I turned 40 this year, so I decided I needed to do something epic. We rented an RV and drove from Colorado, through New Mexico, and landed in Big Bend National Park, after stopping at The Great Sand Dunes National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park and the Guadalupe Mountains National Park along the way. We spent the very first day hiking from the Ross Maxwell scenic drive, taking our time through that part of the park, seeing the Chisos Mountains, the Mule Ears formation, Texas blue bonnets, Castolon and, finally, Santa Elena Canyon.
On day two, we decided to drive up into the Chisos Mountains to see the area and check out the campground, debating on whether we should actually stay there or try another location. It was windy and chilly and morning, especially at the higher altitude, so we decided to move. We continued on to the Boquillas area – there is a border crossing in the park where you can cross into Mexico if you like, but it was Tuesday and that was closed. We continued on to the Boquillas Canyon trail where we decided to stop temporarily and go for a hike. Once there we saw multiple Pyrrhuloxia (desert cardinals) and I was kicking myself for not dragging my new Sigma 150-600mm lens up the hill.
After a little wander we found out that there was a campsite with full hookups at the Rio Grand Village. That would be a great spot, we were so excited that we could spend the night in the park with the RV! The closest hike from there is the Hot Springs Trail which boasts a 'Big Bend Lookout'. As soon as I saw the location I knew that I had to be there for sunrise! We spent the night at the campground and got up early to make the hike. As I was climbing up the hill I saw quite a bit of color already appearing, so I practically ran to the overlook!
I am so glad I did because this image is the result – cactus in the foreground, reflections of the clouds in the river, everything was just perfect. I still consider this my most favorite 'birthday moment'.
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