Getting muddy in Big Bend
Trip Start Aug 18, 2008
24Trip End Oct 01, 2008
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Our first stop was our campground, in the Chisos Mountains, which made it surprisingly cool compared to the surrounding desert in the rest of the park. When we arrived, we picked a site with a view of a waterfall cascading down one of the mountainsides, which we later learned was a very rare occurrence. Mike rigged up a clever tarp-based rain protection system since our tent isn't particularly great in rain, and we had a great time meeting the local wildlife, including a few scorpions the size of salad plates and a few roadrunners (which looked nothing like the Warner Brothers cartoon).
The next day, we decided to explore the park a bit, and since there weren't really any wheelchair accessible trails, we had to do it by car. No problem, we thought, let's try an unpaved bit of road that the ranger recommended. After about 15 miles of adventurous, rocky, muddy terrain, our luck ran out and we reached a flooded section that we couldn't cross without risking being the idiots that the rangers have to come and rescue. So we looked at our map and found a different stretch of road to try and take us back to the main road--again, we reached a section of the road that we thought we couldn't cross. A wash had come through and completely wiped out the road, leaving a ledge about 3 feet high on both sides. Looking at the road, though, we decided to give it a try, since our plucky little Ford Escape seemed to be faring surprisingly well
The best part, though, was that just before we tried it, I turned to Mike and said, "Are we being clever or stupid?" His answer was "both". So I guess in the end, we were clever, stupid and lucky, because we made it out the other end and drove another 10 miles or so until we found ourselves back on a paved road.