On Sunday afternoon I arrived home bruised and pretty much broken. But I had a wonderful backpacking trip in Big Bend National Park. It's located right on the Texas-Mexico border where the Rio Grande takes a "Big Bend." Unfortunately, Kelsey couldn't come because of school :(. I went with three guys from my ward. Luckily, Kelsey's Mom was in town when I was gone, so she wasn't too lonely while I was gone.
I have done a lot of hiking in my day, but I have never experienced terrain like that of Big Bend. Its mountains peak around 7,000 feet and then descend into desert landscape.
Here is a collage of my favorite pics -
The trip was great. Here's a quick recap:
- Wed. Night - Arrived at 2a.m. after 10 hr. drive. Tried to sleep through wind and rain.
- Thurs. - Woke up to a spectacular view (see top left of pic). Drove to the Rio Grande and tossed rocks into Mexico. No, I didn't see any amigos swimming across the river. Hiked 3,000 to 4,000 vertical feet in less than 3 hours. Enjoyed the sun set looking off the top of Southeastern Rim. Made some Philmont dinner and got some freezing rain.
- Friday - Sprained my knee and spent the rest of the weekend hobbling the remaining 20 miles. The slower pace helped me enjoy the amazing mountains and desert terrain. Hiked until 8p.m. under the brightest moon light I have ever been in.
- Saturday - Got sun burnt (in January!) hiking in the desert. Jim and I took a wrong turn and ended up 6 miles from where we needed to be. We found a road and hitch-hiked to the designated meeting point to reunite with Russ and Rick.
- Sunday - Made it home in time to see my mother-in-law Beth before she left town.
The trip was quite the adventure. I know this sort of thing may sound like sheer misery to some people. But for me, there is nothing better than enjoying God's awesome creations through hiking and camping. I love it.
If anyone wants to see more pics from the trip, click here.