It is a beeeeeee-yooooo-tiful day. Big blue skies…and best of all…WARM. I can hardly believe that we are finally getting some warmth.
Out of Del Rio, it is Sergio Leone Land. Big Dog keeps whistling a spaghetti western theme. Too-di-doo-di-doooooo.
Giant cliffs soar up from the flatness as you get close to Big Bend. They are pale pink, orange, red.
At the Park gate, Big Dog buys a good-for-life senior access pass. “Best $10 my tax money got me!” He is ecstatic. It also allows us discounts on camping so the campsites here will be $7 a night, instead of $14.
Once in the National Park, we take a detour at the Dagger Flats Trail. It’s a 7 mile gravel road and Sprockets gets a real workout. She kicks up so much dust and we have not yet figured out the vents inside – dust is getting all over everything. There is a fine film of dust on every bit of the interior. Outside, there are the dagger yuccas and other Chihuahuan Desert flora. Ocotillo, opuntia cactus, candelaria cactus, mesquite and all kinds of yuccas. It is amazing how much is in bloom.
The desert floor rises slightly as we proceed towards Panther Junction where the ranger tells you it’s cooler (temperature-wise) at Rio Grande Village. Big Bend is a Texas-sized park and has 3 main campsites in 3 very distinct areas, as well as several back country campsites. Big Dog thinks it wise to go to the cooler/colder campsite today while the weather is so nice.
Rio Grande Village is also the only campsite with an area for RV hookups. This campsite is run privately, costs more, and is in a rather unattractive corner. It looks like an asphalt parking lot. Of course, we can understand how they’d need to keep the infrastructure pretty centralized.
The rest is a campground with individual sites scattered across a lightly wooded area. Most of the sites are first come, first serve, though there are a few spots that take reservations. Cruising the campground, we find an available spot at the back.
This being the first time camping in Sprockets, I don’t think about how the slider door is on the right side of the vehicle. Nor do I think about how the picnic table and barbeque grill are on either side of the vehicle. (Later, we see how inconvenient this is.)
From the campsite, you can’t see the river but the cliffs that rise in front of you are incredible. The Rio has cut a deep but narrow canyon and the cliffs on the other side are an ornate layer cake. When the sun begins to set, they are painted a fire-y red, then purple.
I grill up some yellow squash and pork chops for dinner (running between the table and grill, with Sprockets in between.) Others who ate earlier come strolling by and we chat with them about RV life, learn a few tips. It is mellow and friendly and best of all, WARM. By 8pm, those using generators have turned them off and it is quiet…..