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Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend

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Offline sleepy

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Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« on: July 15, 2008, 12:10:33 PM »
Plans are made on Tuesday, we left on Friday.

From Austin, uneventful drive (I did lose a gas cap in Sonora) put us at PJ around 3 p.m. New VC looks nice with oversized leather chairs in the corner. We don't investigate as we are ready for some mountains. Ranger reads us back country regulations, promises many bears and the screams of lions mating. Panther Porn! NE 4 is taken so we opt for SE3. To the Basin and we quickly set out up Pinnacles. We meet an elderly couple at Toll Mountain who are heading down from a S. Rim day hike. Inspiration! We stop here for a quick break and some scenery.

Basin view north from Toll Mountain


Into Boot Canyon and a cool July breeze. We stop to filter water (bypass the first stenchy green seep, please. There is more palatable water in the pools up canyon.) A humming bird squealed above our heads. Never head that before. We make it to SE 3 with the blue of twilight. We make camp and fix a fine dinner overlooking the desert.

Chi contemplates it all.


Absolutely glorious night sky with a elegant Milky Way.  Deep sleep and sweet dreams.  I wake for early light as Chi slumbers.  Walk down trail to a side path leading to a rock bench Quemada sunrise. 


slight haze enhances the long waves of morning light


After breakfast we walk S. Rim to Boot Canyon intersection and head down to more water.  Crouching while filtering makes us nervous at the pools.  Isn't this how deer and felled by cougars?  Anyway, the shade is nice and the water clear.  Skimmers and tadpoles are abundant.

 A snake is looking for a meal.


We head down canyon as clouds build and cool our walk.  We make it to the cabin for lunch at the picnic table.  Canyon wrens sing and jays squawk.  We see a couple of hikers, but no bears.  We cross on Colima Trail to Laguna Meadows hopeful for wildlife, but see none.  We do meet an interesting madrone, however.


Along LM trail, a non plussed rattler with a jet black tail.


We make camp at LW 3 and it's sweet view of Emory Peak.  Walking has made us a bit weary, so a nap is in order.  Upon waking we notice some building clouds and watch cumulo muscle flexing.


No rain materializes, so we grab our food and head up to a hill with a views of the Basin.  We cross a saddle to Peak 7070 above Cattail Canyon.  The sunset views west are stunning.  Cattail below us is brooding and clouds mimic ridge lines in the western sky.


In the darkening light, we head back to camp with more hope of something feline or ursine.  None of that, only a scraggly deer on our perimeter. 

Next morning we head south, bushwhacking to a spot above Blue Creek Canyon, marked on map as peak 7140.  Outstanding view includes Elephant Tusk, Mule Ears, Homer Wilson Ranch, Santa Elena Canyon in the distance and west, far west beyond.  It is a good spot for breakfast. 


We make our way down the drainage between 7140 and 7150.  There are a couple of seeps and small pools in this drainage, but we have left our filter at camp.  The path is thick with leaf fall, loose rock and overhanging branches.  We slowly make our way down to Cattail Canyon and decide to work back to camp.  Next time down Cattail, for sure.  I would guess there is water in the canyon now, as we saw water everywhere we went.  We make it to camp and break it down.  A long march down the super highway that is Laguna Meadows trail.  We meet a bleary eyed dad with two sons heading to the S. Rim wondering how much farther?  A couple of miles, I say.  hmmm, he says.  We part ways.  I think I should have told him to turn around.  He didn't look like he was up for it.

At the Basin store, Chi grabs water, I grab beer.  We eat lunch and quaff a toby behind the fire station at the table overlooking the window.  I eat stew, Chi eats potato chips.  We split a praline and jump in the truck for some scenic driving.  We get on RMSD for tour of another planet.  It is a strange place.  I hanker for some ice cream, so we stop at Costolon.  It is 105 by the thermometer in the window.  Perfect for a Heath Bar Crunch.  The road descends toward the Rio Grande.  We stop at the Santa Elena overlook and drink our remaining beers. 

We are cautioned Old Maverick Road is 4 wheel drive only, due to recent rains.  I've only got high clearance, but I do have persistent partner. The sand is soft at a wash, but with the encouragement of a video taping German couple we make it through. 
We head out, passing through God-forsaken territory.  Absolute destruction it looks like.  The badlands are aptly named.  The desert light is harsh and playing tricks on our eyes.  Mountains look like giant lizards crawling across the hot sands.  We stop at Luna's and Chi offers a blessing from his canteen. 

We head to Study Butte to shower at the Big Bend Motor Inn.  Debating dinner we decide to pass on Terlingua.  Cheap was our plan, and we stuck to it.  Our accountants will be impressed.  So, we headed over to Indian Head and ate dehydrated Jambalaya with tuna.  And beer.  We checked glyphs and gathered flakes from the ground and put them into a pile.  The light grew dim as the magic hour approached.  Storms grew for miles in the distance.


looking south from Indian Head


Last night camp was at Paint Gap, so we could get an early start home the next day, where responsibility awaited.  The open desert offered another peaceful night with a million stars above and untiring lightning far off west.  The following morning we were early up with great coffee, sausage biscuit sandwich and breakfast taco from the French Grocer in Marathon.  Pricey petrol at the Fina, and several hundred miles of pavement got us back home.

