Our first day at Big Bend was extremely windy and cool so we decided to drive through the park to familiarize ourselves with trails and different programs available to us. We stopped at Boquillas Overlook to view the Rio Grande.We drove east to west through the park and ended up at Terlingua, Texas. It is supposed to be a ghost town as well as the place where the annual chili cook-off is held. There were more houses and stores than one would expect at a ghost town.
From Terlingua we went back into the park and traveled to Castolon Visitor Center. From there we took a look at Cottonwood Campground and were glad we chose Rio Grande Village as our base.
Along the trail we were surprised to turn a corner and see these gorgeous yellow flowers growing out of the cliff just below prickly pear cactus.
As we walked back to the trailhead, someone pointed out the bird nests that we missed. They are made of mud and are just beneath an overhanging rock. We didn't see the birds that made them, but we could hear them.
Then we saw another bird nest, this one in cholla. The bird in this nest is protected by the sharp spines of the cactus.
It was well worth the trip as the view was great!
After hiking the two trails, we headed back to the campground. We wanted to be sure to get the the visitor center that night for the ranger's astronomy talk. The night was warm and cloudless. Big Bend is the national park with the darkest night skies. The number of stars we could see was amazing. I am now able to identify more constellations than ever before.