We’ve been basically following this route called the Southern Tier (mapped by the US equivalent of Sustrans) but back in Johnson City during our stay with the lovely Charlie and James decided to make a bit of a detour (about 170 miles…) to Big Bend, Texas’ National Park. And we’re really glad we did!
It started back in Marathon a few days ago now over an expensive coffee or three – we were umm-in and ahh-in for a LONG time (seriously) because of reports of a windstorm coming in that was going to last a couple of days. Having already spent a couple of days cycling into said wind we were not sure if a. It was all that safe, and b. It would be fun. We were also stumped by how we were going to sort where we were going to camp, it’s the tail end of Spring Break and we knew the park’s bookable spots were all gone but walk-in sites are available on a first come first-served basis. Anyway, we went for it. Obvs.
It was flipping beautiful! Oh, and hot. Very hot. We never actually made it to the basin which is the bit everyone talks about (google: Chisos Basin, Big Bend, that’s all we’ve seen of it too 😉 ) because by the time we got there (it’s 40miles from the park entrance) all walk-in camps had been nabbed by smug, air conditioned car-dwellers. Time for Plan B (which was actually about plan C as hitching a lift up wasn’t working) which was to keep cycling on through the park to a site on the outside! Via a grocery store for supplies. I mean ice cream and parmesan – not together, that would be weird.
We stayed near Big Bend for a Gand total of 4 days and loved it all. Edwards was the quietest I’ve heard him other than when he’s eating/asleep, I think he was slightly overwhelmed.
Once we’d had our fill of both the ‘Bend and our tent neighbours’ eggs and bacon 😛, it was time to pack up and move out and so on we rode. You remember the lovely couple Charlie and James we met in Johnson City no. Austin? Well, after many messages and changing of plans (A, B, C and D), after a morning ride James came out to meet and DRIVE us along the beautiful river road to their cabin in Fort David for the night. YES, we got a lift and I am SO glad. THE HILLS! Eeeek! I don’t think we’d have been able to cover the distance we’d have needed to otherwise without a shed load of food and water = so much weight + Serious sense of humour failures all round. Thank you James, we had such a great time with you and owe you big time!
Here are some lovely photos of the beautiful park that we didn’t quite manage to walk in (until we snuck in through the back of our campsite, shhhh) and the lovely James. We’re going to do a Texas photo album soon with lots more photos… whoop!