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Old 04-01-2015, 09:59 PM   #1
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Big Bend is green and blooming!

California may be dry, but Big Bend National Park in Texas is in rare form-- it is green with wildflowers blooming everywhere, due I was told to a wet winter and spring. A local botanist said there were plants blooming that he didn't know existed in the area, they were so well-hidden during dry spells.

I just finished up a week at Chisos Basin campground. Thanks to those who provided advice on camping there. The camp host found me a spot and I had no problems. Most of the campsites were taken by tents, but there were a couple of small motorhomes built on the Dodge / Mercedes chassis, and a couple of Casitas. A Class-C motorhome or two arrived as I was leaving. So it worked out fine.
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
I just finished up a week at Chisos Basin campground. Thanks to those who provided advice on camping there. The camp host found me a spot and I had no problems. Most of the campsites were taken by tents, but there were a couple of small motorhomes built on the Dodge / Mercedes chassis, and a couple of Casitas. A Class-C motorhome or two arrived as I was leaving. So it worked out fine.
This Big Bend photo was taken about 2 weeks ago. Tuff Canyon. Its a rare thing to be in the right place at the right time to capture a flash flood.

Did you have anyone mention the 20' recommended maximum to you?

--
Alan
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:41 PM   #3
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No one commented about the length of my trailer. The camp host gave me a spot which was just a wide spot in the road, Site #20 I think. After I parked the trailer she said she knew I could do it, as the previous occupants had a 25-foot trailer there. I don't think I'd try one that long.

My neighbors in Site #19 were a Massachusetts couple and daughter traveling in a neat fold-out tent trailer. I got the feeling they didn't approve of me as a neighbor, but it could have been something I said. It usually is.
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:45 PM   #4
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Were you strummin' that song and they thought it was the original w/implications? FLA tags
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:55 PM   #5
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I'm pretty sure they reached stereotypical conclusions about me as I did about them, especially after overhearing them talk about Trader Joes, organic foods, etc.

They had a neat tent trailer though. They had been living in it since last July (!) and I think they were reps for the company. It got a lot of attention at the campground. I don't remember the brand, however.
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:05 PM   #6
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Aww, Dorothy Mantooth should straighten them out! We like Schmader's, & don't panic w/organic(can be overpriced)...however know it's not everyone's bag baby!!
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Old 04-02-2015, 12:44 PM   #7
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California may be dry, but Big Bend National Park in Texas is in rare form-- it is green with wildflowers blooming everywhere, due I was told to a wet winter and spring. A local botanist said there were plants blooming that he didn't know existed in the area, they were so well-hidden during dry spells.

I just finished up a week at Chisos Basin campground. Thanks to those who provided advice on camping there. The camp host found me a spot and I had no problems. Most of the campsites were taken by tents, but there were a couple of small motorhomes built on the Dodge / Mercedes chassis, and a couple of Casitas. A Class-C motorhome or two arrived as I was leaving. So it worked out fine.

Good news Mike. We'll be in Big Bend in about 9 days or so. Looking forward to it.
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:40 PM   #8
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Here are some more Big Bend photos:
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File Type: jpg _DSF1671-2.jpg (64.8 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg _DSF1685-2.jpg (114.7 KB, 12 views)
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Old 04-02-2015, 10:18 PM   #9
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Beautiful Mike! Thanks so much for sharing the pics. I don't know when I'll see something similar, so I can enjoy this photos in the mean time.
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Old 04-02-2015, 10:34 PM   #10
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I think this is the park where they say the night sky with all of the stars is something you have to see. We saw a night sky like that once at Bryce Canyon. Loren
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Old 04-02-2015, 10:52 PM   #11
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This is a night picture taken last January at Chisos basin campground
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Old 04-02-2015, 11:16 PM   #12
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Mike,
I was there at Chisos in the last week of February and it was cold. The cloud stayed below the campground and everything in the cloud were frosted.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:42 PM   #13
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Mike,
I was there at Chisos in the last week of February and it was cold. The cloud stayed below the campground and everything in the cloud were frosted.
The frosted cactus photos look really nice. My previous trips to Big Bend (but not camping-- I stayed at the lodge) have mostly been in the late Feb / early March timeframe, though I think I was there once in September. But all of those times it was dry. The rain makes a world of difference.

The history of the area is also interesting. I have to say the history exhibits made more sense when I realized the term "Chihuahua traders" meant merchants from the Mexican city of Chihuahua, not people meeting up to swap those little dogs around.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:52 PM   #14
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Beautiful Mike! Thanks so much for sharing the pics. I don't know when I'll see something similar, so I can enjoy this photos in the mean time.
You're welcome. I dragged my big, manly Linhof view camera halfway up the switchback path to Santa Elena Canyon but wasn't manly enough to make it all the way. So I took these with my wimpy Fuji digicam.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:18 PM   #15
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One more thing re my Big Bend visit -- on the way down from Marathon I was buzzed by a B-1 bomber! Well, buzzed might be an exaggeration, but he came in low and slow, maybe 500 feet and 400 knots or less; it's hard to tell. I could see the split in the cockpit windshield. I remember that they train for low-level attack nowadays, but nevertheless I was astonished to see one. I've never seen a B-1 in flight before. Wow!
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:48 PM   #16
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California may be dry, but Big Bend National Park in Texas is in rare form-- it is green with wildflowers blooming everywhere, due I was told to a wet winter and spring. A local botanist said there were plants blooming that he didn't know existed in the area, they were so well-hidden during dry spells.

I just finished up a week at Chisos Basin campground. Thanks to those who provided advice on camping there. The camp host found me a spot and I had no problems. ...
I'll make a sales pitch for Big Bend National Park in late winter/early spring 2016 - because we will be taking 'Velocity' down next week for a 4 month stint as campground hosts. Our domain will be the Rio Grande Village Campground. It is one of the warmer places in the park with current high temperatures in the upper 60's (F). When we leave at the end of April daytime temps should be in the mid 90's (F) - and we might be wondering about the wisedom of our decision not to buy the air conditioner option. If the winter rains materialize - and if the El Nino forecasters are correct - there should be an abundance of wildflowers this spring.

Keep in mind that March and April are the buisiest months and reservations strongly recommended. But there are 30 non-reservable sites and the campground hosts can be crafty at finding just the perfect spot for Escape trailers. We will be in site 73 if you want to drop in for a visit. No hookups available but generators are allowed in certain areas, a dump station is close at hand, and showers/laundry/small grocery store/wi-fi are about 1 mile away at the Forever Resorts concession. The concession also operates a 20 site RV park but I don't know much more other than it has hookups and looks like a parking lot for class A motorhomes.

Come down and visit!
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:02 PM   #17
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Hi: alanmalk... Whatever floats "Velocity"... Alf
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:12 PM   #18
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Wow, Big Ben NP is really out there. I'd never looked that one up before.
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:46 PM   #19
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Big Bend is green and blooming!

Big Bend is one of our favorites. "Magnificent desolation" we like to call it. Although, with all the bloom from a wet year, it's not so desolate anymore. You can't just decide to stop there - you have to go there on purpose because it's so out of the way.

The Chisos Basin campground is quite excellent. They warn you that trailers over 20 feet are not recommended, mainly because a longer rig means having to go into the opposing traffic lane on some tight turns, but we have no issues. A 21 could probably do it without issues either.
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:06 PM   #20
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Kudos to you for being Campground Hosts. We spent some time in Rio Grande Village last February, and really enjoyed it. Hope you have a great time!
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