Thursday, January 14, 2010

Eight Mile Hike + Javelina Redux!

Hi everyone... Roger here.... A few days ago (one of the sunny days) we took an eight-mile hike around the outer circle of Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park, with a couple of diversions along the side trails. We knew this would be a long trip so we actually carried a picnic lunch to eat along the way.

The first side trip was a 1.8 mile walk through the cactus-filled scrub to the Rio Grande River. We took a couple of shots of the giant cactus along the way, including a new species (for us) that was long and spindly.

It's interesting to see how the cactus grows through the scrub trees using them for support. An abandoned two-story

building (no window panes) was the focus of the view of Mexico at the Rio Grande lookout. We wonder what the building was, or is. I expected the Rio Grande to be a little smaller and muddy, but it was pretty clear and deep, at least from our viewpoint.

The only person we saw on the side trip was an ever-present border patrol agent.

We heard a car door shut at a nearby dirt road and then watched the agent hack his way down to the river. Hmmmm? Looking for illegals or finding a place to pee?

The second diversion from the loop walk took us to the Hawk Tower.

The cool path to the top was along a winding walkway that ascended about three stories. We did not see any hawks, but we did have a great view of scores of ducks that were diving for food in the lake below.

The lake was one of several resacas in the park. The resacas were at one time curves in the Rio Grande River, that became curvy lakes when the river changed its course.

The Rio Grande River has changed its course since the international boundary was established. We took a picture of one of the boundary markers next to a dried up portion of the river. The marker was in the state park, several hundred yards from the current location of the river. Were we in the U.S. at the time or in Mexico?

A puzzlement!

When we re-entered the eight-mile circle after the hawk tower, we began looking for one of the trams that are scheduled every forty-five minutes. We intended to ride back to the park headquarters. Every time we reached a tram stop, we decided to move on to the next one rather than sit and wait. (We were heading in a direction so that we would see the tram approaching us when it came.) We finally reached a tram stop where we decided to wait. We sat for a few minutes, looked down the road, thought we saw the next stop and decided to hurry on down to that stop. (Why, I don't know.) As we approached the stop we saw the tram coming toward us. OH NO! What we thought was a stop, was just a gathering of birders (telescopic cameras in hand). We waved at the tram as it went by knowing that we would be walking the rest of the way back. Oh well.

Throughout the hike we saw several more javelinas, including a piglet with its mom. They are fun to watch as they snort and nose around for food. The thing that is not so much fun is dodging the poop that they leave EVERYWHERE.

As we walked along, I composed a second verse to the Javelina song (to the tune of the Macarena):

Sometimes they poop in the middle of the roadway.

Sometimes they poop in the middle of the pathway.

The poop gets squished in the tread of your sneakers!

Pewwww. Javelina.

Dianne here: (eye-roll + groan)....
how can I follow that?

The two bird photos this time
were a Great Kiskadee

(the yellow-breasted bird)
and a shot of a clay-colored
thrush that was causing some
excitement among
the birders at one of
the stations who were all set
up with their scopes and cameras.
I don't have a scope set-up,
so this is the best shot I could get of it.

Roger again: When we got back to the RV Resort, Dianne informed me that I would have to walk the state park pass back to guest services, because she was done! No reason to argue. When she's done, she's done.

(After suffering through Roger's javelina song again I thought that was the least he could do!)

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