Big Bend

Road trips! I love them. I was recently blessed to head to Big Bend with my talented friend Margaret for 4 blissful days of shooting one of the most remote national parks in the U.S.  BB-61After over 8 hours of driving, we finally arrived in Terlingua, which was good because we’d been holding our breath while dodging an assortment of  javelinas, bunnies and deer on the dark roads of Big Bend, not to mention we had no idea where exactly we were going, so it was with a HUGE sigh of relief when we finally found Big Bend Holiday Hotel. Except we didn’t quite find it. Turns out the hotel was behind the building that had the sign. But this is Terlingua and helpful signs and lighting are seriously not a priority. Beautiful skies? Yes.BB-44The next morning, we could actually see where we were. We loved this quaint hotel, even when a dog wandered into our room one day. We were too surprised to snap a picture of him, unfortunately.BB-5On our first day we explored Santa Elena Canyon, Upper Burro Mesa and ended the day at Sotol Vista. 2016-03-11_0007elenabonnets-12016-03-11_0016Each trail was different and mysterious. This one led to a 100-foot pouroff, which we saw after maneuvering down a rocky bank. It was kind of scary, but after Margaret made it down I put on my big-girl pants, said a prayer and scooted/slid down. Our yes-we-rock pictures:2016-03-11_0008pouroff-2Ahh, Sotol Vista. The muted colors of the landscape of the sky at sunset captured us for quite a while. It was such a contrast from the harsh sun and jagged edges of the last hike. Quiet, desolate and oh so beautiful.BB-52BB-15BB-47The next day we were up and out early. Grapevine Trail is 8 miles or so down a dirt road, but it’s an easy hike to Balanced Rock, the highlight of this trail. Someone told us it’s as if God threw the leftover rocks from making the world out here.2016-03-11_0009balanced-12016-03-11_0010BB-42melo-1In the afternoon we hiked Lost Mine Trail, a trail leading up, up to spectacular views of the mountains. The trail was lined with pine trees for part of the way and we saw some deer leaping up the mountain…so beautiful! At the top we took a break and soaked in the sun and the vast landscape. Pictures don’t do it justice!BB-31lost-1On the third day we made the rocky drive to Ernst Tinaja, which is a remote canyon along a dirt road favored by backcountry campers (all two of them) and enthusiastic geologists. We could only hike so far into the canyon, but we saw really interesting lopsided and curvy rock layers and dramatic cliffs of shale.2016-03-11_0012BB-23BB-26BB-22The starry skies of Big Bend are truly spectacular. Truly, the heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. [Psalm 19:1]2016-03-11_00132016-03-11_0014Before leaving for Austin, we captured Terlingua at sunrise…2016-03-11_0015BB-9BB-2BB-1BB-13This trip was such a blessing and I left in awe of the glory of God and His beautiful creation. And, of course, the gift of friendship is priceless.  Visit Margaret Henry’s blog to see her images of the trip. All images here with me in them are hers…thanks, Margaret, for getting me in the frame!

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