Sunday, March 16, 2014

Upper Burro Mesa hike~ Big Bend NP

Here we are!

We left our friends side yard in Alpine, TX on Friday and headed south.


We are staying in an RV park in Terlingua just outside of Big Bend NP.

We have no cell phone reception and spotty wifi at the RV park. Our mifi device is useless here as well.

Friday we just settled in to the campground and took a brief walk on some public lands outside of the rv park looking for rocks. We did find quite a few pieces of calcite and one large green colored calcite.

Will explore the area more this week to see what goodies we may find.


Saturday was Jeff's turn to decide our fate for the day so he took us to Upper Burro Mesa trail.


Upper Burro Mesa Pour-off Trail
Difficulty: Moderate; Distance: 3.8 miles round trip
Begin at pull-off, mile 6.6, Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

This route follows a dry wash downstream to the top of the 100-foot Burro Mesa Pour-off. The trail includes some large rocks to climb down, where some rock scrambling may be necessary. Pay attention on the return hike to ensure that you follow the same drainages. Trail subject to flash flooding.


Big Bend_010It was a hot day in Big Bend.

Mid 80s and a bit above my favorite hiking weather..

Luckily we had some nice breezes..

Not enough breeze to keep these critters from flying and landing all over us..

Thank goodness they only annoyed us and didn’t bite.

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There were many wildflowers blooming.

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Big Bend_026Desert Marigold~Baileya multiradiata

Big Bend_024With its fuzzy stem..

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I didn’t have a guide with me to ID these flowers, but when I got back to camp I downloaded the app Flowers of the Trans Pecos area.

This is~

a type of

Phacelia ~not sure which one.

possibly P. crenulata Via Michael Eason

Big Bend_093Phacelia 

Big Bend_001 (1)I didn’t find this one in the guide..


ID via Michael Eason

Streptanthus carinatus = Lyreleaf jewelflower

Big Bend_097Another one my app didn’t have.

via Michael Eason

Thymophylla sp (probably pentachaeta)

Big Bend_112We followed the rocky dirt trail toward the pour off.

When Jeff and I were here four years ago we hiked the trail to the pour off from the lower Burro mesa trail.

Yuccas are blooming throughout Big Bend now..

Big Bend_030Big Bend_031Gray False Nightshade growing amongst the cactus.

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Big Bend_108I couldn’t find this shrub either..

Via Michael Eason

Dalea formosa  

Big Bend_038I looked online with no luck.

I am hoping my horticultural friends and family might help me.

Big Bend_101We continued on the path..

Big Bend_032It became less open and rockier..

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Big Bend_040Then opened up again..

Big Bend_044Our trail met a wash..

See the difference in color?

We came from the darker colored stones..

we met the wash..

Big Bend_046We followed the wash..

Big Bend_047We saw these critters dashing past us on the wash..

Thanks to John Karges  for the ID

The lizard is a Greater Earless Lizard (southwestern subspecies), Cophosaurus texanus

Big Bend_049As the wash rounded a bend we saw beautiful yellow flowers growing on the rocky cliffs..

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Big Bend_084Rocknettle

Big Bend_051We continued the follow the wash..

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The pathway became narrower and we walked over smoothed water worn rocks..

Big Bend_057and between interesting rock formations..

Big Bend_058A window..

Big Bend_060The wash widens again and we stop to bird.

It was here we saw Canyon and Rock wrens, Cardinals, Ash-throated flycatcher and a pair of Black-tailed Gnatcatchers

Big Bend_063We thought that we were getting close to the dropoff when we reached this point.

Big Bend_064Jeff went down first..

Big Bend_066At the pour off looking down..

This was the end of the road for us..

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Four years ago Jeff and I did the lower Burro Mesa hike to the pour off area..

The photo below shows Jeff at the bottom of the pour off.

Imagine a good rain~ the waterfall must be amazing.

LASt day big bend_065Time to retrace our steps..

I take the climb first.

It looks steeper than it is.

I got my Muther worried when she saw this photo on facebook.

Its ok Mom..not very steep at all.Big Bend_070

I ♥ This hike..Big Bend_073

The window heading back to the trailhead.

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A Big yellow grasshopper on the side of the trail. I went to pick it up and it hopped away..


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On the way back we  took a break and sat in the birdie area on some quartz veins to have lunch and recharge.

Big Bend_076It was a great hike..

Loved the scenery, the wildflowers and the birds we saw..

Big Bend_078Could have done without the flies..

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Big Bend_079But …they were a minor annoyance amongst all the desert beauty.

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Thanks friends for your help with the IDs! I really appreciate it~

Birds we saw on the trail

Mar 15, 2014
Big Bend NP--Burro Mesa pouroff
5 miles
180 Minutes
Observers: 2
All birds reported? Yes
Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.7.1
Turkey Vulture
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Say's Phoebe
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Cactus Wren
Rock Wren
Canyon Wren
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
Northern Mockingbird
Curve-billed Thrasher
Canyon Towhee
Black-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch

1 comment:

  1. I adore reading about your adventures. Those Big Bloomers you've written about on your facebook page and people like me who ask if "Big Bloomers" are an advertisement for big Women's Undies who have a sense of humor think hiking and birding with you two would be a hoot. It looks fun. It's evident you enjoy your selves immensely.


ok what do you really think?????