I took two days off work and set out westward early on a Thursday morning. I decided to take US-90 from San Antonio westwards. I-10 is the quickest way there and it’s not a bad highway for a highway. US-90 is the scenic route.
On US- 90 we passed Uvalde, Del Rio and got stopped by the Border Patrol.This is a normal occurrence 25 miles from the border. It just so happens some of the most beautiful country is within 25 miles from the border. They were nice, loved my bike (especially the fact it’s not as noisy as a Harley-sorry) and by 3:30 I saw a sign that pointed me to Terlingua.
It wasn’t the most direct route and I loved that. I soon got to a barrier and a sign that read, Big Bend Natural Park. I had to pay $24 to get where I was going, which is cheap for what I got. It was a two-hour ride through beautiful country. Humanity is so blessed to have this protected! The road was lonely, the mountains rugged and the sky blue, just the way I like it.
Anyway, an hour and a half later I arrived at Terlingua, the chili capital of the world. The charm here is there is only a couple of hotels and a couple of laid-back restaurants. Not bad for a ghost town. I will highlight the Starlight Theater, a restaurant that features west Texas talent in their nightly shows. They also offer the Holiday Hotel with its quirky rooms and a few cabins. I of course had some of their amazing chili and then stepped out on the porch to watch the sun come down.
Next day I headed for the Chisos basin, in the park, which is the most popular section of the park. Some hikers say it’s overrated. I parked at Lost Mine Trail. An “outstanding introduction the flora and fauna of the Chisos Mountains,” per the Big Bend National Park website. It made sense for the time I had and it was a beautiful experience. The relatively light gradient and amazing springtime blooms on the mountainside make a fast hike a pleasure. I thought I was going fast but was quickly overtaken by a pair who chatted right past me.
I could not resist sharing my pictures with my friends back in their offices.They enjoyed the views too. Especially the views from the ridge, where you can actually spot hawks flying and the stunning Sierra del Carmen in Mexico. Big Bend plays an important role in the wildlife survival systems of both countries. There are mountain lion warnings on the trail. Decades after the black bears were finished off on the U.S. side, Mexican black bears started walking across the border on this shared preserve, bringing back the species.
I ride back on Sunday in the pouring rain. I-10 may be a straighter path to the Hill Country but the strong winds make it the suckiest road to motorcycle riding. The wind and the rain had me going for 350 miles at 50 miles an hour. This weekend has been a suitable metaphor for life. You cruise, you view life from the top and sometimes you catch side winds so strong, it seems you are going to fall. Not this weekend.