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Past Adventures

Spring Break 2007 - Boyd's Big Bend Adventure : (Part III)

The sights include : The Road Runner Deli; A Hike into Santa Elena Canyon; Hot Springs; Lastly, the Sights and Stops along Hwy 90 While Driving Home!!!  (Judge Roy Bean and the city of Langtry, the Sights of Del Rio, Fort Clark Springs; Sights in Hondo; Sights of Castroville Luling Oil Pumps and once again, Rimasaurus in San Felipe.)  (And We Missed All That Rain, Yahoo !!!)

Great !!!  You are back again.  If you are coming in new to the story, then I suggest you start at the beginning by clicking on the link below :

Spring Break 2007 - Boyd's Big Bend Adventure : (Part I)

            Or, if you missed Part II of the story, click on the link below :

Spring Break 2007 - Boyd's Big Bend Adventure : (Part II)

          I promise, this is the last page in the report.  Hum, where was I at in this story? Oh yes, now I remember....... 

Star Date : 03/12/2007 - Tuesday, Back to the Bend !!! (As always, click on the picture for for a larger image and click on the links for photos surprises.)

          Well, our tent held up through the night.  Thank GOD !!!  We got ourselves ready for the day and headed back into the park.  We decided to take it easy on ourselves and just hit 1 or 2 sights for the day.  This time, we are going to hit the Santa Elena Canyon trail. 

          We were a little late in starting out, so we passed through Study Butte, we stopped by the Road Runner Cafe for a sandwich for breakfast and a sandwich to take with us for lunch.  If you are in the area and want a great sandwich, then this is the place to go. 

Santa Elena Canyon Trail .....

          I saw some beautiful views the last time I was here.  But, we were canoeing to get to those sights.  This time, we will have to hike the trail that runs along the Rio Grand River into the canyon.  The good part of all of this, is that most of the trail is in the shade!

          But before we get started, we did see some interesting sights on the way over there.  First, was a short stop to Tuff Canyon :

Tuff Canyon 1 ,   Tuff Canyon 2

          Of coarse one of the prized rock formations out there was Mule Ears :

Mule Ears Peaks (So, can you guess why they named it that?)

          We were soon back on the road again and this time exploring the east side of the park.  We finally made it to the trail head and began our hike.  Click on the photo links below to see the sights along the trail :

Santa Elena Canyon from the Scenic Viewing Area

The Rio Grande Below

At the Top Looking West

A View of the River

Look at All of the Geological History

Another View of the River

End of Trail

          This really is a nice short hike into some scenic areas of the park. The only tough parts about it are at the beginning where you have to trek through sand and then a stair climb on up.  But after that point, it's all down hill.

          I guess my only disappointment is the length of the trail.  I was really hoping we could get a lot farther along as I experienced it from my canoe trip out here last time.  For more sights of this area from my last trip out here, click on the link below :

Big Bend 2002

          After this little hike, we then ventured way to the other side of the park to se the park's famous Hot Springs.....

Hot Springs ......

          Hot Springs is on the east side of the park.  We saw the sign for the turn-off and headed on in.  By the way, while at the Rio Grande Village yesterday, we found a trail that lead to this place.  This time, we took the road.  A word of caution.  The road here is as bad as some of the primitive roads out here.  Be sure to use a high clearance vehicle.  I just did not remember this from last time. 

          We made it without losing my muffler, and begin to explore the area.  I was very interested in seeing the ancient Indian Petroglyphs again.  By now, you should know the routine, click on the photo links below to see the sights :

Ruins of the Old General Store

More Hot Springs Ruins

Petroglyphs 1 ,   Petroglyphs 2

Petroglyphs 3Petroglyphs 4

Trail to the Hot Springs

The Hot Springs

More of the Hot Springs Trail

Crossing the Rio Grande

          A few more comment about this place.  Personally, I think this is the perfect place to go with your sweetie during the evening when there is less of a crowd around and you and your honey can really relax.  Again, we were there during Spring Break and saw the park crowded at it's very limits.  It seemed like everyone was there.  So make plans to do this before or after the Spring Break season.  Also, make sure you drive a high clearance vehicle to the site unless you want to hike 3 miles from the Rio Grande Village. 

