Big Bend Day Nine What Shall We Do Today
The morning was bright and cheerful and there was NO WIND!!! A lineup of cars were at the entrance station suggesting a lot of people on the trails. The road construction crew was home for the weekend so we did not have to deal with the one lane road and pilot car. Two options were available—Mules Ear and Lost Mine. I thought Lost Mine’s parking lot might be full, the trail over-crowded and so we opted for Mules Ear. We had done part of the trail in the past but not the entire trail.
The day was pleasant with little breeze but the path was mostly downhill with steps of rock, mesquite logs, and some concrete. Several other groups were on the trail with us.
We made our way to Mule Ear Spring, the Mule Ears Peaks dispearing form time to time behind hills or mountains. This area is all volcanic and there was a large quantity of flat dark brown rocks looking like an abandoned construction site.
The spring is through some reeds and is covered with ferns—very pretty. A man in the other group tasted the water—I stuck to the bottle of water filled from our cabin. AT one point I sat down to draw a bit—a good excuse to rest my feet and legs for a spell. I had not slept well for several nights and it showed in the drawing. Drawing/sketching with markers is not easy and requires some time to practice.
We never got to the overlook for Mules Ears having walked some distance down Sandy Creek Trail. This trail was marked as ‘moderate’ and only 2.4 miles round trip. Again we wondered how that was measured—I think with a ruler on a map as there are a lot of elevation changes making the trip much longer.
Somehow I managed to leave my camera behind when I sat down to draw but quickly discovered its loss only a hundred yards away from where I had put it down.
We returned to the parking lot, ate our lunch and Glen talked motorcycles with several other men in one of the groups. By this time it was nearly 3 PM. Too late to try another long hike so we opted to tour the Panther Junctdion garden area—vegetation marked with signage. That parking lot was full suggesting a busy weekend ahead for the park.
Back at the cabin we enjoyed a glass of wine on the porch, ate leftovers from our meal at the Starlight and began packing up for our return trip home in the morning.
It has been a full week; we could have done more; we could have planned more; we could have brought better shoes but we didn’t. It was still a wonderful time.