Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!

  • 25 Replies
  • 5552 Views
*

Offline mcarlini

  • Jack Rabbit
  • *
  • 38
11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« on: November 08, 2009, 07:34:15 PM »
Wow! What can I say? I'll add pictures but here is the trip itself. I can't believe I made it and I can't believe my hubby Chris made it! Did I say WOW!

After a lot of practice hikes at Government Canyon and lots of questions to yíall and co-workers, we decided on the South Rim hike.

We left the house (live in San Antonio) Thursday, about 3 p.m. (got out of work a little early!) We took 90 out, fewer cars usually. Hit traffic in Uvalde, they were having some parade.

At the border patrol check point after Del Rio, we got to see one of the dogs in action. I think they were training the dog and put a little box of what I can only guess was drugs on the truck in front of us. The dog went NUTS! This box couldnít have been much bigger than a matchbook. It was very neat to see. The dog was rewarded with a game of tug o' war!

We hit Sanderson about 7 p.m. Ate at Eagles Nest Caf? Ė had a cheeseburger and Chris has the chicken strips. Pretty good food and it was cheap. I wonder if this caf? was named for the landmark in Langtry, where a pair of Golden Eagles nested?!

We stayed at the Outback Oasis, in one of the small rooms, per the recommendations on this site! It was nice for a small town motel. The owner was very nice and let me check out their snake collection. They had a few rattlesnakes that did not like being looked at.

Friday morning we left for Big Bend. We drove through the neatest fog cover. It was so thick, but you could still make out the rainbow it made! We ate breakfast at Johnny Bís in Marathon Ė yummy! This place is really neat, good food, good service, and very inexpensive.

We made it to the trail by 10:30. It was about 68 degrees. We decided to take the Laguna Meadows trail up to SW3. The hike was SO hard. I was excited since this was my first backpacking trip, but my husband was not as excited. By the time we got to the Laguna Meadows campsite, he told me if he knew it was going to be this difficult, he would have let me go alone! I am so glad I did my research, and I am so glad we hiked in Government Canyon with packs on, otherwise we would have been VERY poorly prepared.

We stopped just before the Blue Creek Fire overlook for lunch, what a view! Had I known this was right around the corner, I would have had lunch there, but we ate right on the trail instead. Oddly enough, (ha ha) we didnít see another person the entire time we ate. Right before we got to our campsite, we saw 2 adult and one baby deer, RIGHT in front of us. They didnít seem afraid of us at all.

We got to our site about 4:30 and ate dinner on the ledge at the back of the site. Such a pretty sunset. I think this is where my hubby started to realize it was worth the climb up. We were so tired but there was a perfect spot to huddle up and enjoy the view. It got cold very quick as soon as the sun set!

I had set up his tent and my bivy as soon as we got there, so after the sun went down we went to sleep, or TRIED to!

ALL night long, those three cute deer that werenít afraid of us AT ALL, trampled through our site. Up until Friday night I always thought deer were these beautiful, graceful creatures. These guys did not fit that description. They were loud, clumsy (at least they sounded clumsy), and kept waking us up all night. :eusa_doh: It was pretty comical.

Saturday morning we got up about 5:45. Started packing up and enjoyed the sunrise. The deer came back and brought friends Ė at one point there were 7 or 8 watching us. The sun rise was amazing from this site. Yíall know this, but you could see the Santa Elena and the Mule Ears so clearly!

We got back on the trail about 7, and hiked up to the rim. Wow. This sounds selfish, but I almost didnít want to take pictures to show anyone. Not that I didnít want to share, but pictures just donít do it justice. I was speechless. My knees got wobbly so close to the edge Ė itís SO high! I was thinking, I canít wait to do the mule ears hike and take the river road so I can look up to the edge I hiked to! It was so peaceful, and SO worth the climb.

We hiked down through Boot Canyon and the trees were turning colors. This was Chrisí favorite part of the hike. It was almost all shaded, nice, cool weather, and easy on your feet! We almost forgot how badly our feet were hurting!

Once we got to the Pinnacleís trail, I started to hurt. My feet were so sore. We kept getting glimpses of the lodge, like a tease! I really thought it would be Chris who wimped out, (he doesn't much like the outdoors and hates camping) but I was so sore and the last two miles were very tough! I need to do a few more hikes and get used to this! I am so glad he came with me, for those solo hikers - I am impressed. It's nice to have someone there rallying you to finish the hike!

We got back to the car about 1:45. I was amazed at the amount of people up on the Pinnacles trail without water, in sandals, and just not being safe. We had a lot of water left over, but drank about a gallon and a half each. I cannot imagine hiking even part of that trail without adequate water and safe shoes. I was also amazed at the two guys I saw running up and down the trail! :icon_eek: WOAH! I couldn't help but give them applause.

We rewarded ourselves with lunch in the basin. The two Stone Mill Aleís I had were the very best beers I had ever tasted. The chair was the most comfortable chair I had ever sat in. And I am very sorry to anyone who was in there while I was sitting cross-legged rubbing my very stinky feet, I know, itís gross, but I didnít care. Our waitress Kaci was so sweet, and brought us lots of water and brought Chris a carafe of coke!

It was the best trip I ever had, and the most difficult thing I think I have ever done. I look forward to many more backpacking trips and my ultimate goal of the outer mountain loop! Maybe that will be next winter, I need more practice!

