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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Our Vacation Trip to Big Bend National and State Parks Part 1


It's hard to believe that it's been two years since I've posted on this weblog. No, it's not that I haven't had anything to post. I guess my only excuse is that I've been busy with other things, and have neglected the blog. 
But enough with the excuses! If you've followed this weblog for any length of time, you'll know what prompted me to post again. For those that are new, Big Bend is the reason. We took a 4-day road trip to Ft. Davis TX, near MacDonald Observatory, and visited Big Bend National Park and Big Bend State Park also. This time we went with our daughter, son-in-law, and 3 grandchildren in a giant Chevy Suburban. What a trip!
So here's a few of my favorite photos from the trip. The weather was cold and rainy, and it gave me the chance to photograph some familiar sights with a whole new look, as well as some new ones we'd never seen before.

Sunrise Ft. Davis TX Day 1

We drove to Big Bend National Park and walked the 1.9 mile Window Trail. It was cold and drizzly, but not unpleasant. I took several photos of Casa Grande, and this one of the Window. Very different from other shots I've taken but I think it has charm all its' own.

The Window from the Window Trail

While hiking the trail, my grandson and I enjoyed taking photos of the wildlife we saw. Most interesting to me was the Whitetail Deer we spotted nosing around the grounds near the trail. According to the national park website, this subspecies of whitetail deer is found only in the Chisos Mountains and foothills. The race in Big Bend National Park, the Carmen Mountains whitetail, is one of the smallest subspecies of whitetail in North America.

Carmen Mountain Whitetail Buck

The crown of the Chisos Mountains area to me will always be Casa Grande. I try to photograph this rock every time I go to Big Bend. This particular trip was so rainy and overcast that I got a whole new look to the photo. I took it from my favorite photo spot for Casa Grande, right outside the gift shop door. I hope you like it.

Casa Grande 2015

Close by Casa Grande at the top of a rock formation is a dead pinion pine that caught my interest. It was pretty far away, but I chanced a shot with my long lens. I think it came out pretty good. 

Pinion Pine, Big Bend National Park

The next day we went to the Big Bend State Park, which was brand new to me. Amy and Aaron biked the 18 mile West Contrabandos Trail, while Jan and I watched the grandkids, and I took photos. The day started out drizzly, but got clearer as the day went on. 

Mountains of Big Bend State Park

We had such a fantastic time every day of our trip. We ate at the Drugstore restaurant and saw several framed photos by my friend Bob Zeller, and we got to dip our feet in the spring-fed pool at Balmorhea State Park. We drove both main highways south from Ft. Davis, the Alpine route and the Marfa route, both of which were equally beautiful but very different. All in all, I'd say we spent our time there very well. I hope to go back again and again.

Til next time,
Mike Z

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