Big Bend Visit part 3

We really had a great day with the rain and cool temps. Enjoy some more photos of our day in the Big Bend National Park.

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Great views to the South on our hike.

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Heading to the Basin
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Winding road
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Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
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High Desert Country
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Rain makes it green
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Another Black-Throated Sparrow

I’m looking forward to going back asap. The summer rains has made everything green.

Big Bend Visit part 2

I took about 300+ photos on our visit yesterday so it’s taken a while to go through them. Here is a few more I wanted to share.

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A view from our hike
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It’s amazing where and how plants grow out here.
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See what I mean…This looks to be solid rock, I suppose there is some soil in there somewhere.
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Great views from our hike. This is Santa Elena Canyon
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Same place, just zoomed in
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Storm approaching
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View from Sotol Vista overlook
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View of the storm in the Basin from Sotol Vista Overlook
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Empty Flower cups

More to come….

Big Bend National Park Visit

We planned on a few hikes down at the park today despite the threat of rain.

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Low clouds were still over the tops of the mountains when we arrived this morning.
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Beautiful scenery
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We hiked around to a dry wash and down to the spring

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Interesting rock walls
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Santa Elena Canyon seen in the distance
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Small pour-off from the dry wash
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This area will hold water when it rains and fall down to the spring
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A small cave on one side
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Mule deer

As we were coming back I noticed some clouds towards the basin area.

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Looked like it was raining just east of us

We finally got back to the trail head and wanted to check out the rain clouds

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Stopped by Sotol Vista overlook and it was booming thunder and lightning at the basin
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The Basin was getting hammered with rain
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This is part of the old Homer Wilson Blue Creek Ranch. It was here long before the National Park was established.

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Saw this swallowtail as we were leaving to go to the basin
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A few miles down the road and lots of water was flowing across
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This dry wash is no longer dry
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Black-Throated Sparrow
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We later found out the basin had received 1 inch rain in less than an hour. Water was flowing down the side of the mountains.
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Texas Madrone Tree. These are odd looking trees
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Another waterfall
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And one more…

Not a lot of hiking but a great day, cool rain made it enjoyable. We headed back and run into more rain on the way to Marathon. Once we arrived back it had rained there as well.

Alpine Cowboy Baseball Game

Alpine is home to the Alpine Cowboys baseball team and we went to a game last night. Lots of people support this team and the park is first class. The Cowboys are in the Pecos league and not affiliated with any major or minor league teams. Free parking, and $6.00 tickets. We sat in the shade as they played the White Sands Pupfish. Temperature was 82 degrees.

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The Kokernot Ranch “06” brand was incorporated into decorations in the stadium along with ironwork of baseballs with painted threads as seen above at the ticket window.

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Texas Monthly magazine has called the field “the Yankee Stadium of Texas”. A 1951 exhibition game featuring Satchel Paige’s St. Louis Browns and the Chicago White Sox had around 6,000 fans attending.  Norm Cash and Gaylord Perry also played on Kokernot Field and went on to be major league players. The stadium was constructed in 1947 by Big Bend area rancher Herbert Lee Kokernot Jr. for his semi- professional baseball team. He had red clay for the infield hauled in by boxcar from Georgia. Native stone originated from the Kokernot Ranch and was used to construct the outfield wall and grandstand. Read more about the history HERE

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Our ticket taker. (She loved us taking her picture)
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Both teams on the field during the Star Spangled Banner. Alpine in red.
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PLAY BALL !!
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All the kids ran after the foul balls. Here is a girl next to us that got one.
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Banner with more info on the Kokernot namesake of the stadium.
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Most of the seating is shaded. The crowd was pretty large for a Monday night.
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Serious scorekeeper in front of us.
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This is the “Cowgirl” passing the hat. When a player hits a home run they pass the hat for donations and the $$ collected goes to that player.
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Time to turn the lights on
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Lots of entertainment between innings. Here some kids are doing circles on a bat and then have to run to the bases for a prize.
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Cowboys were behind early in the game but had a 5 run inning and won the game 9-3

What a great evening of entertainment. We will certainly be back for more!!

 

 

 

Moon over Agave

Been a hot day, the hottest yet this summer. 99-100 depending on where you were, a little breeze but still hot. Walked around a bit before it got dark.

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We have a huge agave on the entrance-about 25-30 feet and still growing. Moon in the background, with a train passing by.

Making Walking Sticks

I saw some homemade walking sticks in a state park recently and decided I could make them myself. When we were in East Texas earlier in the year I harvested a few red cedar limbs for this purpose. The bark was stripped off a few months ago and put up to dry out a little. After arriving in the Big Bend I learned that the yucca plants have a flower stalk that makes a great light weight but tough walking stick. Like East Texas has plenty of red cedar, the Big Bend has an abundance of yucca.

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The flower stalk in the middle blooms every year and then dies. Right after it blooms and drops the seed pods is the right time to harvest for a walking stick.

The flower stalk is not a wood, so no grain shows up when staining them, but they are very light weight and will last a long time. The texture is very tough and durable.

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Here is one I just cut and started removing the top layer as seen here on the bottom part.
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As almost all plants out in the desert there are thorns to remove.
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This is a close up after the top layer was removed with my pocket knife.
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A pile of the top layer of the yucca stalk
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Finished stripping it down. This piece is about 6 ft long.

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More later when I have a few totally finished. You can customize them with medallions, lanyards, carvings, and more. We will see how creative I get.(probably not much)