazyyyy cool and beautiful, credit to an amazing photographer who let me use it. Follow him as he continues to inspire us to travel and get the best photos possible. His web site can be reached here: Mike Mezeul II Photography
So, that was our night adventure. Early morning, I went for a walk with my girl and the place was deserted (as expected). It was a solemn moment for me and her. You know…. every time we travel, there is always something interesting I learn from the kids. My dear daughter asked me where were the people and when I told her that most people had left she answered, “they left coz there’s nothing to do here; they moved to the city Mom. But hopefully, they will come back and fill this place with people again”. So, I asked “would you come back and make this place interesting?” and she replied, “this place is already interesting … people just have to come and see it.” Ooooh… how I love conversations like these.
Big Bend country has something for everyone. If you are not the outdoor type of person then at least you can enjoy the serenity of this place and the gorgeous scenery. But if you love the outdoor, this place is definitely heaven. From hiking to climbing, to rafting, fishing, golfing, horseback riding etc…
My family, however, didn’t do many outdoor activities considering grandma’s health and the heat and limited ourselves to short easy hikes. Regardless we still had a BLAST!!!
My Boy conquering his fear of heights. He is getting there:)
On one hike we turned around with my mom while Dad and daughter hiked further for some views and more photos.
Fun fact about me: When I was a toddler, my parents who were teachers used to tag me along with them to their school, sometimes up to rural villages. I prefer to hike/walk than ride to my Dad’s motorcycle or ride a car.
Tip: Big Bend is famed for its hiking and for its extreme heat. So, hiking in the early morning is recommended and bring lots of water.
Our son’s first time stomping/ walking in deep mud… It’s an experience he will never forget:)
FYI: Mexican Nationals may leave items for sales such as walking sticks, bracelets, and other crafts on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. If you purchase their items or make a donation, you are encouraging illegal border crossings, which may result in the individual’s arrest and deportation through Presidio (100 miles away). Additionally, they may be fined or incarcerated. See more at: Border Merchants
Big Bend is a prime destination for photographers. You can get outstanding and awesome photos just steps from any road or on any trail you care to go on.
One last amazing fact about Big Bend National Park. Big Bend National Park is one of the world’s greatest areas for fossils. Fossils from the last 35 million year period of the dinosaurs have been found here covering the period from the Age of Reptiles into the Age of Mammals. Hundreds of fossils from dinosaurs (~100), plants (100+) , fishes (20+), frogs, salamanders, turtles, crocodiles, lizards, mammals have been discovered here providing the most comprehensive record of a prehistoric ecosystem known on the planet.
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