Wednesday, July 7, 2010
We broke camp on the river yesterday and inched our way up the steep grade into the Basin Camp in the Chisos Mountains high in the Chihuahuan Desert. The elevation is 5401'. The temperature last night was in the low 60s so we turned the AC off and opened all the windows...it was glorious!!! However, shortly thereafter it began to rain and continued all night...so much for open air.
This tiny primitive basin camp is completely surrounded by sheer jagged cliffs jutting into the firmament, the tops of which are hidden under a blanket of clouds. There are no hookups or showers available for miles around so we are really camping now.
This is black bear and mountain lion country so each campsite features a metal box to store all food and scented items, since the bears consider pop-ups and ice chests fair game.
This morning two small deer grazed on low lying branches of nearby shrub as I scrambled eggs to go with our coffee and toast. We are hoping to spot a peregrine falcon who also claims these mountains as home while on the comeback from extinction. These incredible jet fighters of the bird world attack their prey at speed up to 220 mph, victims are usually killed by the force of the impact alone. Stay tuned for more wildlife lore from nature Nancy in posts to come.
I have been painting this morning and hope to complete the painting of this canyon later today. Meanwhile, here are a few more images:
1. Road into Big Bend,
2. 1920s adobe (oldest in the park)
3. Another view from Rio Grande campground of the Sierra del Carmen Mountains that stretches into Mexico.
Stay tuned for another action packed adventure on Day 8 when we head east to Study Butte and Presidio....assuming the bears don't abruptly alter those plans.