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Old 11-30-2008, 04:53 PM   #31
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And just a little bit later we arrived ath Chorro Vista. After seeing the beautiful views at Guale #2 we did not expect what we saw from Chorro Vista. It also had great views.

This day we had seen no other people and no other vehicles all day.



One of the things we noticed about Chorro Vista was that there were two deep valleys and two sets of waterfalls close by. We explored the area on foot during the afternoon and were able to hike down to the top of one of the falls. Again, it is pretty easy to tell where the water can be found... just look for trees.











With the proximity to the water supply we thought we might get some critter activity this night. There were animal signs everywhere. There were lots of signs of javelina in the area.

..but the first critters were not quite that exciting...

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Old 11-30-2008, 05:22 PM   #32
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The real excitement started with sunset. We had seen a beautiful sunset from Guale #2, but we were in for another here.








We had run the water heater for a few minutes and showered and cleaned up after our afternoon excursion.

The campsite is just downhill from the end of the road. Each campsite has a scratched out tent pad, a fire ring, and a picnic table. You are prohibited from gathering wood in the park, but they usually have wood for purchase at Sauceda. We had purchased some, and we got a fire going for some ambiance at dinner. We grilled some chicken breasts on the GF grill and steamed some veggies and took them down to sit by the fire. We took the SW Radio and listened to SW broadcast about Planet X.

The night sky is so dark out there, so dark that with so many starts it seems so bright. The Big Bend region is supposed to be one of the three darkest areas on the planet.

It was getting a little chilly so we headed back to McBeast and found something on TV to watch before bed. After Michele was tucked in I decided to see about taking some night sky photos..... and then things got interesting.

When I exited the van, I al most immediately heard something chewing. Armed with a flashlight and camera, I used the flashlight to find the eyes of what turned out to be a good sized javelina. I quickly woke Michele up knowing that I would be in trouble if I kept the excitement to myslef, and risking that she might remember the Javalina-like critters we had seen in the movie "Hanibal" a couple of weeks earlier.

I used the remote spot to get a better look at our friend.



...and after I got tired of him and he got tired of me, he went back to eating and I went back to getting night sky shots.





...and then it was back to bed...
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:08 PM   #33
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Big Bend

Greg ,
Great trip and facinating photo log , I always wanted to explore more of this park than I was able to ,never enough extra time . Have you ever been to Palo Duro State Park , I was fortunate enough hunt this area on two occasions and found it to be one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been in the Great State of Texas and would love to return for a tour of Big Bend and the Grand Canyon of Texas Do you know if they have any remote camping facilities ?
Thank you again for sharing your adventure with all of us .
Greggde
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:23 AM   #34
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Greggde,

I have not been to Palo Duro in a number of years, and have not been with McBeast, although we were within spitting distance this fall. Palo Duro has backpacking sites and equestrian sites that may be more primitive than what you are looking for. They also have developed primitive sites that are away from the campgrounds and do not have showers and bathrooms; they do have fire rings and picnic tables.

Greg
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:53 PM   #35
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Palo Duro

Thank you Greg ,
I am going to do some additional research , I was going to fly into
Amarillo And rent a vehicle but I may just have to drive and spend some extra time . Thanks again Greg
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:18 PM   #36
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Day 3 started at Chorro Vista and ended at Vista Del Bofecillos with a stop at the Sauceda Ranger Station. This goes from the Southeast quadrant of the park and goes to the Northwest portion of the main body of the park.



We retraced some of the route we had covered the previous day back to Javalin Pens, and then most of the rest of the route from there to Sauceda was easier going than the route on Day 2.

...and once again we stopped at the Sauceda Ranger Station without getting a photo...

From Sauceda to Vista Del Befecillos was route that we had previously covered, but in the dark. It was much prettier in the daylight.

Along this main road into and through the park there are a series of small turnouts that display and describe different features or history of the park.









There was a large creek that crossed the main road. We could tell where it was long before we got there because of the long line of trees. Just before we got to the creek bottom, but after we had entered the trees we saw a fox and the a few yards later a javelina cross the road.







There are a number of creeks in the park area that have this gravel bottom. The water is always available under that gravel and in spots it gets forced up by larger rocks and is visible. At one spot by the Ranger Station they have dug a pit to make water always available to stock and horses.

This little guy showed up crossing the road. Knowing how much Michele likes spiders I had to stop and get her a couple of photos. He stayed pretty calm but did eventually get tired of the stick I was using to herd him.



At another display we saw a very interesting stone fence corral that has been in place for quite a while.









The Vista Del Bocefillos site is named for its view of the Bofecillos mountains, the mountains that make up a good portion of the park, and where we had been roaming around the previous two days.





After arriving at the camp site we wanted to hike down towards the edge of the mesa on an unmaintained road that is now used as a trail (the road actually leads to one of the pieces of private property that is within the park).

Once again we were surprised by the incredible views from this campsite.


On our way down the Mesa we spooked another hawk...


And found the perfect lair for a local mountain lion....


and then more mule deer were seen...











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Old 12-03-2008, 09:27 PM   #37
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And we are already planning a trip back..... can't wait.
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:32 PM   #38
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Got a question for you Greg...was there any place in Presidio to fuel up or would Marfa be my last chance.

I'm headed out Tuesday morning and plan on being in the State Park for 3 days and the National Park for at least 4 or 5 days. Thanks to your trip report I have reservations so far for Guale #2. I'll also stay at Yedra #2 and just kinda wing it for the last day. Then I'll head over to the National Park for the remaining days.

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Old 12-08-2008, 05:52 PM   #39
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Ric,

I hope I am not getting this to you too late... it being Monday night now.

There are stations in Presidio, but it might be a time of day thing. We went through Presido in the middle of the night and not much was open.

Marfa had a number of places open just an hour earlier, AND they had two places that had the lowest priced diesel we saw the entire trip ($2.639 amd $2.539)

I would plan on filling up in Marfa if you can.

We were able to fill up on the way yo yht park in Marfa, then go the entire trip without fillup (or use of the extra 5 gallons we carried) and then fill up on the way home through Marfa again. ...and we only put 29 gallons in when we did fill up... We filled up in Austin before we left and have not filled up since we got back.

You will be able to get fuel in Study Butte or Marathon later.

I assume you will be stopping by the Sauceda Ranger station, if so, please tell them the folks in the big white Sportsmobile say HELLO. (Marvin was very helpful)

The road between Presidio and Lajitas, Hwy 170 is now open again, as of just a few weeks ago. We did not get donw that way, but I am curious to see hoe it was damaged to keep the road closed for so long. Since 9/11 the informal border crossing at Lajitas has been closed, so folks that live in Mexico across from Lajitas and work in Lajitas had to drive all the way to Presidio to cross into the US and then drive all the way to Lajitas to work. WOW...without 170 what would they do?? The next closest route that I know of us up through Alpine !!

...if you get a chance, have a beer (or margarita) for us at La Kiva there between Lajitas and Study Butte when you head towards the NP...

HAVE FUN !
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:21 PM   #40
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Thanks for the info Greg. I'll plan accordingly as I get closer to the park.

....and about La Kiva, it's on my to-do list for Friday night so it's pretty much guaranteed that I'll have that beer for ya!

Thanks again,
Ric
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