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Big Bend Day Seven The highest Hill in Texas

Today we planned to visit the State Park. Adjoining the National Park and in some respects is similar, it is much more primitive and remote. We started with buying an annual pass at the Barton Warnock Visitor Center. The clerks there were training and it took some time to get our pass and permit for the day.

The drive is through some fabulous and impressive rock formations, huge cliffs and canyons on both sides of the road. And then there is ‘BIG HILL”. According to the rafting guide from a previous trip, it is the steepest road in Texas and maybe the country. It is a 15% grade and is dizzying in the changes in elevations and turns. In addition, road construction created several one  lane bridges with a drop-off on one side and concrete barriers on the other—making me wonder if I should have pulled in the side mirror on the passenger side. I did not get any photos; there just was not a good place to pull off; and I was too busy holding my breath to take them while riding.

There are a lot of miles between Terlingua and Lajitas and even more between the entrance into the State Ranch Park. and the first signage. After leaving the pavement, the road is wide but filled with dips and washboards; sliding around on the gravel road was not something my back enjoyed. Clouds overhead implied rain and washouts of the road in the washes

We drove for about an hour and a half on these roads—if my fit bit had counted the ups and downs over those washboards I would have had many steps—but alas it did not.

We stoopped at Bochechlla Vista and I walked up a goodish ways and took photos as I went. This park is designated as an International Dark Area—and I certainly can believe it—it is incredibly remote and spare.

After awhile we remembered we had parked the f250 and continued on a dirt bike. At some point we even abandoned that as being far too rough—especially for the passenger (me!)

We called it a day and returned to the Visitor center, toured the garden featuring the native plants—I kept a close eye out for snakes—not my favorite creature—and returned to our cabin.

honey mesquite tree
beaked yucca
yucca seed pod

We feasted on pork steak, a salad and Tater Tots. I won’t document the number of steps for the day—but it was not  the usual number—but then maybe we both needed a day of rest.

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