HEY Y’all hahah you like how Texan I sounded just now?
Do you know how many people live in Texas who have never been to BIG Bend NP?!?!?! Almost everyone I have talked to has never been there before. Like come on people its only a few hours drive for incredible views and an amazing outdoor experience. This trip we spent 5 days exploring and mostly driving all over creation because lets face it. It really is true when they say everything is bigger in Texas. It takes a lonnnngg freakin time to drive anywhere when you are out there in the middle of no where.
Our Thanksgiving this year was a little different than your average joe Thanksgiving holiday. There was no turkey with cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie and football afterwards. We actually camped in an Airbnb Camper in the literal middle of no where dirt desert, near a place called Terlingua Ranch. It even had rain catchers for all the potable water. My in-laws and their dog went with us and let’s just say it was a very full camper.
The first day we got there we got to explore the park a little bit but were were on a mission. It was thanksgiving day and we actually went to a little town in Mexico for a thanksgiving lunch. The park actually has a port of entry where you cross the Rio Grande river in a little row boat. You pay the guy waiting 5 dollars a person to get across and then you pay another guy waiting on the other side 5 dollars to ride a burro, truck, or horse into the little town of Boquillas population 100. Our guide, who walked us to town on the burros, did not speak any English. Thank goodness I took a few years in high school because we would have been completely screwed if not. He showed us the two restaurants to choose from and funny enough they have the same owner. He walked us in and they said we could have Cabrittos Tacos or Tamales. So we picked both and of course Corbin got a Cerveza. Afterwards we walked to the end of the town which is not very big and were incredibly humbled and thankful for the life that we have. It made our thanksgiving that much better. The only way those people make any money is from the tourists that visit from the park and so we made sure give a special thanks to our guide who kindly showed us his home town.
When we were all finished with town we ended up driving around the park for a while and exploring all the places to site see and view the most stunning views! We had the darnedest time trying to find somewhere for thanksgiving dinner and ended up going to a really awful Mexican restaurant outside the park. When you are in the middle of the desert there are only a few choices for food and I don’t think we found anywhere worth mentioning here in this post. We are total foodies and sort of food snobs and I would definitely talk about the food if there was any worth talking about but sadly the food was disappointing.
The following day we went mountain biking at this place called Lajitas Trails which is in Lajitas Texas a small little desert town. It is the only trail system that is not in the state park or national park and its free! To call it mountain biking would be a lie. Its more like trail riding but we had a blast! Riding on the sand in a desert like terrain. The cacti were HUGE! and every plant had evil thorns all over them. We joked saying don’t fall and what happened well I got in a fight with a bush and a rock and the rock won. Needless to say I ended up with a monster bruise on my thigh. We ended up doing the entire outer loop trail which ended up being 14 miles I think and took us about three hours to complete with little to no rest. We have had to opportunity to ride our bikes in many different terrains and its fun to experience it all!
One thing that we really miss about Colorado the most is all of the hot springs all over the place. We even got married at a hot springs resort thats how much we love them. When we got to Big Bend and did some research on what there is to do there and found out that there is a natural hot spring in the Rio Grande River, we were so stoked! There is a short dirt road you drive down to get to a small parking area. From there you hike about a half mile to this place in the river where I guess there used to be what you would call like a bathhouse on the water where people would sit in the hut/house and soak in the hot water. Now all that remains is some of the rock walls where you can sit and put your feet in or sit in the middle almost sort of like a small pool that is filled by the river water. We decided to get up really early to do a sunrise hike and watch the sun come up with all the beautiful stars around us while we soaked in the hot springs. A park ranger told us that any other time of the day will be packed. We only had a couple other people there with us and it was very pleasant. Now when you think of hot springs you think of fancy resort or nice soaking pools. This is definitely not for the faint of heart and you better not wear your fancy white bath robe because you must crawl down a mud hill to sit in a dirty river. Very rustic and not at all spa like but still awesome in its own crunchy granola hippie way!
After that we met up with the in-laws again and drove three hours to the Mcdonald’s Observatory for a evening star viewing party. My father in-law had purchased tickets for all of us to look at the stars starting at 7pm. Well lets just say we get there after driving and rushing through dinner to find out he had purchased the tickets for the following night and didn’t realize it. SOOOOOO we waited around for an hour to see if anyone wasn’t going to show up to use their tickets but unfortunately we were unable to use the telescopes and have a guide point out all the different constellations. This place is on the top of a mountain and so we sat outside and looked at the stars for a bit and decided to head home for the long three hour drive back. It was a huge disappointment but we were not going to do that drive again the next day.
The in-laws decided to leave the next morning and we didn’t have any other plans so we hung out at the camper the rest of the day and took a short drive to a place called Terlingua Ranch. It’s a large hunting and camping ranch except its pretty rustic. We went and had lunch at their restaurant call the Bad Rabbit, had a pretty decent burger for the middle of no where. Other than that we just relaxed and enjoyed the sunshine and no cell service. It was a peaceful and pleasant holiday with no fuss and no worries at all.
If you ever get a chance to go and check out Big Bend National Park I highly recommend that you do! I know it may seem like a trek to get to but you will not be sorry that you did it. I would even say to camp and reserve a spot in the park so that you get the full experience! The landscape and the views are out of this world. You almost feel like you are on anther planet. When they say its so dark out there it really is and the stars are so bright it feels like you are in the middle of a snow globe and the stars are just all around you. The silence is breathtaking and the remoteness is a good mental reset. If you ever make it out, I would love love love to see your photos and let me know what you think!
That’s all for now!
Get out there and explore all there is this world has to offer. You never know, some of the most beautiful things may just be in your backyard.