All Things Inspired By Desert Living & Loving ~ Big Bend Country, Far West Texas ~ Graphic Designs

Five and Half Minutes of Big Bend Love

I find this short video to be a very informative, albeit brief overview of what Big Bend has to offer.
I give you a few books below if this piques your interest and you want to know more!
Which wouldn’t surprise me in the least . . . 😉

It features the Rio Grande, some really interesting factoids and key resources that may be helpful when you are interested in planning your very first visit to Big Bend (*finally*).

For some reason things are more evident to me in script as well as in audio. I am always searching for articles or transcripts that go along with videos – that may be just me, but just in case it helps you, I provided a transcript with the resource links.

Sit back and enjoy:

“Brewster County Texas is the largest county in a large state, an unbridled wilderness on the Mexico border. Rugged, remote and sparsely populated Big Bend is known as the gateway to Big National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. I’ve heard this area is as contrasting in its beauty as it is cut off from the mainstream world.

But I want to find out for myself, so I have arranged to meet with Mike Davidson from the Brewster County Tourism Council and

The first place that Mike takes me is Lajitas Stables in Big Bend Ranch State Park. The largest park in the state.

{Janelle DeGroot, Lajitas Stables} Which is kinda nice, giving us over 350,000 acres to play with. Lots of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, horse-back riding, bird watching, sight seeing, pretty much anything you can handle. 

I ask Janelle if she could describe her ideal day in Big Bend.

{Janelle DeGroot} I personally would love to get a horse and tool around in the wild and crazy parts of the park, but that’s not necessarily something that everybody would want to do. 

What makes Big Bend region so attractive is there’s more than likely something that you would want to do. Park Interpreter, David Elkowitz, refers to Big Bend National Park as three parks in one, because its landscape changes so dramatically. Basically its a desert nurtured by the Rio Grande, creating a mixed tableau of water and earth; a palette of arid browns and tropical greens. It also happens to be one of the most biologically diversed parks in the states.

{David Elkowitz} Including the most birds, the most cactus, the most bats. The most species of butterflies and even the most species of reptiles and scorpions. You can step off of any part of Big Bend, any paved road, any trail, any dirt road, even ten feet and find something you might not expect: new plant, some part of our cultural history, petrified wood, something unusual. 

Within hours, I go from a trial ride through corrugated foothills to a scenic float down the Rio Grande. The river whose sharp curve through Texas gives the park its name and the state its unique shape.

{male in navy shirt manning raft} Here we are around big hill, one of the most scenic drives through the Big Bend area. And it is between Lajitas and Presidio. Open desert is okay, but canyons are more impressive, dramatic, spectacular, and also provide us  some shade. This is a road, a different road, and this is a different vehicle.  

I later catch up with David Hennington of the aptly named Far Flung Outdoor Center. His company runs everything from rafting to canoe trips, to jeep and ATV tours throughout the park.

The best way to see the canyon, truly, is to spend a couple of nights down there. Go do an overnight or a three-day trip and float. We have five canyons out here  to select from and they’re all fantastic.

The following morning I arise early. The sun ascends in southwest Texas just after 8:00 a.m., illuminating a distant canyon wall, then finally climbing above the mountains. My first stop today is Terlingua, a once thriving mercury mining town that shut down for good in the 1940s. It has now resurrected itself as a tourist stop.

{male tour guide} Behind here is the Perry Mansion. And this mine was developed around the turn of the century, around 1905 by Howard Perry an industrialist from Chicago and he made quite a bit of money of the works here and built this money for his own benefit and his wife who came down one day and took a big look and turned around and went back to Chicago never to return again.

{female in red tshirt} All these structures out here, are they for the miners or were there actually families. 

{male tour guide} Well, the miners were allowed to build their own.

{female in orange tshirt} You come out here and the weather’s always gorgeous and everybody’s so freindly and its a wonderful place to visit.

{female in red tshirt} This area gets in your blood and . . .

{female in orange tshirt} It does. Absolutely it does.

{female in red tshirt} . . . you don’t lose it.

{female in orange tshirt} Yeah!

The scenery changes quickly in Big Bend region. Just a few miles from Terlingua’s desert-scape the terrain turns lush and green.  I’ve come here to hike the one mile trail to Cattail Falls in the flanks of Chisos Mountains.

{female in skirt} So, the sotol plants that are growing in the desert right here. The stalks were used locally to provide shade in what we call a ‘ramada.’

{Mike Davidson,} Here we are at Big Bend National Park, at Cattail Falls, there’s a species of orchid that grows here and just lots of little, tiny species that don’t exist for many miles  outside of this canyon.

After a short rest at Cattail Falls, a hike to the gorge at Saint Elenea Canyon, and watch a raft float down the Rio Grande. The river runs 1700 miles from its source at the Colorado Rockies to the Gulf of Mexico.

{Mike Davidson,} Its a very capricious river, but one that I’ve been oddly familiar with for the 33 years that I’ve been living in this area and there’s nothing like it. 

Later, I ask Mike what kept him here so long. He tells me that even after all this time, he can still hike into the back country and feel like he’s the first person  ever to set foot in that particular location. In a place as rugged and remote as this, I’m not surprised, but I sure am glad.

{Mike Davidson,} Its very rewarding for me to see people leave and go back home kind of with a new perspective on their own lives, and kind of with a little smile on their face. And many of them fall in love with this area and come back year after year.

As promised, here are some titles that may interest those with Big Bend Love available at:


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