Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Boquillas Canyon and a Long Ride - BBNP

I am writing this on December 28. We have just spent the time around Christmas with my parents in Las Cruces, New Mexico. We had a great time and I will write about it in an upcoming entry. I am still trying to catch up. We have been doing a bunch of things that I would like to include in this travel blog, so I need to do a lot of writing.

This entry begins on December 19 back at Big Bend National Park. The day before it had been windy and hit 25 degrees. It had now warmed up some, but was still cold for this area. We decided on a drive down to Rio Grande Village and maybe a visit to Boquillas Canyon. We drove the 25 miles from our site to a tunnel that was cut through a ridge. It also was a nice overlook of the valley down to the Rio Grande River.

We then drove on down to the Rio Grande Village. There is a small store that sells gas. They claim to fill propane bottles, but the guy would not be back for about 4 days, so no luck on that. There are two campgrounds. One is Rio Grand Village campground and the other is Rio Grande Village RV. The RV sites have full hook ups, but you are parked side by side in a parking lot. The rate is $36 per night. Not the best deal. The other campground has no hookups and you can not run a generator. There were just a few sites we could fit in. We loved our site even more.

We drove out on the short road to the Rio Grande Overlook. The other side of the river in the next picture is Mexico.

I convinced Kim to walk the short 1.5 mile trail to Boquillas Canyon and we are really glad we did. It started out steep, but after going over the top of the hill it went down to the edge of the river and was fairly flat for the rest of the hike down into the canyon.

There were small boats on the edge of the river. Some of the locals from the other side, came over and put small trinkets on a rock and sold their stuff by the honor system.

The walk down into the canyon is very impressive and worth the hike. The only problem was the wind was blowing about 40 MPH.

We walked as far as you could and were surrounded by high walls.

We hiked the trail back out and Kim agreed that the effort was worth the reward. Boquillas Canyon is a very beautiful part of BBNP.

We headed back on the road and turned off at the Hot Springs Road. It is a very narrow road and does not allow Dullies. Our truck made it fine, but the road was narrow at spots. We parked along the river and walked down to the hot springs. There were a bunch of college age kids around probably taking their only bath for the week. Here is a look at the hot springs pool. Not very large, but about 103 degrees.

The river is lined with large Bamboo shoots. There are a few abandoned buildings back around the parking area that were used by people that catered to guests that came to visit the hot springs before the National park was established. I like this shot of the large Palm tree.

That was a full day. We headed back to camp and hunkered down for another cold night.

Our time at BBNP was getting short, but I had one more thing I really wanted to do. There are miles and miles of dirt roads going through the park. Some of the roads are fairly smooth, but most are full of wash outs and large rocks, both loose and embedded. Perfect for a ride on the trusty DR 650 that I carry on the back of the Ti. I spent the evening planning a route that would take me on a nice tour of the park. There is no better way to get out and see some of these areas. I started with the Old Ore Road, it is 26 miles that are at times easy and at times rather technical.

The scenery was quite impressive.

I then headed out on the river road. That section was fast and fun. Did I say fast? The speed limit is 25 MPH, so I would not exceed that would I? I came to the Mariscal Mine. I got a few shots I liked there.

I continued on and turned on Black Gap Road. That road is "Not Maintained". I had a blast on that section. It was the most technical part of the day. I then hit Glenn Spring road and back to pavement and the ride back to camp.  The scenery was great all day. This is Elephant Tusk mountain.

I ended up doing close to 100 miles and all but about 10 miles were dirt. My kind of day.

That about wraps up our visit to BBNP. We needed to move on to meet my parents in Las Cruces and had one more stop before we got there. That stop would be at Davis Mountain State Park. We stayed three days and were busy the entire time we were there. My next entry will cover our time there.

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