Wednesday, March 31, 2010

South Rim, Big Bend Day 8 part 2

Howdee all,

We made it to South Rim and Awesome views..a bit hazy, but still very nice.  pano 2We rested for a bit at the top and had lunch South rim hike,Big bend_029

All the while breathing in the views..South rim hike,Big bend_030 and fresh air..

South rim hike,Big bend_032  We were not alone, this fella, Rufous-crowned sparrow?, was foraging around the rim..guess it was not afraid of heights.South rim hike Big bend

We headed back down and took Boot Canyon to the Pinnacle trail

Still looking and listening for the Colima warbler.South rim hike,Big bend_050We did see two deer, who didn't seem bothered by our presence. South rim hike,Big bend_055 Allot of the wooded walk down reminded me of woodland walks in CT.South rim hike,Big bend_057 Except for views like this..

The BootSouth rim hike,Big bend_059I dedicate these Boot photos to my Boot Lovin Twitter friends  South rim hike,Big bend_061  You know who you are..South rim hike,Big bend_060  Goodbye Boot!South rim hike,Big bend_069The hike down was a bit tough on the knees.. South rim hike,Big bend_077   though, mine didn't complain until the day after..

South rim hike,Big bend_079   Getting closer…we are headed to the valley below, at this point I am dreaming of a cold drink at the Lodge.South rim hike,Big bend_086 Views of Casa GrandeSouth rim hike,Big bend_087   We are almost there…I am ready to put my feet toes need stretching..South rim hike,Big bend_090 South rim was a long hike..but not as difficult as i was expecting. I think that is because we went up the gradual incline of Laguna meadows instead of starting via the Pinnacles trail.

We didn't see the Colima was too early and we knew that.

There is always another time..

South rim hike,Big bend_101 I know we will be back for a longer visit next time..South rim hike,Big bend_102

Because ..

I ♥ Big Bend

Birds of the Day

Common raven,Scaled quail,Turkey Vulture,Junco,Mexican jay,Painted redstart
White throated swift, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Robin,Red tail hawk,Northern harrier
Black crested titmouse, Bewick,rock and canyon wrens,White breasted nuthatch
Blue gray gnatcatcher,Mocking bird,Canyon and spotted towhee,White wing dove


We have left Big Bend.. the Migrating birds have been calling to Jeff..

We are headed to the Lower Rio Grande Valley and Padre Island area..its our first time in the area, so if you have favorite spots, dining, birding, camping, let me know. Thanks..

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

South Rim trail, Big Bend NP Day 8 part 1

Howdee all.

March 26

We saved the South Rim trail for the end of our stay in Big Bend, hoping for an early arrival of the Colima warbler. They are usually not seen in the area until mid April.

This is the only place in the US that the Colima warbler is seen, when it migrates from Mexico, here to spend the summer.South rim hike,Big bend_001

 Hike to South Rim

via Laguna Meadows approx 4 miles

Colima trail – 1 mile

Boot canyon trail to South Rim- 1.8 miles

return trip via Pinnacle trail approx 6.4 miles

Total trip approx- 14 miles

Difficulty- Moderate

Elevation gain- approx. 2000 feet

You can see the map below there are different ways to reach South Rim South rim hike,Big bend_002

I really wanted to start the trip via Laguna Meadows trailSouth rim hike,Big bend_004 We were told it is a gradual up,versus the Pinnacle trail which switchbacks up the first mile.

Jeff wanted to hike up the Pinnacle trail..

South rim hike,Big bend_006

Luckily the coin toss had us go up the meadows..South rim hike,Big bend_007 The right choice in my opinion…after going down via the Pinnacles trail later that day and seeing how steep it was..

South rim hike,Big bend_011It was not as though we weren't getting enough exercise to begin with.. South rim hike,Big bend_012  It was a gradual, as we were told…I did have to stop many times to catch my breath..South rim hike,Big bend_017 The meadows area…South rim hike,Big bend_018We also did some birding…South rim hike,Big bend_019 South rim hike,Big bend_021We left the Meadows trail.. South rim hike,Big bend_022and followed the one mile Colima trail..

South rim hike,Big bend_023 hoping to see or hear the Colima Warbler,we didn't see it on the trail named for this warbler.

South rim hike,Big bend_024 At the end of the Colima trail we picked up Boot Canyon trail to the South Rim

Here we did see a few birds, along with a Painted Redstart.South rim hike,Big bend_025 Looks like we are getting close…South rim hike,Big bend_026To the top… South rim hike,Big bend_027

Stay tuned for the views from South Rim and the hike down via the Pinnacle trail.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Windows, Big Bend NP, Day 7 part 2

Howdee all,

March 25

After hiking Grapevine Hills to Balanced rock, Jeff and I decided to catch some evening light at

The Windows trail.

4 miles round trip

Difficulty – Easy

Window hike_001  The trail descends 800 feet from the trail head Window hike_010 It is a very gradual decent..easy both waysWindow hike_011The first mile is thru scrub vegetation   Window hike_012Window hike_013There were nice views of the Chisos Peaks   Window hike_015

 Window hike_016Orange colors on the Chisos rocks..

The last mile enters a cool shady canyon with oaks, wildflowers, the birds seem to like this area.Window hike_020A Black-crested titmouse..Window hike_018 The path is gravel and easy to follow..

 Window hike_027Window hike_028    Flowering shrubs.Window hike_033 Window hike_031Toward the end the trail follows a rock wash..

Small tanks of water…

Window hike_035 Stair steps made thru the wash  Window hike_037Pockets of water ..attracting birds…

Hermit thrush and Canyon wren were taking drinks..Window hike_038 Finally ..the Window..Window hike_041  Window hike_043Overlooking the Valley and distant mountains  Window hike_047 Stairway to heaven..Window hike_056Bird baths..  Window hike_064

Hermit thrush hangout..

Window hike_065On the trail back great views of Casa GrandeWindow hike_069another Rock face profile

Do you see it? Window hike_068

      I really love this landscape..Just enough green Window hike_081 Window hike_083 Yeah..these photos all look similar…I am not a good editor

I want to include all the photos I like..

Window hike_084  On the drive back I took a photo of this pyramid rock that we pass when we are in the parkWindow hike_089  Egypt in Big Bend…Window hike_091

Birds of the Day

Cactus wren,Black-throated sparrow,Says Phoebe,Purple finch,Turkey vulture
Loggerhead shrike.Black tailed gnatcatcher,Canyon wren,Canyon Towhee
Rock wren,Cedar waxwing,Hermit thrush,Pyrylloxia,Blue gray gnatcathcer
White wing dove,Black crested titmouse,Mexican jay,Ruby crowned kinglet
Spotted towhee,Mockingbird,Red shafted flicker,Hermit thrush,Coopers Hawk