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December 16-18, 2021

    Big Bend National Park, Texas:

    There is a place in Far West Texas where night skies are dark as coal and rivers carve temple-like canyons in ancient limestone. Here, at the end of the road, hundreds of bird species take refuge in a solitary mountain range surrounded by weather-beaten desert. Tenacious cactus bloom in sublime southwestern sun, and diversity of species is the best in the country. This magical place is Big Bend…

    National Park Service

    We spent two nights at Rio Grande Village Campground in Big Bend National Park, where coyote, javelina, and horses from Mexico are the most frequent return visitors. A $5 rowboat ride later and we were in Boquillas, Mexico for lunch. After repatriating, we hiked through the US side of Boquillas Canyon until we earned a dip in the Langford Hot Springs. After soaking up all the minerals we could stand, we drove a family of four Germans who misjudged the distance of their hike back to their campsite. That pesky miles to kilometers conversion can get the best of us!

    The day of our departure we woke up early and headed out to Ernst Tinaja, a natural water hole inside a beautifully colored limestone canyon. The drive out to the canyon is amazing in its own right, taking about an hour to drive just 5 miles on the extremely rugged and high-clearance 4×4 mandatory Old Ore Road. On the way out we saw a Toyota Corolla at the beginning of the road and helped her make the right decision to turn around to explore one of the many more accessible areas of the park…