Wednesday, January 2, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Last Hike, Burro Mesa Pouroff, Big Bend National Park

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

December 2, 2012

This will be our last day in the park.   We had visited the trailhead of the Burro Mesa Pouroff hike briefly late in the day on December 1st.  The trailhead is off the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive.  We all agreed it was too late and we were too tired to attempt the hike and that we would return today.  Turned out that was a great plan!  Being rested made the hike and what we saw so much more enjoyable, and since we were not fighting sunset, we had all the time we wanted or needed to gaze in amazement and take lots and lots of photos!  I took nearly 240 photos today, many of which were in Terlingua later in the evening.  Looking over the photos, I took about 130 in the park and on this hike.  By looking at  the time stamps it was a little over an hour to hike in and out, and we sure did not hurry, but, we did "oooo", and "ahhhhh", and shoot lots of photos (3 cameras going full bore, as they say) and saw some geology type things we had not seen before.  Can't get much better than that, eh??

Let's go see where this leads us, we have a 1/2 mile hike in and then, of course, back out again.  There is very little incline, basically this is a flat terrain.  There is a lot of loose gravel and sand.

Leads us through at least one wash, well, truth, a LOT of this trail was in a wash, so, beware, if it has rained, it might be under water??

Now, I am fully aware that this photo is a bit hard to figure out, what you are supposed to see is the rock (darker one) that is sticking out of the wall of rock.  We all found this structure interesting, found quite a few smaller rocks protruding out of walls of what was obviously a different kind of rock.  Smaller is quantitative tho, as I am sure some of these protruding rocks weighed hundreds of pounds, eh??  Ahhhh, times like this I dream of 3 D camera/photography.

The bright Texas sun.  And, it was warm too!  One of the things that caught our collective attention during this walk was that as we got closer to the "pouroff" and deeper into the canyon was the difference in temperature.  You could literally feel the temp dropping dramatically in just a 100 to 200 feet, maybe as much as 10 to 15 degrees.  Yes, we were all newbies to canyon hiking, so, this really made an impression.  We were glad for the temp drop on this day, as this sun was really heating things up, even early in the day.

Below, Man resting on a most interesting mass, lots of smaller rocks embedded in what looked almost like concrete.  Somehow none of us could figure that there was a concrete truck out this far dumping his sludge, soooo, must have been the work of Mother Nature and a bit of molten rock.  This was deemed a very cool new thing for us.

Here is another shot that is a bit hard to see/describe, you are looking for the long whitish streak, running from top to bottom.  Believe this is some kind of molten lava fun, it is not caulk!  Well, not as far as we know it is not caulk!  LOL

Here is friend J standing at the top of this particular portion, he is shooting the same white streak from the top down.  The streak ran up, all the way up - - -   You can actually see it, barely, just to the left of where he is standing, beside that little boulder/rock. Yes, I know, difficult to spot.

Here is our first view of the "pouroff" area.  Here is the description of this walk, taken from the National Park Service web site:

"This trail leads through a gravel drainage, and ends in a narrow box canyon where water has carved a deep channel into Burro Mesa. The end of the trail is the base of a 100-foot pour-off. Usually dry, the smooth, polished pour-off attests to the power of water that floods this canyon during summer rains."

Another view, friend D looking UP UP UP, and polished it is, although it does not show particularly well in this photo.  The black section is where the water will rush down during summer storms.

This rock found nearby was criss-crossed, looked like elephant skin to me.  Another geological wonder to us.

Man and J each studying the geology and the wonder, further proof that no matter which way you look, up, down, and all around, there is something to investigate.  Much awe factor here.

We reluctantly left the "pouroff" and headed back out into the heat of the day.  We also headed over to Chisos Mountain Lodge for lunch, enjoying our last minutes in Big Bend National Park, trying to remember all we had seen and experienced.  Four great walks/hikes in four days, each different, one rather challenging (that U turn one) and all that great exercise, and tons and tons of photos.

Later this evening we will return to Terlingua, the cemetery was fascinating to a northern gal.  Yes, sometime some will show up here on Reflections.

We now turn north and west towards Arizona, but, we are NOT finished in Texas just yet!

* If you are interested in the geology there is a lengthy detailed discussion on this National Parks page.

** said it was 75 in the park on December 2nd.  I have no idea where they measure their temps.  I know, it is that dry heat thingy, it felt more like 80.  LOL


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