Monday, November 14, 2011

BB 2011 Day One

Big Bend National Park, here we come!

For the most part, its a long and boring drive. But it gets exciting as soon as the landscape of Big Bend starts rising from the flat scenery.

We arrived a bit later than we planned so we hustled to set up camp. It was a real race against the sunset - and I wasn't much help since I kept snapping shots instead of working.

I stood them on top of a bear box to get the mountains in the background. We camped in the Chisos Basin again but this time we were farther down into the basin.

Trying to get a fire started without much help.

Gabriel in the tent enjoying the warmth.

Ethan telling a scary story: How the Dinosaurs Became Extinct. (In case you weren't sure, they ate so much they blew up)(It was really scary!)

Our first meal was in the Chisos Lodge Restaurant - with our friends! Yes, we have a couple of friends who met up with us down there. Which made this trip a bit more fun along the the-more-the-merrier lines.

It was in the upper 20's the first night. We had cots. We had sleeping bags rated for zero degrees. We had thermals. We had a (propane) tent heater. This sounds like a whole lot of gear but I can truly say that we were all quite comfy throughout the night.

The last time we were there, javelinas were the big nuisance. This time it was skunks. We were warned that they try to unzip tents. It sounded very cute and very unlikely; what with the absence of thumbs and such. And aren't Rangers big time alarmists anyway?

At one point in the night I woke up to the sound of one or more skunks (probably, I didn't check) banging around on the bear box. I laughed, "silly skunks. You're not going to get in there! Give it up, losers." Then I heard the sounds of a skunk trying - and succeeding - at unzipping our tent! On any given day I could totally handle this on my own thankyouverymuch. However, I played the damsel in distress and cried out, "BRANDON! BRANDON! Wake up! The skunks are invading!"

(After all, I am his damsel - and sometimes it is ok to be in distress)(Once in a while)(Just won't make a habit of it)(Please stop judging me, you're making this awkward)

To which he replied (ever so calmly I might add), "Gabriel, wake up and shoo the skunks away."

I will never forget this image. Gabriel bolted straight up and all I could see was the round little partial face peeking through his mummy bag. It cracked me up! I still have giggle fits when I think of his little face and the disoriented way he turned from one side to another trying to figure out what B was telling him and how he was going to execute this command. I wish I had a camera right then!

More Big Bend adventures later!

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