Sunday, May 15, 2011

Big Bend National Park - Santa Elena Canyon Hike

Hi all, Dianne here:  It's my turn to blog about yet another scenic hike that Roger and I took on this trip to Big Bend country.  This time we drove back into Big Bend National Park to take the Santa Elena Canyon hike.

We saw some old adobe ruins along the drive.

It was a bit cooler, low 90s as opposed to in the 100s.  I almost felt I needed a sweater!  (not really)  We did dress for the blazing sun and heat with our cowboy hats, hiking boots, and neck cooler thing-ys we bought at Bandolier National Park in New Mexico last fall.  

They are filled with particles  that feel like bean bags.  You soak them in water and then tie them around your neck.  They really do help us stay cool, and they stayed damp the entire day, even in this hot, dry heat.  

We crossed dry Terlingua Creek and made our way into Santa Elena Canyon.  The hike follows the Rio Grande River through this canyon, so that once again we were just a stone's throw from Mexico for our entire hike. 

Here's Roger squeezing through some rocks next to the river.  We always looked before stepping or placing our hands in case of rattlesnakes.  (Have yet to see one).

The trail ends at a small shady overhang where you can hear the river loudly lapping at the stone walls of the canyon on both sides.  We enjoyed the view of the steep canyon wall on the Mexico side for a few minutes, then turned back toward the mouth of the canyon.

Scenic views all along the trail.  

We hiked back out to the trail head for a picnic lunch of roast beef sandwiches with green pepper, Swiss cheese, tomato and spicy hummus, with a Jonagold apple and chips at a picnic table in the shade.  

This might be the last time we'll have to leave the dogs behind on our hikes, because Sunday morning we'll leave the hot desert and national park area for state parks farther north.  Most state parks allow dogs on trails, as opposed to the national parks.  Check back soon, though, because we did take them with us on a 6 1/2 mile hike through the beautiful Lajitas golf course that is currently closed to golfers.

The pet photo of the day is just a pretty picture of Bandido.  He travels well and has been a very good boy so far!


Malone said...

That looks like a really great canyon hike, in spite of the heat. Heat would be nice about now, it's snowing here in Rocky Point.

Nancy and Bill said...

How about a close up of those "neck cooling" things??

Do you ever feel uncomfortable being that close to the border? Those of us that only hear about the border from TV would think it might be dangerous.

My guess is you don't, but I would like your take on it.