Big Bend National Park
Where we stayed: Rio Grande Village (National Park campground) not to be confused with the Rio Grande Village RV Campground
We ditched our little dirt patch campground in Terlingua to explore the eastern side of the park. On our way over stopped at the Panther Junction Visitor Center (because we just can't drive by a visitor center without stopping to check out their gift shop and displays). We discovered my car that was being towed had a flat tire. Thank goodness for vistor center stops! Super driver/mechaninc/dad threw on the spare (with some help from a certain 3 year old) and I drove the car back to Terlingua where there was one mechanic shop who said he could look at my tire (luckily it was only 30 miles away and not 60 or 90 like the next closest towns).
Thank goodness for Terlingua Auto (aka Outpost Auto Service). While I chatted with the owner Archie about everything from water conservation, to Vietnam (you can check him out here on the National Geographic show Badlands, TX), the guys in the shop worked to patch up my tire. In the end, the tire couldn't be saved, but they were able to scrounge up a gently used Goodyear for me in the back. $35 and I was back on the road.
Where we stayed; BJ's RV Park in Terlingua
Window View Trail (super short .3 miles)
I forgot my big camera, so had to bust out the iphone cam.
Big Bend National Park
Where we stayed: BJ's Rver Park in Terligua
We did some morning homeschooling and then hopped in the car to check out Big Bend National Park. It's the park way down in Texas that you have to make a deliberate effort to get to...there's no way you'd accidentally end up here. We made a quick stop at the Castalon Vistor Center to find out the hiking. While I was talking with the ranger, Jack picked up a book in the gift shop and started reading. He'd pick up that same book at all the Big Bend visitor centers and almost finished it by the time we were done with Big Bend.
Where we stayed: BJ's RV Park
We plopped down in the dirt rv park for a few days. They had a trailer set up as a game room and had two cozy bathrooms. Nothing fancy, but it had plenty of nice hot water and a room you could steam up really good. This was the most expensive I've paid for laundry too ($2.50 a load to wash and $2.50 to dry). Water is pretty scarce in these parts since they've been having a drought too. A lot of locals are pretty smart and store up rainwater to use throughout the year.
Right down the street is the Terlingua Ghost Town. I wish we had spent a little more time exploring this bit, but we did have dinner at the old Starlight Theater. This was a fun find. The restaurant was in a former theater and had lots of history and character, with art for sale up on the walls and good food to boot. I had a club sandwich... with bacon of course and a fried egg in it. A great addition!
Where we stayed: Tumble In RV Park
We headed down I-10 toward Las Cruces, the same route we took a month before on our way toward Carlsbad Caverns. This time we drove through El Paso (I tried not to look as we cars merged on and off the freeway around us...sometimes slowing down awkardly letting us in front of them or getting on really slowly as we try to slow down our 20,000lbs. The most interesting part of driving through El Paso was being able to see over the border into Juarez, Mexico. A city known for drug smuggling and violence (since Albuquerque we've been watching Breaking Bad), you can easily tell a difference from the US and this part of Mexico by looking through the chain link fence that separates El Paso from Juarez.
I'll be sharing our travel plans, some reviews, cooking ideas (because I know you are all jealous of my easy-bake oven), and ... oh who am I kidding?! I'll be lucky to get our photos posted!