All on a whim.   

Good times, my friends, good times.



« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 01:35:53 PM by RichardM »
It's never too late to be what you might have been-Geroge Elliot

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2008, 01:26:04 PM »
Sleepy I always love your prose but the suspense is hard to take, and then...?  :nailbitting:
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline RichardM

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2008, 01:41:58 PM »
Sleepy I always love your prose but the suspense is hard to take, and then...?  :nailbitting:
He cheated and edited his original post. :icon_wink:

Great report, Sleepy!

Did Ay!Chi take a camera along too?

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Offline bdann

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2008, 01:43:33 PM »
Very nice guys, sounded like a wonderful trip.   gotta get ice cream at castolon...it's a rule, must do it, sounds freakin fantastic right about now.  
WATER, It does a body good.

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Offline sleepy

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2008, 01:43:59 PM »
no cheating, i accidently erased half way through  :willynilly:  don't know how that happened.

Ay!Chi did take his camera.  But, he forgot batteries. :icon_redface:
It's never too late to be what you might have been-Geroge Elliot

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2008, 02:03:44 PM »
no cheating, i accidently erased half way through  :willynilly:  don't know how that happened.
Deletions happen.

Quote
Ay!Chi did take his camera.  But, he forgot batteries. :icon_redface:
Ouch. Reminds me of the time I had borrowed my Mom's (film) camera. Got to the top of Emory Peak before taking the camera out. <click>, no whir. Oops, forgot to make sure the batteries were still good. As luck would have it, a couple had just joined Dad and me on the summit and loaned us the AAs out of their camera. Yet another reason I made use of AA batteries a requirement when I was shopping for a new camera last year.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2008, 02:06:40 PM »
no cheating, i accidently erased half way through  :willynilly:  don't know how that happened.

 :icon_redface:

I could have just been patient but then it is hard to do with such a great trip report part way finished.  Great pictures and a huge amount of ground covered in a short time.  Great restraint not to go to Terlingua for dinner, not sure I could have done it.  Excellent job :eusa_clap:
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline Ay Chihuahua!

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2008, 02:19:39 PM »
Quote
Ay!Chi did take his camera.&nbsp; But, he forgot batteries.

Yeah...:icon_redface:  I might as well have tied a rock around my neck and lugged it around for 3 days. Sorry, Homero. I feel like I've let you down.

Nice report, Sleepy.  Wonderful prose...I almost feel like I was there.



This is an image I will take to my grave, as I am sure many Native Americans before have done.&nbsp; If you've been there, you'll know what I mean.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 02:41:56 PM by Ay Chihuahua! »

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Offline randell

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2008, 04:08:44 PM »
Very enjoyable!  You got some great pics and it looks like you had a fun route. 

I'm not sure what this is, though...
Quote
We eat lunch and quaff a toby behind the fire station
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline Ay Chihuahua!

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2008, 04:17:47 PM »
Very enjoyable!&nbsp; You got some great pics and it looks like you had a fun route.&nbsp;

I'm not sure what this is, though...
Quote
We eat lunch and quaff a toby behind the fire station

In this instance the quaffed toby was a yellow belly.&nbsp; Actually, it was two yellow bellies.



Maybe Sleepy can tell you where the word "toby" comes from.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 04:34:30 PM by Ay Chihuahua! »

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Offline EdB

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2008, 05:12:10 PM »
Nicely done gentlemen.  :eusa_clap:

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Offline Goldilocks

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2008, 06:34:10 PM »
Sometimes the spontaneous trips are the best.  Great trip report, Sleepy!   :eusa_clap:

How was the weather in the mountains?  I can't believe you all saw 2 snakes!  Wow!

There is something very special about Indian Head, it stays with you for sure.  Glad you got to go! 

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chisos_muse

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2008, 07:06:33 PM »
Way cool........... :icon_cool:

Nobody writes like you, sleepy. I feel the words...

You guys are my heroes! :high5:

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Offline sleepy

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2008, 08:55:41 PM »
How was the weather in the mountains?   

In the shade it was nice.  There were cool breezes.  In the sun was a different story.  First night we saw storms building out west.  Second night storms building in the east.  Last night storms in the south and west.  Definite precip all around, but none on our heads.  Nights were very comfortable, except a little warmish at Laguna West.  We saw water in Boot Canyon, a drainage off Cattail Canyon, Terlingua Creek and Rough Run.  Everything was green.  Prickly pear was blooming, as were agaves and purple sages.  Especially purple sages.  Also, saw a few rain lilies. 
It's never too late to be what you might have been-Geroge Elliot

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BigBendHiker

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Re: Ay!Chi and Sleepy Trip in Big Bend
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2008, 09:00:09 PM »
Great report!  And, pictures!


Thanks,
BBH

 


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