ENP 32.1 Big Bend: Trip Report

The world may have changed since Danielle, Bryan, and the girls took their early February trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas, but hope for future family adventures springs eternal. With those eventual vacations in mind, Everybody’s National Parks presents the first episode in its Big Bend roundup. Painted landscapes, dark skies, and lessons in border policy await at the stunning junction where the US and Mexico meet. And this wouldn’t be a family trip roundup without eyewitness reports from Everybody’s National Parks junior ranger correspondents. Discussion includes the following: [00:01] Introduction to Big Bend podcast series. [01:14] Danielle a Bryan set the scene - with a little help from TripPossible: Big Bend National Park, ENP Yosemite National Park series, ENP Yosemite TripPossible episode [06:01] Know before you go: gateway cities El Paso, TX and Midland-Odessa, TX [07:50] Know before you go: car rental issues, Avis [08:40] Oil country: reflections on a drive through the permian basin [10:18] Know before you go: when and where to stock up on supplies Terlingua, Marathon, Marfa [11:23] Beautiful views and home base options: Chisos Mountains Lodge, Chisos Basin Campground, Chisos Mountains Lodge Restaurant a Patio DAY 1 [13:08] West Side: Chisos Mountains Visitor Center, ranger programs, Fossil Discovery Center [15:22] Touching extinction: K-Pg Boundary site [16:22] East Side: Rio Grande Overlook, Rio Grande Visitor Center Rio Grande Village Nature Trail [17:18] Know before you go: Boquillas, Mexico border crossing [20:51] Boquillas Canyon Trail [22:02] Nightcap: Ending the day at Hot Springs Historic Trail DAY 2 [26:32] West Side explorations: Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, Panther Junction Visitor Center [28:04] West Side highlight: Santa Elena Canyon, Castolon Visitor Center, Cottonwood Campground, seeing prairie dog. [29:18] Desert hiking: Lower Burro Mesa Pour-off Trail [29:39] Day 2 activity run-down: Sam Nail Ranch, Sotol Vista Lookout, Mule Ears Spring Trail, Tuff Canyon, Castolon Visitor Center, Santa Elena Canyon [30:55] Bryan’s trip highlight: Santa Elena Canyon DAY 3 [32:40] Divide and conquer: Lost Mine Trail [34:06] Divide and conquer: Ranger tales [35:15] Window Trail, Chisos Basin campground [35:59] Starry night cap: Night Sky program DAY 4 [38:32] One last hike: Grapevine Hills Trail to Balanced Rock [39:20] Junior Ranger swearing in [39:36] Big Bend bucket list: Exploring the region’s Native American history, Persimmon Gap Visitor Center, The Comanche Trail, Empire Of The Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne [40:48] Junior Ranger report, part I: Bear facts, Night Sky review, Hot Springs Canyon Trail review, javelina facts [47:58] DIY joke: Royal dinos [48:52] Junior Ranger report part II: Lost Mine Trail review, palm tree fun fact, roadrunner fun fact [52:58] DIY quiz: Big Bend origins story [53:53] Ocean origins and lemurs [55:20] Night Sky review NOTE: DUE TO COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS, BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK WAS CLOSED AT TIME OF RECORDING THIS EPISODE. PLEASE CHECK NPS WEBSITE FOR UPDATES. Actions: Subscribe to our podcast. Tell your friends about Everybody’s National Parks Visit our website https://www.everybodysnationalparks.com/ Send us your national park stories, recommendations, comments, or questions to Hello at everybodysnps.com. Support us on Patreon Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Please tag us from the parks you are visiting at #everybodysnationalparks and @everybodysnationalparks

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