Crossing Terlingua Creek
Days 2 & 3 of our journey found us in the vast expanse of Big Bend. We drove down to Santa Elena Canyon - a 1,500 foot deep canyon carved by the Rio Grande River. To get there, we had to cross an offshoot of the Rio Grande - and boy was it a muddy journey in crossing! To the left is a pic of Neda gettin' dirty in the crossing and below is a shot of why it was worth it!  

A 1.5 miles hike led to breathtaking views of the canyon - thanks for the Joby mom!
After Santa Elena we spent the rest of the day traveling through Big Bend exploring canyons made of volcanic tuff, old Ranch Houses from the 1920s, a box canyon formed by flash floods, and at night we headed to Dugout Wells (an Oasis in the desert where trees cluster together like children 'round a water hose in the summer).
This morning we got up at 6am and headed to the Lost Mine Trail in the Chisos Mountains (where our Lodge is located). The 1,100 foot ascent led to wonderful views of the Casa Grande Mountain and the "window" (a gap in the mountains that allows one to see deep into the desert - the sun sets right in the middle of the window each night).
The peak of the Lost Mines Trail overlooking Casa Grande on the left and the "window" in the middle of the picture
  From a spiritual perspective, we were struck at how the mountains and dikes in the park were created by lava flow over millions of years. You could see the different layers that had built upon each other over time to create the beautiful mountains we gazed upon. These layers reminded me of our own psyches - experiences stacked together over time to create something that seems so solid and real. These mountains are the sum total of their layers - and yet they are something more. The layers come together to create a beauty that no single layer has on its own. Our own personalities are like this - even the volcanic, violent layers we add through difficult times come together to create a beauty that would otherwise not be possible. That's it for now travel friends - see you in Marfa!  

Oh, and if you would like to see more pictures of this leg of the trip, click here
Samantha K
7/19/2011 10:44:16 pm

Great pics and wonderul narrative! What an experience! Keep 'em coming!!

7/22/2011 07:58:08 am

Hi Jeff & Neda. Actually the layered rock you see is probably not volcanic...it is sedimentary. Sedimentary rock is formed by chemical and other processes in sea beds. This part of Texas was covered by seas for millions of years. Then about 45 mil years ago, volcanic activity pushed up through the now dry and formed sedimentary layers...turning them every angle and mixing the two types of earth and rock in the form of mountains in the midst of vast lowland plains. It is a special ancient place.


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