maybe you've seen earlier how enthused I was by the very small amount
of time I was able to spend in the Big Bend. This time I was determined
not to make the same mistake, and planned ahead for a week's field trip.
left home at 05:45 or so on Thursday morning the 2nd November. The
weather was at that stage fine, so the 15 walk to the station was good.
Checking in at Victoria station at 7:30 for the American Airlines
flight to Dallas was easy, but they told me of a delay already. So the
rest of the morning was largely spent waiting until we finally took off
nearly 2 hours late. I was rather concerned about my connection onto
the Dallas - Midland flight, but after a very smooth flight, we landed
with 45 minutes to go. Great, I thought, just time to walk round the
terminal and get the American Eagle flight. Well, think again, as the
plane had developed a fault and we eventually left at 7pm rather than
4.20pm. And what a flight - the weather had deteriorated, and we
bounced around the skies with lightening flashing, rain pouring,
clinging onto the seats for grim death....well it seemed that way at
the time, but to unanimous applause, we finally landed safely at
Midland. And I checked in for my hire car - a Chevy Blazer, which was
to become almost my home for the next week.
It took about 2 1/2
hrs to drive to Alpine, where I'd booked in for the week at the
Antelope Lodge motel. When I got there, it was just after 10:30 pm, and
the office was closed, but the kind people had left my room key and a
welcome letter behind the fly screen door, so I dropped into bed, and
despite, or maybe because of, the effects of the 6 hr time difference,
I slept very well until early morning.
Day 1 - Friday 3rd November - Looking for Cacti south of Marathon, and down to the Park Headquarters
Day 2 - Saturday 4th November - Hiking the Lost Mine Trail and the Windows Trail
Day 3 - Sunday 5th November - Maxwell Scenic Drive, and Cattail Falls trail
Day 4 - Monday 6th November - The loop via Marfa, Presidio, Lajitas, Terlingua and back to Alpine
Day 5 - Tuesday 7th November (Election Day!!) - Hot Springs and Rio Grande Village
Day 6 - Wednesday 8th November - The Pinnacles Trail - and the snowy desert!!
Day 7 - Thursday 9th November - Leaving for home