We decided we wanted to head over to the western side of the great big park of Big Bend, and figured if we can get set with the motorhome on an electric site before the weekend, we could move over that a way and have a place to be plugged in when the temps rise up.
I am feeling better now, but needing a place for the dogs out of the heat is a must. The temps are due to creep back into the 90's again by the weekend. Oh my!
So we got online and found a site at Big Bend Resort and Adventures .. its a motel, rv park, motorcycle rental, horse stables and who knows what all else! It's over on the western border of the park by Study Butte Terlingua. http://bigbendresortadventures.com/ The rates are higher than what we have been paying at Stillwell Store and RV park over on the east side of the park.
Don't get us wrong, we really liked Stillwell, but after four days there, now we want to explore more western areas of the park. The distance between the two campgrounds is 60 miles which allows us more access to the SW area of the park that was a half day's drive if we wanted to tour it and go back to Stillwell.
So we said our goodbyes and paid our bill, and hooked up the Tracker... away we go! We covered 60 miles through the park and got over to the new campground by noon. Luckily they said we could have our site early, as check-in isn't until 4pm! Strange....
Anyhow, it doesn't have the charm or the quaint characters like Stillwell did. (like lined up rockers on the porch with various guests sitting and telling tall tales and having a beer and chomping on a Stillwell burrito!) But all good things must come to an end. If we ever return to this area, it's Stillwell for sure! Here is the route we took through the park, mostly 45 mph. Sometimes less.
This is the hot springs along the shores of the Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park.
The hot water burbles up in the far upper right corner,
and there are various "tubs" around the perimeter that are cooler...
you can sit or lay in the tubs... and soak it all in!
We came prepared with our suits on underneath our clothing..
so we didn't have to try to change in the tiny outhouse by the parking lot
We slathered on the sunscreen on our shoulders
and wore our hats to protect us from the sun on our noses and ears...
we had on our sunglasses and sat back...
(can you feel it?)
The water was light and tingly and refreshing
it was not sulphery at all
We ran into a batch of six fun ladies from France. They were there with a tour group and having a blast. One gal went out in the middle of the Rio Grande, laid back and spread her legs to share herself I guess with both the US and Mexico? I don't know but all her friends were giggling and encouraging her and taking pics! So I took a pic too.
My high school French is very rusty, but I could tell a few of the words they were saying to each other. Oh boy what fun. They even took pics for us while we were in the hot spring.
The water from the spring runs right out into the Rio Grande. Just across that narrow expanse of water is Mexico. It's not deep and you can wade back and forth. If you chose to.
The park pamphlets warn you to NOT go into the river nor over to the other side, as it is not an official crossing entry and does not have border crossing status. Thus you are breaking the law. So we stayed out of the river. Others didn't and waded around back and forth.
Why is he there? We watched him for a while in our binoculars. A woman in the hot spring explained: He has brought many little artistic items to sell to the US folks on our side of the river! She said he lives in a village 200 miles south and comes a long way to get into that spot and camp. He rides a horse out many miles to get new supplies. He crosses over (wades across) and replenishes the supply of items for sale, and removes the American cash from his jars, He has 3 little stands set along the path that we tourists take from the parking lot to the hot springs.
Soooo why is this a controversy? Because the park rangers have posted a VERY serious sign on the path saying DO NOT PURCHASE ANY THING FROM ILLEGALS, IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO DO SO, RESULTING IN $5,000 FINE... JAIL TIME... yadda yadda yadda
Ack! This guy is making these little artistic items from beads, copper wire, fashioning little scorpions, road runners, cacti etc. We can see him over there whittling down the wood on walking sticks, brushing them with paint, shellacking them and turning them over in the sun to dry. He is working his craft and he has found an eager customer base. They sure are cute and I was really tempted to buy some!
I admired his work... but the threatening sign was enough to make me change my mind. I know he is not from our country, but he is finding a good way to make a living while camping out in the tent. Working on his art. He probably only has 2-3 months of good tourist trade time to make this effort, and the rest of the time the park hot springs doesn't get this much traffic... or the heat is unbearable to camp out there.
One lady in the hot springs said she tossed in a few bucks as a "donation" to him,
but didn't take any articles in return. So she felt it was not a "sale".
I don't know what the rangers would say about that.
Support an artist?
Break the law?