Thank y'all so much for all the great advice. It helped make this trip wonderful.

More pictures to come!!!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 09:56:44 PM by RichardM »

*

Offline dkerr24

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1424
  • The worst day hiking > the best day in a cubicle.
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2009, 07:46:45 PM »
Great trip report and pics!  Thanks for sharing with the forum!  I felt the same way when I first saw the view from the South Rim... pics can't do it justice.  I also underestimated the difficulty of the climb to the South Rim.  Figured no way it could be as hard as hiking in someplace with more vertical distance like the Grand Canyon.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2009, 07:48:35 PM by dkerr24 »

*

Offline mcarlini

  • Jack Rabbit
  • *
  • 38
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2009, 08:21:42 PM »
More pics! Check out the weird formation in Boot Canyon, looks like an alligator =), and a few views!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 09:58:04 PM by RichardM »

*

Offline Al

  • Dog Face Moth
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4078
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2009, 08:47:01 PM »
Excellent report!  Your new pictures are 0 KB though . . .

Al

*

Offline walkingman06

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 165
    • Walkingman
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2009, 09:00:27 PM »
Thanks for the report.  I'm glad you both stuck it out.  It's a great trip. 
I'm looking forward to the rest of your pictures!
Moving in silent desperation
Keeping an eye on the holy land
A hypothetical destination
Say, who is this walking man?
James Taylor
Posted from Tulsa, OK

*

Offline SA Bill

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1994
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2009, 09:06:05 PM »
You picked a doozy of a hike for your first backpack! Congrats on doing your homework and making it successfully. :eusa_clap:
  Thanks for sharing!
    Bill
Bill - In San Antonio

Growing old is mandatory.
Growing up is optional.

*

Offline CactusFlower

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 127
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2009, 09:09:08 PM »
I'm glad you had a good time, it is fabulous, isn't it?  I agree with your thoughts of seeing people on Pinnacles in sandals without water.  The folks in jeans always get me too!  How can that be comfortable?

*

Offline TexasAggieHiker

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1214
  • The road goes on forever & the party never ends...
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2009, 09:38:22 PM »
Congrats on your first backpack!!!   :eusa_clap:  You'll never forget your first time.  You picked a good one.

*

Offline mcarlini

  • Jack Rabbit
  • *
  • 38
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2009, 09:59:40 PM »
I fixed my pictures above - I'll get the hang of it soon! Here are a few more!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 09:59:41 PM by RichardM »

*

Offline mcarlini

  • Jack Rabbit
  • *
  • 38
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2009, 10:05:28 PM »
Here's one of the mad snake at Outback Oasis - if y'all stay there, ask to see the collection, it's pretty neat! And I thought the rock looked like something REALLY big must of hit it to make that crack, I imagine it was another piece of rock falling from above thousands of years ago!

I had such a great time. It really is amazing. Time to plan my next trip ;)
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 10:00:56 PM by RichardM »

*

Offline The Scorpion

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1928
    • My Big Bend Photos
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2009, 10:13:09 PM »
good trip and thanks for the photos.

was the "hobbit house" still there in SW3? when Stingrey and I were there in August someone had built a little small shelter. it was put together really well

James
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

*

Offline Al

  • Dog Face Moth
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4078
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2009, 10:15:17 PM »
mcarlini, I love your pictures! Especially all the desert colors.

Al

PS Moderator Richard is going to probably resize your pictures down. He has this thingy about posting "large" pictures even though many of us love them. Something about about should be smaller than 800 x whatever Pixels.

Moderator Note: I might run them through the Image Resizer to reduce file size, but otherwise the big pixel size just lets the viewer zoom in after the browser opens it in a new window.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 10:01:44 PM by RichardM »

*

Offline TexasAggieHiker

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1214
  • The road goes on forever & the party never ends...
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2009, 10:22:22 PM »
Don't want to bust your bubble, but that rock was probably broke back in the '40s by the CCC crew building the trails.  They used tools and drills and even dynamite!!   :icon_eek:  Still a cool little piece of history.
And your color pictures are really pretty!

*

Offline mcarlini

  • Jack Rabbit
  • *
  • 38
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2009, 10:28:27 PM »
I didn't see a hobbit house! No structures of any kind that I saw, but it was a big site. If it wasn't on one of the main areas I could have missed it. My guess is one of those clumsy deer knocked it down ;)

And if the pics need to be re-sized that's ok! I'll make sure they are smaller in the future!

Oops - Al, you made me realize I never gave my name - it's Melissa.

TexasAggieHiker - Awww... Oh well, that makes sense. We saw a lot of rocks with drilled holes in them in Boot Canyon. Just doesn't seem safe to use dynamite with all those loose rocks hanging around!  :icon_biggrin:

*

Offline Cookie

  • Golden Eagle
  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 366
  • "you never slow down, you never grow old" T.P.
Re: 11/6 - 11/7 South Rim, first backpacing trip!
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2009, 10:33:29 PM »
Sounds like you have the fever for Big Bend like the rest of us! thanks for the pictures and the trip report. Me, my husband and my 5 1/2 year old daughter will be hitting the rim in December for a few nights-it's always great to see those pictures to remind us that it's there just waiting for us! We've been going out there for 10 years and still see and do new things each trip, as I am sure many on this site will agree. It is an amazing place!
~Cookie

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments