Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bat's - and on the road again!

This is the Congress Bridge in Austin - everyone standing there is waiting for bats! Every year 1.5 million Mexican bats make their home under this bridge. They are welcome visitors since they can eat their weight in bugs every night!

Skyline of Austin from Lady Bird Lake

We are leaving Austin tomorrow...we'll miss our new friends (and old friends that we became reaquainted with) and I'll miss the Texas Country music (espcecially the Roadhouse on KVET). We won't miss the traffic though!! We are headed to Bryan to see friends and then up to Dallas to meet up with Stephanie, Brian and Sydney and then on up to Lawton to see Gretchen, David and Dulce. After that Scott goes back to work and I head up to Anchorage for a couple of weeks. Looking forward to visiting with everyone!!

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is located in Southwest Texas and is part of the Chihuahuan Desert (one of four deserts in North America) and is 801,163 acres (the 15th largest National Park). We decided to visit and the only regret we have is that we weren't able to stay longer!
The Rio Grande - it borders 118 miles of the park. There are no border crossings within the park and most of the Mexican side of the river is also park.

Hot Springs - the water in the background is the Rio Grande and it was cold compared to the pool itself. We didn't get in since the air temp was in the 80's!

Just one of the many beautiful rock formations we saw in the park. This one was in Chiso's Basin which is in the middle of the park.

I just loved this sign - never a good sign when the trailhead show's your going to be heading uphill from the start!

Here are a few of the views we saw after we hiked up hill for 2 miles...I have to say the best part was how cool it was up there compared to the valley floor!

Scott likes to get too close to the edge for me...

We tried to get some pictures of all of the colors on the rocks but only a few turned out. We ran into an 89 year young man who was telling us about the rock formations...it was interesting but what was more fascinating was listening to his stories about flying bombing missions during World War II.

We'll celebrate our 21st Wedding Anniversary this June...seems like just yesterday!!

This is Santa Elena Canyon - on the left is Mexico and on the right is the US.

A view from the top of the climb - once again the Rio Grande. One of the things that struck us about this area is how quickly it changes as you drive across the park.

After walking up the canyon the path brought us back down to the floor - this is from the beach as far up the canyon as you can hike.

A storm rolling in from the Sotol Vista overlook.

We drove one of the 4 wheel drive roads in the park on our way to Santa Elena Canyon - this is called Luna's Jacal. The reader board said that Luna lived with his family in this "home" back in the 1940's.

Terlingua Ghost town cemetary. Terlingua is a town just west of the border of the park.

A distant view of "the window." This is also in Chiso's Basin.

Part of the stairs carved out by the Civilian Conservation Corp between 1934 - 1942.

An upclose view of the window...

We enjoyed all of the blooming plants and tried to capture their colors. This is an ocotillo plant and probably our favorite.

I'm disapointed with this picture now that it's on the blog - in the full size picture it's amazing with the rock formation, the ocotillo and the cactus...

A close up view of the ocotillo bloom.

We took so many pictures of these blooming cactus it was tough to pick out the best ones!

This cactus is a beautful purple.

Scott calls these the Dr Suess trees

We thought this was interesting with the many different forms of plant life all growing near each other.

A Javelina!!! And Larry said they didn't exist...

Javelina look like pigs but aren't related to them. We watched one on the trail eat a cactus and decided that we didn't want to mess with them!


They are so cute!

Turkey Vulture - these birds are not cute!!