Big Bend National Park

Travel Route: San Antonio to Big Bend National Park to Alpine

Why is it called Big Bend National Park?

It’s not one of the famous National Parks; it is certainly far and difficult to reach.  Thus, it is one of the least-visited, but after a drive that took me 10 hours (with many stops), I arrived at Chisos Mountains Lodge.  I think it was worthwhile.  I always loved the desert’s silence and uninterrupted horizon line.  There is something about desert scenery that is bigger than words.

Small towns, ghost towns, towns that aren’t really towns, a few of them exist along the road.  With the summer heat, the distance from a major city, it’s not surprising to imagine how humans tried and failed to thrive there.  Yet, this is a place where whatever concerns you have in your everyday life are likely to melt away, with anything you leave in your car.

The park derives its name from the U-shaped bend of the Rio Grande bordering the park, providing a natural border between the United States and Mexico.  It’s not precisely “Grande” as the water level is low due to drought that has left much of the river dry.  At some points, you can cross the river into Mexico on foot, although signs warn that it’s illegal.  I noticed quite a few border patrol cars in the park and the area at large.