Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Scramble...


Inspired by Mark and Diana's trek up the mountain, including the last thousand feet being a scramble (climbing on all fours) instead of just a hike, I decided to go for a scramble today.

I had my scramble with bacon and potatoes this morning, before we left the coach.  ;-)

We do have another hike planned for today.  Yes - two in a row.  Another part of the park to cover: the southeast section.  The goal: check out Boquillas Canyon.  This is the furthest away from where we are staying part of the park.

Covering some of the same scenery on the way...



A group of hawks considered carrying off the CR-V...


A view of the Sierra Del Carmen Mountains...



From that notch just left of top center, the canyon that divides the US and Mexico on this end of the park.  Through a tunnel...



We stopped at the Rio Grande Village Visitors Center, to check out road conditions...




That is a Rainbow Cactus above - perhaps the only kind we didn't see during our time at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens.

Since we were close, we drove through the RV park in the park...


It is, literally, just a parking lot.  Paved, but the spots would be tight for a large coach; or like us: more than just a tow car.  It makes me feel better about where we are staying.  From there, to the campground (no hookups)...



The sites here are larger and more level than what we saw at Chisos Basin.  That is a bear box in the photo above.  When we worked in the Tetons, we used to joking tell guests that is where we keep the bears overnight.  No, it is where campers have to keep their food to keep bears from getting at it... i.e., don't keep food in your tent!!

Next stop: Boquillas Crossing...


It is a one-person Customs and Border Protection Port of Entry.  You can take a canoe across the Rio Grande, then take a burro or a pickup truck (if your timing is good) to the Mexican village about 3/4 mile away.  When we went in to look around, there was a woman arguing with the Customs agent: "As a US citizen, you have to let me back in the country, whether I have my passport or not!"

"No, ma'am - even US citizens have to comply with the laws."

Her husband had stopped to use the restroom, and he had the passports.  Yes, they got through.  We didn't cross.  But, coming back, you have to go through this gate...


I can't imagine any agent is excited to have this duty station.  From there, it was a stop at the Boquillas Overlook...




In that photo above, you can see the canoe and a couple pickups on the Mexican side; and, the Mexican village towards the top of the photo.

Off to the Boquillas Canyon Trail.  The canyon in the shadows below is on the Mexican side.  The Rio Grande River has cut 1,300 feet through the canyon...




This hike is also rated "easy"... and it is a lot easier than the hike we did yesterday.  Some climbing and descending, nice views all around...


In the photo above, you can see a guy wading across the river, to the US side.  We continued...



A bit further, and we came across that wading guy...


He was setting up "shop," selling walking sticks and some pretty hand-made knick-knacks.  We didn't need any, but visited with him for a bit.  He was also accepting donations for the school in that village on the other side; hey, a guy has to make a living.  Continuing on...




This portion of the hike was along the river - no ups and downs.  Heading back, I tried to get a photo of the two of us, but the rocks weren't being cooperative with a flat surface...


Further uphill, a cooperative hiker going the other way took this photo of us...


Another view of the Rio Grande River...


Looking ahead, I said to Joan, "A roadrunner just ran across the path!"


Do you see it on the right side of the photo?


No, he did not make a "Beep! Beep!" sound.

Descending towards the parking area, we could see the kids from yesterday's hike had arrived here...


I heard one of the adults say, "Pair up with your partner, take his or her hand, and hold it up in the air so I know I have your attention!  OK, if you don't want to hold their hand, you can hold their wrist!"

Back to the car, and glad we had the trail while it was quiet.  ;-)  Next stop: the hot springs.  On the way, we went by this sign...


I said to Joan, "You might think this has something to do with mining, but it is a little known fact that there is a retirement home for aged English hookers here..."  (Feel free to groan when you get it.)

It is a mile and a half or so of crappy, rough, gravel and rock road to the hot springs...



The road got narrower...


We parked the car and started our walk back to the hot springs...


In the 40s and 50s, this was a commercial destination, with a store and some rooms...



There is more of a walk to the actual hot springs...



The cliffs here are striking.  The hot springs...


You could see where the springs fed the structure, then drained out into the Rio Grande River.  We brought swim suits, just in case... neither of us are all that excited about a chlorinated public pool, this looked a bit "rustic" (and by rustic, I mean: a lot of green slime) to want to put any appendages into.  But, we rested for a bit and took in the view.

Then, the trail back to the car...



About an hour drive back to the coach.  We both agreed that we like the west side of the park more than this east side; more scenic.  And with these hikes, we got to see the Rio Grande River at both ends of the park.

The weather was cooler today; cool enough that we needed jackets early on.  The wind that was forecast for yesterday (and didn't materialize until last night) showed up today - cool and gusty.

We have another full day here - like most large National Parks, it takes more than a day to see the highlights here.  Tomorrow, if Mother Nature cooperates, may be a scoot day.


2 comments:

Stephanie Budzban said...

Your joke rates right up there with "dishes"! Made me laugh!!

Captain Jim and the Blonde said...

Thank you, my sweet girl - you know me: anything for the laugh. Miss you so much!