Thursday, February 21, 2013

Our Visit to Big Bend

I had an amazing weekend! My husband and I stayed at an adorable hotel, visited Big Bend National Park, did some hiking, saw some incredible views, and saw Mexico from across the Rio Grande. Best of all, I didn't see any snakes!! Our weekend started on Friday night at the Holland Hotel in Alpine, TX. I absolutely loved this hotel. The hotel was built in 1928 and has a cozy, fancy old-west feeling to it. We found a Groupon deal online and purchased the 2 night deluxe room option for only $159. When I called to make a reservation, the hotel said they did not have any deluxe rooms available for our dates. They immediately offered to upgrade us to a jacuzzi suite at no extra charge! We also received a $20 dining credit for their delicious restaurant, and to our surprise, our first round of drinks were free! I would go back to this hotel in a heartbeat. I loved everything about it.

This is the cute outside courtyard. I could have spend all night out there looking at the stars...if it wasn't freezing out.

Not the best picture, but this is the sitting area next to the lobby. So much history here. 

Our cute room! I loved the wrought-iron headboard and the little afghan on the bed.

I was not prepared for the incredible sights Big Bend had to offer. I had a pretty good idea that I would like it there, but did not really know what to expect. The park is about an hour and 20 minutes away from Apline, and we drove there on Saturday and again on Sunday. On our first day we wanted to hike the Lost Mine trail in the Chisos Mountains, but the parking lot was full. From there we went to the Santa Elena Canyon, which was about 30 miles away. I couldn't get over how beautiful the canyon is. I also loved that you were literally about 10 feet away from Mexico (it was across the river).
 View of Mexico.
 The beautiful Santa Elena Canyon.
On Sunday we were able to get a parking spot, and hiked the Lost Mine trail. The views up there were beyond amazing. We had the peak pretty much all to ourselves, which was surprising because the trail was quite busy. I loved just sitting up there taking it all in. After we left the Chisos area, we drove another 30 or so miles to go to the hot spring. The hot spring is natural pool that is about 105 degrees all the time. I wasn't a fan of the little dirt road that goes to the spring. There was no guard rail to prevent you from going off the edge, and the road was so narrow! Good thing the husband is a good driver. I would have parked and walked! Once we got to the spring's parking lot we had to walk a quarter of a mile or so. The path ran along the base of a rocky ledge and the Rio Grande. Before getting to the hot spring we had heard that Mexican vendors are sometimes there, and it is illegal to purchase their goods. On the trail we saw where they had set up scorpions made out of beads and wires. They had a "donation" jar next to them with a suggested donation of $6. My theory was that if we were to simply take an item, we were not purchasing it, so therefore it would not be illegal. But no, I did not steal any Mexican handicrafts. I was a little disappointed when we got to the spring. It was a cool sight to see, but it was full of old men! I chose not to sit in the crammed little pool with them.

Next time we go to Big Bend we want to camp out and climb Emory Peak, the park's tallest mountain.

Saw this sign on the way to the Chisos Mountain area
 Sitting at the top of the Lost Mine trail
 The road to the hot spring. What a view!
 Me standing in front of the Rio Grande and Mexico.
 Mexican crafts
 One of the historic buildings on the trail to the spring
 Panoramic view from the top of the Lost Mine trail

No comments:

Post a Comment