Sunday, February 22, 2009

Big Bend National Park Trip Feb 2009 Day 4

Our last full day in the park was spent hiking a 14 mile route. We started by hiking up to Emory peak which is the third highest peak in TX at 7832 ft. The entire first 3 hours were spent going uphill at a pretty steep grade.
Here's where we ran into our first "Lion Warning" sign. We never saw any lions, just like we never saw any bears.

This picture was taken at the half way point to the base of the Emory Peak trail.

Here we are finally on the Emory Peak trail, and have been for about half an hour. We kept thinking we were getting closer but it always looked far away. At the base of those rocks, the trail disappeared and we literally had to rock climb to the top. This was definitely the hardest trail we did on the whole trip. It was so steep! The view from the top, once we made it there, was so amazing. I could turn 360 degrees and see desert and mountains for miles! The climb down was interesting, but we made it safely.

We stopped for lunch on the South Rim and looked out at mountain after mountain. It was so beautiful. From Emory Peak, we took Boot Springs Trail to get to the South Rim. It took us about an hour and half to two hours to get from Emory Peak to South Rim

This picture was taken on the back side of the trail from South Rim called Laguna Meadows. I was just amazed at how blue the sky was that day. When we climbed to the top, we climbed up the other side and I leaned over the rocks and took pictures pointing down of these cliffs.
It took us about 7.5 hours to do the entire hiking trip. The last part, Laguna Meadows back to the Chisos Lodge, is very frustrating because of the constant switchbacks around several mountains.
After the hike, we went back to the room and rehydrated. We greatly underestimated the amount of water we needed for the trip. After we drank what felt like 5 gallons of water and Gatorade, we decided to head back out and visit some ruins. We saw the adobe ruins of Sam Nell's ranch house. The Nell family had planted fig and pecan trees on their plot of land. There were also two remnants of windmills. We also went and looked at the bunkhouse and foreman's house left when the Homer Wilson ranch was taken over by the government to make the National Park. It was pretty amazing to see these old buildings and two horse corrals that were still standing. I love to look at old buildings. (I would have liked to spent more time at the Terlingua ghost town on day 3, but it wasn't in the cards.)
The last couple of days were spent visiting our families. We had a great, relaxing trip and I can't wait to go back.

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