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New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!

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Offline marufo

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New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« on: April 18, 2016, 09:55:18 AM »
"The Texas Bighorn Society gave a $10,000 donation with private funds to Big Bend Ranch State Park to locate a viewing area for the Ranch's bighorns on FM170 west of The Big Hill, about 1/2 way on the west side downgrade. A free high power telescope is mounted under the shelter for close-up viewing.

The viewing area was completed within the last two weeks and is now ready for visitors to enjoy. I was told by a member of the park staff that they are mostly active in the early morning. Take an opportunity to 'get up before breakfast' and run out 20 miles west of Lajitas to enjoy this new feature of our sister park. It is understood that, according to the Austin 360 news article, link below, that overnight dry camping will also be also be allowed - check with the Warnock Visitor Center for further details."

See also http://www.austin360.com/news/lifestyles/recreation/experts-work-to-re-establish-bighorn-sheep-populat/nqq8L/
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 04:47:11 PM by RichardM »

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Offline ambersdad

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2016, 11:16:06 AM »
Thanks for posting this.  My question is would be is this right on FM170? And my Chevy Uplander be able to handle to road?
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2016, 12:08:41 PM »
This viewing station is at the La Cuesta river access on the West side of Santana Mesa, aka the Big Hill. FM 170 is paved from Lajitas to Presidio, though the hill can be challenging for older engines and vehicles with heavy loads. The viewing station is part of the park, so make sure and get a permit at either Barton Warnock Visitor Center or at Fort Leaton State Historic Site on your way.
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline ambersdad

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2016, 12:43:45 PM »
This viewing station is at the La Cuesta river access on the West side of Santana Mesa, aka the Big Hill. FM 170 is paved from Lajitas to Presidio, though the hill can be challenging for older engines and vehicles with heavy loads. The viewing station is part of the park, so make sure and get a permit at either Barton Warnock Visitor Center or at Fort Leaton State Historic Site on your way.

Thanks for the info! I'll check it out.
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

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Offline ambersdad

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2016, 08:24:14 AM »
This quote  is on the Ranch website "The Sauceda Ranger Station is 27 miles of rugged, dirt road from FM 170. This is the only way in or out of the interior of the park." 

Does this mean high clearance?   Since it's been a day or two since I last walked the halls of higher education, I checked the definition of rugged, "(of ground or terrain) having a broken, rocky, and uneven surface"  which makes me think maybe not, but borderline.   I don't consider my Uplander high clearance, but it's not a go cart either.  Has anyone ventured that road with something less than ideal?
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2016, 11:31:35 AM »
"Does this mean high clearance?" - Not necessarily. I have seen all sorts of sedans and small cars make it just fine. What it means is that you go slow and use your best judgement regarding both the road and the weather. An Uplander should be fine.

BTW, if you are looking for bird shots, get an early AM stop at Ojito Adentro. There is a nice little riparian area accessible by a short hike that should not disappoint.
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline ambersdad

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2016, 12:03:24 PM »
"Does this mean high clearance?" - Not necessarily. I have seen all sorts of sedans and small cars make it just fine. What it means is that you go slow and use your best judgement regarding both the road and the weather. An Uplander should be fine.

BTW, if you are looking for bird shots, get an early AM stop at Ojito Adentro. There is a nice little riparian area accessible by a short hike that should not disappoint.

Thanks again. Ojito Adentro was a stop I was hoping I could do when asking about the road.  I'm planning on a few days at BBRSP.  Probably head over there Friday morning and and head back to the park Sunday afternoon. 
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2016, 12:58:28 PM »
Randomly enough, one of the best birding spots in the area is the cooling pond at Lajitas Resort. The water comes out of the well so hot that it has to be cooled before it can be treated, so a lush riparian area has developed around the pool and it attracts lots of migrating birds on their way through the region.
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline ambersdad

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2016, 01:05:16 PM »
Randomly enough, one of the best birding spots in the area is the cooling pond at Lajitas Resort. The water comes out of the well so hot that it has to be cooled before it can be treated, so a lush riparian area has developed around the pool and it attracts lots of migrating birds on their way through the region.

That's interesting. So their well is tapping into a hot spring?   That is random.  Wonder how many times that happens?  I'll have to take a peek on the way through. 
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

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Offline BlindWilly

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2016, 02:09:35 PM »
This quote  is on the Ranch website "The Sauceda Ranger Station is 27 miles of rugged, dirt road from FM 170. This is the only way in or out of the interior of the park." 

Does this mean high clearance?   Since it's been a day or two since I last walked the halls of higher education, I checked the definition of rugged, "(of ground or terrain) having a broken, rocky, and uneven surface"  which makes me think maybe not, but borderline.   I don't consider my Uplander high clearance, but it's not a go cart either.  Has anyone ventured that road with something less than ideal?
This might help give you an idea of the road.
it's at 2X speed, we weren't racing the Baja 500, lol
"No matter where you go, there you are"
-Buckaroo Bonzai

www.txpedition.com

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Offline ambersdad

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2016, 02:31:13 PM »
Thanks BlindWilly! That looks nicer than some of the paved state highways here in Oklahoma.  I'll be right at home.  Even if I can't do it 2X.   ;)
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

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Offline Hang10er

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2016, 02:45:16 PM »
I remember that road not needing 4X4 or anything, it's just washboarded-rough and will shake the color off your truck.  I also remember someone on here giving me a tip.  About 7 miles from the park entrance start watching for the canyon walls to start closing in (Bofecillos Canyon), you'll cross a small creek bed if I remember.  There's a little pull off and if you walk back a short ways, there's some nice sites along the cliff.  My son and I had a good time in the shade of the overhang studying the art.


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Offline ambersdad

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2016, 02:58:13 PM »
I remember that road not needing 4X4 or anything, it's just washboarded-rough and will shake the color off your truck.  I also remember someone on here giving me a tip.  About 7 miles from the park entrance start watching for the canyon walls to start closing in (Bofecillos Canyon), you'll cross a small creek bed if I remember.  There's a little pull off and if you walk back a short ways, there's some nice sites along the cliff.  My son and I had a good time in the shade of the overhang studying the art.

Thanks Hang10er!  I noticed BindWilly did slow down a few times for the washboards.   And thanks for the tip on the Bofecillos Canyon art.
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

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Offline alan in shreveport

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2016, 03:41:01 PM »
Randomly enough, one of the best birding spots in the area is the cooling pond at Lajitas Resort. The water comes out of the well so hot that it has to be cooled before it can be treated, so a lush riparian area has developed around the pool and it attracts lots of migrating birds on their way through the region.

RT - would that be the pond I see on Google Earth just south of 170 when it  (170) makes its turn at Lajitas and very near the river ? It looks like its on the same side of 170 but just west of the fancy hotel and  associated buildings ?

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: New Feature at Big Bend Ranch State Park!
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2016, 04:19:53 PM »
That's the one. Many of the naturally occurring springs along the Rio Grande are geothermal, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that a well excavated along the same river should return hot water. It has apparently been a major hassle for the resort, however, as hot water running through limestone has a nasty habit of being extraordinarily hard as a result of the dissolved carbonates. Remember that the next time you take a drink of the water from the fountain at the Barton Warnock Center!
"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

 


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