Alpine, Marfa, and the Big Bend, part 2

New Years’ morning while I ate breakfast, Chico practiced his down-stay in the adjoining lobby. He could see me, so it was easy for him to extend duration. A nice man at breakfast suggested that in addition to seeing Big Bend National Park, we ought to drive what’s called The River Road – a road paralleling the Rio Grande River.

So we headed out, going south.

So we headed out, going south.

Through some pretty empty country.

Through some pretty empty country. Which made for lots of good places for pee stops.

P1020840Chico has some major objections to all the spiny plants, but he keeps looking in the desert for a good place. P1020838Until I call it quits and head back for the car. P1020841By then he’s usually quite ready.

"Umm, where's my human to open the crate door?"

“Umm, where’s my human to open the crate door?”

There ARE a lot of spikey-spiney plants.

There ARE a lot of spiky-spiny plants. Not all the pokey things are this obvious, I must have picked six or eight different kinds of pokey things, some of them quite small, from his paws during our desert adventures.

It’s drier than heck out there, but when it rains,

it apparently rains LIKE CRAZY!

it apparently rains LIKE CRAZY!

We entertained these cows for a moment or two.

We entertained these cows for a moment or two.

And finally reached a pull out by the Rio Grande River.

And finally reached a pull out by the Rio Grande River. That other shore is Mexico. How cool is that? We made it to a far edge of the USA.

These Hoodoos didn't welcome dogs, so we just looked.

These Hoodoos didn’t welcome dogs, so we just looked.

And looked.

And looked.

After that, we headed for the Terlingua Ghostown and the Annual New Year’s Day Black-eyed Pea Cook-Off. IMG_20140101_141520_294 There were a lot of people, and dogs, and public beer drinking – I elected to leave Chico in the (open) car in his known-and-loved crate – not a place and time where I wanted to manage my dog (and perhaps someone else’s). By the time I had a bowl of the different peas (all mixed together, yummy but not leaving much opportunity to decide if one was best) – it was 3:30 and we were 100 miles from “home.” So, Big Bend National Park had to wait until the next day.

The low angle of the sun and fading light made for a lovely drive back to Alpine.

The low angle of the sun and fading light made for a lovely drive back to Alpine.

The next day, after a coloche for breakfast (it looked like a giant pig-in-a-blanket to me, but it’s a regional delicacy, here’s a picture of one from another blogger), we headed out again. I looked at a lot of beautiful places: P1020871

Sotol Vista panorama.

Sotol Vista panorama.

P1020870P1020866P1020856P1020857P1020862P1020860And no matter where we go, Chico is most interested in how places smell. P1020863

But, he has something like 5000 times more smell receptors than we poor humans do.

But, he has something like 5000 times more scent receptors than we poor humans do.

Big Bend is pretty far from almost everywhere else in this country, but if one has a chance to go see it, even with a one-day drive-through like Chico and I did (a few days hiking would be great – though NOT dog friendly, like many national and state parks, dogs are allowed on paved roads and in parking/picnic areas only), I say do it.

Distances of a hundred miles are nothing on the Texas scale of things, so driving back to my hotel, feeding and walking Chico and driving twenty-fives miles to Marfa to eat at a recommended restaurant, Cochineal, seemed perfectly sensible and I did it. And it was worth doing. What a yummy, well presented meal.

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One Response to Alpine, Marfa, and the Big Bend, part 2

  1. nancybj says:

    Rich in prose, rich in photos.

    Thanks!!

    Nancy

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