A Few Days in Big Bend mrt22


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A Few Days in Big Bend

Spring Break is the chosen time to visit Texas biggest National Park Big Bend. Mountains and desert are stretching out to meet the Rio Grande. The river that marks the border with Mexico and does not look so grande in size, but has enough ‘grandeur’ to satisfy our curiosity. Only a ten hour drive away from Houston, through rural south Texas. Roads are going on for ever with few fellow users, but many flowers in glorious colors. Spring Break is definitely the best time for this short holiday because it is spring, the natural wonders of Big Bend are endlessly, and it is a parent-only trip.

All along the highway the shoulders are heavy with flowers: several bright hues of red, brilliant yellow and of course the sensuous blue of the Texas state flower Bluebonnet. The grass is greener than someone would suspect, so the cows, sheep, horses, and donkeys who roam the fields of the extremely large ranches look all very happy. The same can be said for the scenery inside Big Bend National Park. The desert plants like yucca, agave, prickly pears – also the blind ones – and much more nameless flora for the first time visitor all are beginning to bloom. Here also all the colors nature provides abundantly are present.

Apart from the beautiful flowers, cacti in all kinds of shape, and trees who are amazingly balancing on mountain ridges, there are the incredible canyons, the rough mountain ranges, the enormous deserts and plains, and of course the famous Rio Grande. Reaching this well-known river for the first time one can be a bit disappointed. The name Rio Grande gives reason to expect a vast stream like the Dutch rivers which meander slowly through the flat land. This is a stream which seems innocent, barely able to impose as a serious barrier for border crossing. Along the river their are several other deserted river beds which tell a different story. When the rain comes down, this whole delta can become a swirling, dangerous river; truly living up to it name ‘Grande’.

Camping, hiking and especially driving without children in tow is a whole different experience. Just two adults who know each other well and only need one look to settle arguments. Sometimes a little bit more perhaps, but definitely without the bargaining necessary when traveling with more people. Maybe the problem does not come with the difference in age and the dependent position of children, but more the burden of being with more who all have an opinion about the route, the food and the campsite. To be a couple again, although just for five days is a treat, but now it is time to be a family again.

– to be continued.