Big Bend NP

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Looking down through the valley

We left Emily and Dylan’s and had about a four-hour drive to Big Bend National Park. Big Bend is located right on the border of Mexico and Texas, on the little hook that is on the southwest part of the state. The entrance that our maps were showing as the only one looked like we were going to pass the park to get into it, so we stop in a little visitor center in some random town to ask a worker about the national park. The lady inside was the sweetest old lady, and you could tell she loved her job and didn’t get too many visitors because she sat and talked with us for probably a half hour before we finally told her we had to get back on the road.

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Four different colors of wild flowers

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Us at the summit of our hike

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We found out that we did have to go pretty far past the park before being able to actually get into the park, so we hopped back on the road and continued our drive as planned. Once we got into the park we stopped at the visitor center to get a map of the park and see some hiking trails. We did the Window View .3 mile walk on a paved path to see some short views, then found out the most popular trail in the park was closed due to flooding, so we decided to take a less popular trail that still had great views. We enjoyed the hike up, trying to find shade were it was possible, and sat on the top of some rocks at the top of the hike for a bit. On our hike back to the car Jason, nearly stepped on a tarantula that scared the daylights out of me.

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The spider Jason almost stepped onto.

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A huge grass hopper

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An agave plant

We then drove down to the Santa Elena Canyon, where on one side of the river is Mexico and the other side is Texas. On this drive we saw not one, not two, but THREE snakes in the road. Two of them slithered off, but the third one we hit and it sat in the road coiled up. We turned around to see what it was, and it was a diamondback rattlesnake!! Ahh.. I was so freaked out! I was sitting in my seat with my legs up on the chair (just like I’m doing now writing this) with chills everywhere!

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A huge stick bug

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Looking at Mexico.

We got to the end of the road and I did not want to even step out of the car for fear of a snake slithering up, but I had to go the bathroom really bad, so I was forced to get out. This was a quite the show! I really really don’t like snakes! We had to get out again at the canyon overlook to see the view and make some dinner, and I literally started to tear up because I was so afraid of a snake getting me! Again, I really really don’t like snakes.

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A very large Diamondback rattlesnake we drove over, then coiled up and was ready to strike as we drove back to look at it.

After dinner we made a somewhat poor but adventurous decision to take the 13 mile dirt road to the exit of the park instead of driving 41 miles back where we came from to exit the park. We passed a car full of older men, and asked them if they thought gold ol’ Zippy would make the road. They said no problem, that it was really maintained and not a bad road at all… They were right… for the most part.. Zippy had some tough parts of the road to drive over, and I was sitting there praying that we would make it the whole time, while Jay was so focused on the road and not hitting huge rocks, or getting stuck in the sand that we barely talked the whole way. The only time we talked was when we celebrated if Zippy made it passed an iffy part, then it was back to silence.

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The long road we drove back on to the highway.

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We eventually made it off the road and out of the park, and made our way up to the northern part of Texas to Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

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