Roswell, New Mexico – May 2019 – An Alien Town

When fate lands in your lap, or town, use it for all it’s worth. Roswell, New Mexico was handed something in 1947 that they have made a cottage industry off of ever since – an alien spacecraft crash.

Many of the businesses in town celebrate this notoriety in their advertising.










































Easily the biggest tourist spot in town is the UFO Museum. It has a great deal of information on UFOs, both those that prove and those that disprove.

They also have some interesting displays.















Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas – May 2019 – Slot Canyon and Hoodoos

In addition to the national park there is a state park along the Rio Grande in west Texas called Big Bend Ranch State Park. While smaller than the national park, it is still very large.

Our morning in the park took us along the renown River Road, which is very scenic.















Our first hike of the day was through Closed Canyon. The trail through this slot canyon quickly becomes sided by 150′ cliffs.

Eventually you reach a point where you need rappelling equipment to continue over large erosions, so we had to turn around and return to the car.












The HooDoo Trail is another highlight of the park. Being able to get close up gives you a sense of how large they are.

Our time along the Rio Grande ended with this hike. From this point forward it will be north and east towards home.














Terlingua, Texas – May 2019 – Pretty Busy for a Ghost Town

The town of Terlingua, Texas is billed as a ghost town, which is amusing because there are all sorts of random structures serving as homes, as well as numerous artist studios, and apparently the Chili Cook Off Capital of the World!




As with Boquillas, this was a mining town where the mines closed long ago, leaving numerous structures to fall into disrepair.





















No clue why there is a stake through a cactus.



Newer buildings are scattered throughout the ruins.






The Terlingua Cemetery is quite interesting as well. Next time you find yourself in the area stop by for some interesting sights, people, and some chili.











Boquillas, Mexico – May 2019 – Crossing the Rio Grande

The small Mexican town of Boquillas was for many years a mining town, until that ended in 1919. Fortunately for Boquillas it lies directly across the Rio Grande from Big Bend National Park.

This worked great for years, with tourists crossing the border to go up into town for lunch, then returning to the park. All that ended with 9-11, and the border closings.

For more than 10 years the small town dwindled down to almost nothing, until finally the US Government built a remote immigration center and the flow started again.



The border crossing is only open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, but our good luck had us there on a Sunday so we headed across the river in a rowboat.



The ‘Park and Ride’ lot on the Mexican side was where we picked up our ‘ride’ into town – a burro.



The townsfolk have this worked out – the family own some burros, and they walk along with you as you ride up the 1/2 mile hill into town, where they take you to their family owned restaurant. (there are two restaurants in town).

The food and cold beer were excellent.



After lunch they showed us around town, stopping off at his wife’s souvenir stand where we picked up something.



Their little town is resourceful. With a church and a school, they have everything they need to survive 160 miles from the nearest town in Mexico.




They do make trips across to the Rio Grande Village in the park to pick up needed supplies.

We continued our tour around town. While there are a few abandoned buildings, most are in use.















We stopped at the Park and Ride lot in town for our trip back down the hill.



A quick ride across the Rio Grande, followed by a brief visit to US immigration and we were on our way – full from lunch and with great memories of a cool little Mexican town.






Big Bend National Park, Texas – May 2019

Big Bend National Park is one of the more remote parks in the continental United States, but with some effort – we arrived!




The early morning drive down from Marathon provided an excellent sunrise, giving the mountains great coloring.








Eventually we made our way back down to the Rio Grande River Valley.



Our west Texas days constantly provided interesting cacti views.



The Rio Grande in this area is really just a decent size creek, but the kayaks were setting out for the day.



Our first choice for hiking along the river, the Santa Elena Canyon Trail, was closed due to wildfires, so we headed instead for the Boquillas Canyon Trail.




As we made our way along the river an elderly man on the Mexico side serenaded us with songs in an effort to get us to come down to the river bank so he could sell his wares.



The canyon walls continually closed in until we couldn’t go any further unless we went in the river.




We returned to cross the border into Mexico (detailed on the next post) passing more colorful mountains along the way.




With wildfires closing a number of the more popular spots in the park, we chose to go up into the basin and check out the Window View Trail. Again we were treated to interesting vegetation.








Being in the basin we were surrounded on all sides by the mountains.




This view is ‘The Window’.




While it was disappointing that the wildfires impacted the park, there was plenty to see and do for the day.