Big Bend National Park is a People Experience

I have been in Texas for a few weeks. I kept thinking I was going to Big Bend National Park but I kept getting diverted. There is so much to see and do. I now have the time to explore. It is fun to pull into little towns, wildlife refuges and more. I like casually exploring.

Since my last post I have explored a very small section, of a very large state. Texas is 1.26 times as big as France. It is a huge state. Big Bend is a large National Park and it takes up a wee tiny spot in Texas. See the spot of green on the Texas map. It is above the Texas decal on the map. That is Big Bend.

The Indians said that after making the Earth, the Great Spirit simply dumped all the leftover rocks on the Big Bend. This park is a very rugged mountainous area and recieved it’s name from the big bend in the Rio Grand River, which follows it’s southern border. It is certainly a land of dichotomy. As part if the Chihuahuan Desert, it is arid and dry. Everything either pokes, sticks or scrapes. It is an environment that is always defending itself, for food and mostly water. Yet right along the southern border is this marvelous river and a delicious, green riparian zone. It attracts birds and other wildlife that might not be seen in the desert. Like I said a land of dichotomy.

Big Bend National Park

click on the pic to see it full size

When I first arrived here it was hot. I am not a fan of heat. On the third day a front went through and  the temperature changed over 40 degrees from the 90’s to the 40’s. It was hot and then it was cold. What the heck is with that?

I met another solo RV’er while I was on the east side of the park. Peggy is full timing in her small rig. She was fun and willing to give most things a try. We hiked and toured and most of all laughed together. It was fun to be with someone else. We even took the ferry (a rowboat) across the Rio Grand to Mexico for a few hours. Don’t even get me started on the burro episode.

Today we parted ways but are planning on meeting up again before I head west to San Diego.

I met John and Carol on the west side of the park. They invited me for dinner. I miss having company for my meals so this certainly was a delight. Their excitement was when I told them that I had ice cubes. Margaritas taste just that bit nicer when chilled with ice. 🍹

I enjoy the company of others. It gets a bit lonely sometimes out here on-the-road. Most times I do not mind being alone yet it is certainly nice to have the company of others. I find that after being on my own for a time, I have to make sure I give other people a chance to talk. Maybe i should carry a talking stick.

It is fun to share experiences. It is interesting to share our experiences of living in our small homes on wheels.

Now I am on my way north and west. I am not sure exactly where I am going yet. There are more things to see and do out there, and hopefully more fun and interesting people to meet.

Stay Tuned.

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When Life Gives You Lemons…

My Campsite north of Westport, CA

My Campsite north of Westport, CA

For the past few weeks I have been traveling the west coast in my Roadtrek. I have literally been traveling the coast following route 1 and 101 north from Los Angeles. I have been enjoying the cool air while so many were suffering through a heat wave.

When I arrived in Crescent City, California a good friend, Cat and her two dogs, joined me for four days. It was fun to have company and see a part of the United States I have never seen before.

janet & Cat getting ready to ride.

janet & Cat getting ready to ride.

 

Cat and I are getting ready to embark on a journey together. She and her two dogs are bicycling the Pacific Coast Route. Me, Elsie and the Roadtrek are going to be her support team, otherwise known as the “sag wagon”. We will start in Vancouver, BC and finish at the Mexican border. It is a long ride and I have no doubt it will be fun.

We were planning to leave this week past. There has been a delay.

I have not learned yet, how important it is, to stop driving before one gets too tired. On Monday, I was running errands, after spending a lazy day on the beach, walking and photographing.  At the end of the day I did one errand too many. I pulled into the Home Depot Parking lot, parked my rig, leaned over to pick up my wallet, and the next thing I knew I was rolling over a curb and a rock. My Roadtrek was obviously not in park. While backing off I pulled my whole front bumper off.

There are many nice things about a small town, one of them is the people. After calling my roadside assistance with Coach-Net a local body repair man, Mike came to my rescue. With the help of a couple other RV’ers and Mike the bumper was temporarily put into place. When I asked Mike how much I owed him, he just waved me off. I gave him a hug instead of money. His kindness was appreciated.

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Bumper Bandaids

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Bumper Bandaids

The next day I made my way, via a beautiful drive through the redwoods and a few stops to zip tie loose areas of my bumper, to Medford Oregon. Medford is close to Ashland where Cat and I are meeting up to start the journey north. Thanks to the Roadtrek Facebook page, when I whined about my dilemma, I soon had two offers of places to stay in Medford while my front end is secured back into place.

I have been staying with Mary. I first met her last winter in Anza Borrego State Park. A little over a month later she and I and two other women met up in the desert again. This second meeting is when I fell and broke my ankle, while hiking. Sigh. We did form a good start to a friendship, one I hope endures.

Mary has been a perfect hostess and friend. She has helped divert me from obsessing over my stupidity and has been introducing me to Oregon. The first day we toured Lithia Park (designed by John McLaren who designed Golden Gate Park in San Francisco)  in the town of Ashland, met up with Cat for lunch and went wine tasting in the afternoon. It was relaxing and fun.

Sometime that afternoon I began to realize that I could just chastise myself over and over again or I could let it go and enjoy my side trip to Medford and Ashland.

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

Yesterday Mary and I spent the day hiking and touring at Crater Lake National Park. Here is a one word description of this park “Beautiful”. I don’t believe that a bad photo could be taken of this place. It was amazingly beautiful. The lake within the crater is the most beautiful color of blue. It is said that the water is so pure that you could dip your cup and drink right from the lake. The water comes completely from snow melt and rain. What keeps it so pure is that there is only one place on the lake where you can actually get to the shore and even that is restricted use. It was an amazing day and I am glad that I finally was able to see this spectacular place. it was good to get some hiking in, something I have not done much of lately.

Janet & Mary hike to a waterfall

Janet & Mary hike to a waterfall

Today, Friday my Roadtrek made it’s way to the shop. I am hoping that it may be ready to go my next Wednesday.

Recreational Marijuana Shop

Recreational Marijuana Shop

I realize that I have several choices on how I choose to act in any given situation. I was not hurt, my RT was a little hurt, Elsie was OK and this is a very temporary set back on a grand summer and fall adventure with a good friend. The lesson here is, there are many times I can make lemonade when I am given temporary lemons. Very few episodes or events are so dire that I cannot, at least attempt, to turn them around and discover something positive about the situation at the time. The past four days have been fun. I have been exploring a new area of the country and having fun with friends. I have visited my first recreational marijuana store (it’s legal here) and I was able to visit Crater Lake National Park which has long been on my list of must sees. Deepening the connection with Mary has certainly been worth while. I have been having fun.

Hopefully I won’t have to make too much lemonade on this trip. It is good to know that I can if I need to. I am looking forward to what fun thing I will do tomorrow. Today I am thankful for lemons and lemonade, good friends and beautiful expansive, preserved wilderness that I am privileged to explore.

Click below for Photos of the trip, so far.

Photos

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Redwoods

Afternoon Bath

Afternoon Bath