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Arrive at Big Bend National Park

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

sunny 0 °F

In the morning we drive to Big Bend National Park and the sign outside the visitor's center says the two campgrounds we wanted to stay at are FULL. We're hoping that they just haven't updated the sign from the day before and ask at the visitor's center for an update. They have 5 sights left at the RV park, but the ranger is not optimistic of them being there when we get there and recommends for us to go to Cottonwood at the other end of the park. We decide to take our chances (we passed at least ten RVs leaving the park as we drove in) and drive down to Rio Grande Village. There are still 3 sights left at the RV park, but the RV park attendant calls over to the other campground to see if they have any sights left and the campground volunteer says they have 2 that will fit our size RV but they're going fast and we need to come immediately if we want one. So we quickly hop into the truck and go over to check out the two sights. One is kindof small for us but the other one looks perfect. We had to park very carefully but we fit and are happy campers :-)
After setting up camp we bike over to the Rio Grande Village visitors center and watch their 38 minute intro movie and get some helpful suggestions for hikes from the volunteers. Jere hears that the hot springs are near here and immediately wants to go to soak in the hot water. IMG_5958.jpg

The road to the hotsprings is an EXTREMELY narrow dirt road, with no guard rail and parts of it hug the side of a hill. Joe and Jere think that this is great fun -- I do not and I tell them to quit fooling around!!!

After looking at the historic buildings at the beginning of the trail,
IMG_5964.jpgwe hike down to the springs, strip down to our bathing suits and hop in the hot (105 degree) water. I spend most of the time sitting on the wall of the spring with my feet dangling into the Rio Grande River. The river is really dirty/green looking and the one guy is saying we should not be doing this, but we all continue to do it anyway. Two of the people decide to go for a swim in the river and we watch but do not go in. We passed the Border Control coming into the spring and tell the guy swimming in the river "not to worry....if the U.S. border control comes by....we'll explain that we never saw him before, except for herding the cows on the Mexican shoreline earlier today" :-)

Jere talks me into sitting in the hot springs for several minutes, with the hope that it will help heal my back. It's supposed to have some sort of minerals in it to cure everything! At this point, I'll try anything. As a side note: my back is getting better, but it's been a long slow process.

After our soak we return to the campground and walk the nature trail that starts near our campsite. It takes us down to the Rio Grande River again and then we take the spur off the trail that leads to the top of the hill above the campground to watch the sunset, along with at least a dozen of our new friends. It's apparently a popular activity.

Our RV is the one closest to the beginning of the boardwalk:

Posted by jengelman 07:03 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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