Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Hot Spring and Chisos Basin

I stayed very busy in Big Bend.  My first night was a good camp after the brothers next to me finished the reminiscing and retired I went soundly asleep.  It is amazing how  people work together in a campground by following the rules, and when quiet time arrives you can hear a pin drop...I like that.  It shows you no matter our differences when we work together and all under the SAME rules we do better, no double standards! 

I had even considered making a pot of coffee to take over to the brothers when they got up....HUH...I crawled out they were packed and just putting the finishing touch on checking their trailer cover and they pulled out before my pot even boiled...SHOWs how you can under estimate people too...last up does not mean last to rise!! 

I saw on the park map that beyond the turn off for Rio Grande camp was Boquillas Canyon, and I had seen a turn off for a Hot Spring, and A few other after a light breakfast of English muffin, oatmeal, and banana with a huge cup of coffee, I pulled out.

Back up toward the main road is a nice picnic area, so stopped to check it out no one was around..and there was a boat ramp sign so I checked that out..

   The boat ramp was not in good repair as the river level was too low for the ramp to be of any use...but there was a good view of the river here...

Back in the parking area, a Javelina was wandering across the picnic area...

Now heading to Boquillas Canyon...the morning was cool and sunny.

        the Overlook....on the opposite bank the town of Boquillas, MX.

Very quite no one on this side....across the river I see this horse...what you don't see is a little red canoe, a horse trailer, and a couple of Mexican men hanging around...I have to wonder what they are doing..

I found out from another visitor, if you walk down to the bank of the river, they will canoe over, get you, and for a price take you for a horseback ride! Savy business men!  And up on the hill here on my side is this (you look closely you see the boat landing and canoe across the river) little bit of trinket marketing!  You have hiking staffs hand carved, you have trinkets like the roadrunner made of copper wire and beads, and an old coffee creamer container to leave your money.  Which item do you think I purchased?

Safely tucked it under my seat as I was also told the Border Patrol will confiscate it if they see it...

Just down from this overlook is a Port of Entry.  Wednesday - Sunday you can get over to Mexico..but you have to have your passport WITH you to get back...and you know who forgot to toss theirs in the van?? Yeah along with many other things....oh well so it was.  But the deal is they ferry you over, and I found out you can either walk to town where they do accept American money but make sure you have some exact change as they may not be able to make change for you...or they will give you a burro ride into town!! You can have lunch, shop, or just take a look around.  

If you decide to stay overnight you can apply for a Visa on their side of the Border..So that's the scoop as I know it on that.  I turned my van back towards Panther Junction and took the road to the Hot Spring.  The road is very tricky the van barely fit...and I saw a motorhome parked at the turn around.  

it is a one way road the return is what you see over to the left....I ran into a woman walking in just as I pulled up and got out she noticed I was from the East she was fromVirginia.  Here is a bit of the History of the Hot Spring. Some of the old buildings are still there..

It's a short hike to the Springs on the Hot Spring Trail...the lady from VA and I hiked together, she explained it was her motorhome I had passed  at the turn around her husband and dogs waited for her she was determined to see the hot springs, so she had walked in.  

The hike was quite nice...with these awesome rocky layers to check out...

Some cliff swallows have been living here....

Since I didn't know what to exactly expect I had my bathing suit in my backpack...I changed in the thick river reed patch.  

The old foundation of the bathhouse is still there...formed around the natural spring that bubbles up out of the ground right by the Rio Grande!!

It was quite warm someone said 105 degrees...Nice to splash in and my companion didn't have a suit but she still sat down and sunk her legs in the warm water.  I walked down and splashed some of the cooler Rio Grand water on me too...

this is where the water bubbles up ...

it is not very big so we hung out till others showed up and then we headed back but I think we got at least 20 minutes to explore and splash in the hot spring.  It was really nice!   

I gave the nice lady a ride back to her motorhome, and I met her husband and the cute dogs...they gave me a couple tips on 2 spots to check out in PA when I mentioned I like to waterfalls...maybe some of you have heard of  Pickett's Glen and Jim Thorpe. I will add these places to my bucket list. 

My next stop was to drive up to Chisos Basin and see what the campground is like.  The 6 mile drive to the Basin area is spectacular.  Most vacationers come up here to stay at the lodge and hike the awesome mountain hiking trails.  This is where  you would go to hike to see the have to combine 4 of the trails and end up on  Boot Canyon Trail   

The Chisos Mountains look quite rugged and the elevation goes to beyond 7,000 ft.  

The campground to me was a big disappointment...very crowded, very poorly designed and full.  Oh well...I had hoped to camp up there but I had been told it was full and I actually planned to stay at Cottonwood campground on the South End of the Park.  But then I changed my mind...I decided to go back to Rio Grande for another night...So I went back the way I had come

I hiked a couple of the easy nature trails and admired the desert plants... back to Rio Grande a bit earlier to get a good spot for the night and watch the birds! Rio Grande had some good birds!  

golden fronted woodpecker

and another new one for me, the ladder backed woodpecker.  

I got settled into a site in the main Cottonwood Grove,since it was hot and there was more of a breeze in the more open area.  I was able to set up in the shade and watch roadrunners and javelina's move around the campground...

I decided I would hike the Nature trail that begins in the campground when the sun got a little lower in the sky....right now it was time for Siesta!!

sunset hike next
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.


  1. Very interesting area and so few people about, or so it seems, were there others around the hot springs? I would have bought a walking pole. I like it when people leave a money box when you buy something, hopefully its hardly ever abused.

    1. I'm gonna share what I bought after others give a guess...I hope no one would take the it is such a testament to the "good" in people. Others were in the pool when we arrived they left then we got in and when others arrived we got it's like take your turn then move on....too hot to stay in it long anyway 105 is quite uncomfortable after 10 or 15 mins.

  2. I don't think I could manage a soak in hot springs, the heat anyway plus that! It looks beautiful though :) The Woodpeckers are fabulous, we only have 3 here and one is quite rare now.

    1. Hi Pam, I have seen photos of the Green Woodpecker I think it's one of the most striking of the Woodpeckers worldwide. The heat was a bit too much that's why I ended with a splash in the rio grande water to cool back down!

  3. This brings back such wonderful memories ... I had to go look up my own post on Big Bend, mostly on Boquillos Canyon... we visited it way too long ago in 2006, but that was before I blogged; I did some catch up posts when I first started blogging and this was one I made in 2008. I don't know if the link will work but if it does, you might enjoy reading about our adventure there so long ago. (Some day when you are bored). . Anyway we loved our visit there and I see that way back then I was already worried about a wall. Somethings never change.

    1. I can not image a wall here not for any reason! It's completely idiotic to even contemplate such. I am def going to read your post...I enjoy reading everyone's blogs its much more interesting than TV or surfing the web on a hot afternoon!

  4. I purchased the walking stick in the front with the Chartreuse green and the brown snake curling up the length...I found out by reading Sallie's post from 2008 it is made of Sotol Wood! It is very light weight. I will probably not use the stick for hiking, it's more an art piece for me. I learn so much from blog buddies!!

  5. Being from PA, I think it's Ricketts Glen SP. I was only there once 50 years ago. Now I want to go again.


Comments are appreciated, and reciprocated!