Thursday, March 30, 2017

Texas-New Mexico Vacation: Day 5 - Big Bend National Park

Our fifth day in Texas would be spent exploring Big Bend National Park on the southern end, bordering Mexico. We wouldn't be able to eat lunch until later, so we had a good breakfast at a neighboring cafe. My wife had huevos, I had stuffed french toast, and Kai had a chocolate chip pancake.

We drove about a half hour to the entrance of the national park. Just after we entered, we saw a family of hog-like animals including his one.

The scenery was desert magnificence.

Cactuses were just starting to bloom.

In another week or so the desert will be even more alive with colors.

One of the most popular parts of the park is Santa Elena Canyon, striding the Rio Grande River, and the U.S. - Mexico border.

My one big goal for the day was to take a hike into the canyon.

Kai seemed up for the hike.

Until we started to climb.

The hike would take us up toward the top of the canyon before going back down to the river again. After just a few steps up, Kai started to complain. It was a bit warm, around 80 degrees, but it was a dry desert heat with no humidity. And this was the coolest day of the week.

But the boy who had boundless energy chasing Pokemon and running me ragged all through downtown Austin the other day was gone. There was no cellular service in this remote area, and that meant no Pokemon. All of his motivations for walking were gone. The slightest climb suddenly became a huge hill to climb, both figuratively and literally.

The following couple of photos were taken on our way back. I put them here to show you the heights we climbed.

It was difficult. Not the climb, but Kai's complaining. But eventually we got to a place where the trail flattened out and then headed downhill.

It was actually quite pleasant with a nice breeze, and it even felt cool in the shade.

And so Kai became fun, happy Kai.

He became especially happy when he was able to cool off in the Rio Grande.

The canyon was gorgeous.

We had a snack of beef jerky and Cheezits and then made our way out.

After lunch, we drove to another part of the park that had a hot spring that someone long ago had walled off right next to the Rio Grande River. This was my wife's favorite part of the park as the hot spring was reminiscent of a Japanese onsen.

Kai preferred the cooler water of the Rio Grande to the hot spring water.

We were at the park until late afternoon. We easily could have spent another day there to see and hike more. But I was very happy that we had seen the sights I really wanted to see. And that Kai was mostly happy despite being Pokemon free for much of the time.

For dinner, we went to a local pizza place. The pizza was good though we could not finish the whole thing.

And then after dinner, just as the sun was setting, Kai and I strolled through the little town to look for Pokemon.

It was a good day, perhaps my favorite one on the trip so far.


  1. You really had a climb. I agree, you had quite an adventure on this day.

    Water and Pokemon...I know how happy Kai was :)

    1. Haha, yes, water and Pokemon, two of Kai's favorite things.

      It was a good, adventurous day overall.


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