In Big Bend national park
Big Bend is almost the size of the state of Rhode island (3243 sq km). It takes about two hours to get from West to East by car. It’s composed of three main areas, today we did two: the far West and the far East. On the west is the Santa Elena Canyon, on the East are the hot springs and the border crossing to Mexico. The Rio Grande marks the border of the park on the south but also the international border. We didn’t cross it, the pain of the formalities outweighing greatly the appeal of the town on the other side. Ben illegally went to Mexico though, crossing the river twice and walking on the neighbors’ soil. Mexicans also cross illegally, leaving a stand of handcrafted souvenirs on the US side and watching it from across the river.
Like when we were close to the border before, the rangers and border patrols are on alert all the time, watching for illegal immigrants and drug traffickers. They drive around our campground several times at night.
The second day, on Saturday, is when spring break really kicked off, and the park got crowded as soon as the sun rose. People were already looking for a camping space for the night.
We went to the third area of the park, the Chisos basin, right in the center. It’s a beautiful valley surrounded by the Chisos mountains, where Mountain lions and bears can be found. We stayed until the end of the morning.
Then we drove east towards Del Rio (4 hours and a half of driving). Sullivan got a good wash going through a big thunderstorm.
We stopped in Langtry, another ghost town. We went off the road to see the Rio Grande. From the cliff there we could hear a boat, probably border patrol, it went away. Then we heard cracks, like people going through the bushes, and picking sounds on the rock. We noticed some hooks at the top of the cliff. Then we heard approaching footsteps on the lower level of the cliff, it was time to go away! It could be immigrants or drug traffickers. The biggest risk when encountering them could be getting our van stolen or get killed even? Let’s just avoid it!