Texas 2000


So 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.

I 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