          After the tour of this sight, we headed back to Terlingua Ranch and our campsite.  We were just happy that our tent held up while we were gone.  Also, those noisy RV'ers had moved on.  So we enjoyed the night skies and prepared for the trip home the next day.  With that being the end to our treks into Big Bend National Park, then for more information, click on the link below for their website :

Big Bend National Park

Star Date : 03/13/2007 - Wednesday, The Drive Home, Bummer !!!

          We got ourselves ready for the day and checked ourselves out of Terlingua Ranch.  I had decided to take Boyd on the Hwy 90 route back to San Antonio which would enable him to see more of Texas.  Since mom was taking care of Paula's kids, we had to be back ASAP so Boyd could drive everyone home from my house.  So, the following sites were more of a drive-by tour to save on time.  We headed north on Hwy 118 to Alpine where we gassed up again and then traveled east on Hwy 90 to Marathon.  In Marathon, we viewed the old Gage Motel and Restaurant.   Of coarse Johnny B's is a good place for a frozen treat :

The Gage Motel

The Gage Motel's Restaurant 1

The Gage Motel Restaurant 2

and Johnny B's

           After Marathon, the next stop was at Langtry to visit Judge Roy Bean's Place.  This place must be ran by some Texas Department of Tourism because you can pick up free maps of Texas here along with all kinds of literature on where to go and what to do in Texas.  In addition of picking up some sight-seeing literature, I also made the rounds out back to the Judges bar and home.  See the photo links below to see what can be found there :

Bean's Bar

Inside Bean's Bar 1  ,   Inside Bean's Bar 2

Lilly Langtry

Inside the Billiards Room  ,   Used Legs from the Pool Table

Bean's Home  ,   Inside Bean's Home

Bean's Home's Walls

          Boyd told me that he had never heard of Ole' Bean even though they made several movies about him and his life.  So, if you haven't heard of him also, then click on the link below for the down-low on him :

Judge Roy Bean, The Law West of the Pecos

          We then continued east into Del Rio where we finally had lunch at a local Wendy's.  From there, we passed through Brackettville and did a drive by of the old Fort Clark Springs.  See the photo links below :

 The Golf Course  ,  Lodges

Office  ,   Store

          Fort Clark Springs was once another one of those frontier forts.  However, through private investment, it was turned into a resort fit for families and for corporate retreats.  For more information on the fort, please click on the link below :

Fort Clark Springs

          After that drive-by, we continued east on Hwy 90.  Of coarse while in Hondo, we passed by Bruce's Rock Shop, but it was closed.  And then, I had to point out Hondo's Welcome sign.

          We made into Castroville and I was quick to point out that Paula's and my ancestors originally settle her from Germany.  The city has a sister city in an area now belonging to France who has helped them over the years with the construction of a building native to that back in the France/Germany.  So there she is :

The Pride of Castroville, The Steinbach House

          I have heard that construction on the house is finally completed and there will be a celebration this month or next with an open house.  For more information on Historic Castroville, please click on the link below :

Historic Castroville

          After Castroville, we finally came into San Antonio.  Sorry, Tom and Kathy.  We would have loved to have stopped by and say hello, but we were on a tight time schedule to get home.

          From San Antonio, we then took I-10 eastward and did a little drive-by through Luling to view their metal art oil jack pumps.  We did find two more than what I had already have photographed:

A Dinosaur Pump Jack

A Watermelon Pump Jack

          The one last roadside attraction we saw off of I-10 before hitting the back roads to my house was the "Rimasaurus".  Click below for the photo :

Rimasaurus 1

Rimasaurus 2

          After entering the back roads to Lake Jackson, we noticed that there was a fair amount of rain down here.  All I can say about that is that I'm thankful that we missed it all.  We finally made it home and Boyd took the kids back home for the rest of their Spring Break.

          This really was a great adventure and a number of new contacts were made.  Thanks Boyd for keeping my straight on the road and your creative talents on resurrecting a dead tent.  I do hope everyone out there had a fun, but safe, Spring Break.

          By the way, when I got back home, I received a postcard advertisement for a new rock shop in the Brazoria area called the Wild Peach Rock Shop.  I paid the shop a visit so, check it out at the link below :

Wild Peach Rock Shop

       So, until next time, take care and I'll  See you... on the road, or in the workshop, (which is really just my garage) !!!!

                                                     Francis                        

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 Copyright 1999 by [The Texas Road Runners - Francis Kiefel]. All rights reserved.