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Trip 12/27 to 1/1/10

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Offline eddie

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Trip 12/27 to 1/1/10
« on: January 09, 2010, 05:47:22 PM »
12/27/09: Wife and I left early from Spring, TX, dropping off the dog at our son’s place in Montgomery, and then headed out 290 through Fredericksburg to I-10, and then over and down to the Indian Lodge at Davis Mountains State Park.  The lodge is very nice, in a beautiful setting, but for supper that night at the Black Bear we had the worst service that I think I have ever had at a restaurant.  We waited well over an hour after ordering the special, and then the waitress came out to jokingly tell us they were out of specials. Knowing it would be a long time to order something else, we just left and had snacks in the room. Cautiously returned there in the morning and fortunately the service was better.

View of the lodge

12/28/09: Headed to Big Bend Ranch SP, taking the Casa Piedre road off of Rt. 67. Checked in at the Sauceda headquarters; and as the weather was looking a little “iffy” we only signed up for two nights at the Tascate 1 site. We have stayed at other sites at the ranch, but this was the first time at Tascate. The road to Tascate is recommended for high clearance vehicles. Didn’t have any problems in our Jeep Cherokee, but it could be a problem for anything lower.  Tascate 1 is located at the intersection of two washes back in a canyon where there is an old windmill and water tank- very nice sheltered, secluded spot. Parking is about a 100 ft from the camping area so any gear must be carried in. The night was cool, down in the 30’s and it rained fairly hard during the night. When we woke up Tuesday morning we half expected to see snow, but when we looked out of the tent we couldn’t see anything. The fog had rolled in completely filling the canyon, and most everywhere else.

Tascate 1 campsite in fog

12/29/09: The fog stayed around most of the day so we just took some short hikes. Cleared up in the afternoon.

View of Tascate 1 Campsite

12/30/09: Even though it rained during the night, the day turned out to be beautiful. We took a day hike down the wash to the south, past some interesting yellow rock formations and over to what I think is called Panther Mountain. Saw one male javelina; knew there must be more, but he and they were off through the brush before we could get a photo. Only problem with the Tascate 1 campsite is the remaining tail section of the windmill screeches when the wind blows. However, we could lie in the tent and tell when the wind was picking up.

Photo of campsite from yellow rocks.

Photo of Panther Mountain area with Chisos in Background

12/31/09: Another cold night, but beautiful sunny day. We were supposed to check out today but since we were having a good time and didn’t feel like driving back to the headquarters, and nobody else had showed up, we decided to just stay. Took a day hike down the wash on the north side of the “mountain” by the campsite and over several ridges to the east. Saw a large buck and about six does but no other wildlife. Very nice hike though. That night, as we were sitting around the campfire, we were treated to sounds that I have never heard before on many trips to Big Bend. It could only be described as a very loud growl, sometimes followed by a higher pitched whine. The sound was coming from one or more of the hills around us and went on intermittently for about a half an hour. I’m not sure if is the right time of year, but the only thing I could think of was one or more mountain lions serenading or mating. It didn’t sound like any coyote I had ever heard, and it was so throaty that it had to be a large animal.

Photo to the northwest from about 1 mile west of Tascate 1 campsite

1/1/10: Another cold night, 28F in the tent in the morning. After not seeing another human for 4 days, we packed up, went back to the Sauceda headquarters and settled up for the extra nights.  We headed toward BBNP taking the Bofecillos road shortcut; first time we had taken this road; wouldn’t want to take it after a heavy rain.  Stopped in Terlingua for the latter part of the black eye pea cook-off, and had a nice steak at the Starlight that evening, and then on to a room and shower at the Chisos Lodge.



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Re: Trip 12/27 to 1/1/10
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 07:37:25 PM »
Thanks for posting.  Nice pictures and trip report.


Offline jim2

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Re: Trip 12/27 to 1/1/10
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, 07:48:09 PM »
we don't get that many reports from BBRSP, thanks for posting yours.


Offline madplanter

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Re: Trip 12/27 to 1/1/10
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 01:43:36 PM »
great rare photos of BBRSP....thanks!

your 'animal sounds' description
seems like lion to me, but bobcats
make some crazy 'in heat' sounds too.

i love the casa piedra rd, but is is plenty
rough on the poor vehicle.


Re: Trip 12/27 to 1/1/10
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2010, 01:24:39 PM »
Thanks for the report!
I enjoy finding out what the other sites are like in the SP. Papalote Encino also has a windmill to aurally indicate how hard the wind is blowing.
I was just there myself 12/29-1/3; (for a moment I thought you might be the couple that stole my campsite, but nope).


Offline Robert

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Re: Trip 12/27 to 1/1/10
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2010, 01:58:29 PM »
Great report and pictures. We were in Big Bend NP at the same time and experienced the same weather including the fog. Hopefully someone will respond about the strange noises you heard. We must have been at the Starlight at the same time as well. We arrived as the Cookoff was ending and were among the first when the doors opened.
Funny the next day on the way back we ran into someone else we recognized from the Starlight at the Subway in Sonora.



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