Big Bend National Park

Trip Start Feb 22, 2006
Trip End May 2006

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Wednesday, March 1, 2006

February 24, 2006
Around 6:30 PM

Terlingua Abajo, campsite #4

Two hubcaps have been sacrificed to the roadtrip/camping Gods...
I'm making dinner right now-beef stew, cornbread and water (a pretty typical dinner for a night on the range).
The weather is beautiful. When I first arrived, around two-ish today, it was cold and rainy. Then it got hot with a great breeze and the sky is gorgeous.
The mountain range that separates us from Mexico which I call the "wall to the sky" because it is so tall and flat across the top is within view. It is totally peaceful except for some animals and my stove popping a little (oh, and my stomach just growled).
Well, pretty much, Big Bend is perfect. I'm scheduled for three nights here and then I think I'll do some real backcountry camping in the Chisos later.

February 25, 2006
Around 10:34 AM

I can't believe this. I'm strolling along Terlingua Creek and spot some wild pigs or boars or something and I take a few pictures but then my camera dies-DANG IT! I'm all up close to one of them right now but I can't take any freaking pictures.
They are cute, though-all furry and only about a foot or two feet high and long. They've got big heads, too.

Whoa! Okay, definitely bigger than I thought. I got a little too close I guess and one of them saw me and grunted and bolted.
Then this other one looked straight at me and I thought it was going to charge.
So I started moving away and got further downstream of them and then two came out to get a drink-so I could have gotten a great picture but, darn you, camera!
I swear those pigs took it personal that I got so close, because one kept coming towards me. So I crossed the stream and ran away. Yes, ran. I guess I learned my lesson about getting too close to the wildlife. I don't think they had tusks or anything but they are still wild, and capable of anything. No matter how cute they are or how many times you tell yourself they're made of bacon!

February 27, 2006
Okay, least favorite thing to do in Big Bend:
Get out of warm sleeping bag, find a secluded spot, dig a hole six inches deep, and....

Favorite (one of them) thing to do in Big Bend:
Wake up to coyotes calling to each other all around me. It's really impossible to be scared of them because they sound more like drunk people singing or pretending to be coyotes than any kind of fearsome wild dog.

Convo with Ranger Bob about backcountry camping in Chisos went something like this:
Ranger Bob: So, how many are in your party?
Me: Just me.
Ranger Bob: Oh. Okay. Well, let me tell you about the mountain lions. They are frequently seen. Do you know what color they are supposed to be? Tan. So, if you see any that are red it means they are physiologically unhealthy. If they start stalking you, wagging their tails or crouching, you should throw rocks at it and shout aggressively. Just don't run away or crouch down or squeal. That's what their prey do. *laughs*
Me: Okay...
Ranger Bob: I'm going to need you to fill out this form, and get a boot print from you. Once you return, turn in your backcountry permit so we know you're back. If you don't come back in a few days, we'll start to think about rescuing you. Usually, we wait a few weeks, that way all the flesh is off the bones. (he actually said that) *laughs heartily* So, how are you feeling about this trip?
Me: Uhhhh...

Who the hell cares what day or time it is? I just spent the last four hours hiking/hauling not only my sub par body up the mountain but a pack that weighed a gazillion pounds and a rock just in case I ran into any mountain lions. Right now, I just want to throw the rock at Ranger Bob. Who does he think I am? An athlete or something? Not only was I scared out of my mind about the mountain lions (AND BEARS) but I felt like a pack horse ripe for the kill.
About now, sheer exhaustion has replaced abject fear. I can barely grip this pen to write. I've got my tent up, and am going to hide in it for a while.
I don't know why he called this campsite the penthouse. It looks like any other dirt clearing.

Animal count:
2 coyotes crossing the street when I first got here
4 javelinas (pig things)
4 jackrabbits
5 road runners ("meep-meep")
5 mule deer

Animals I'm glad I didn't see:
Any kind of snake, poisonous or otherwise
Mountain Lions (although, according to Ranger Bob, they saw me)
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