Castalon and the Cottonwood Campground (Feb 11 2014)

DSC01864.JPGThe east side of the Basin is all shrouded in fog, slowly getting sucked up as the sun rises. A trio of deer nose through the campground. It’s COLD!

Our neighbors, J from Ohio and his German wife S, are frying up collard greens, onions and apple slices for breakfast. I have to make an effort not to pounce when they invite us to have some. Real greens! Not out of a can! And who cares if they came out of a plastic bag, all cut up and ready to go.

DSC01871.JPGDSC01876.JPGGuess the How Cold Can It Get Tour is not quite over. Everyone is frozen this morning, including the trees. There is hoary (that word again!) frost all over the plants near the gaps in the cliff where the clouds pour in. They look magical, dusted with tiny diamonds.

DSC01878.JPGShivering, we drive out of the Basin. Outside, the northeast is all overcast and foggy but as we move south and lower in altitude things improve enough to want to do some hikes. There’s one that takes you to another desert oasis; a trail to a canyon where an ancient waterfall has carved out a half-tube; the Nail Ranch ruins with a still active windmill water pump; Tuff Canyon created by erosion of volcanic tuff. Otherworldly earthly beauty.

DSC01889.JPGAnd finally to Castalon and the Cottonwood Campground. It’s rather barren and the least developed Big Bend campground, with simple vault toilets and faucets with non-potable water. The faucets only work at certain times, it seems. Note to self: get a plastic bucket or basin.



Author: ontheroadwithsprockets

I've been traveling since I was born -- the first big trip was before I was two, across the Pacific, from my native Japan to Los Angeles on a cargo ship. There have been many journeys since then, through many continents and cultures.

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