Big Bend Nat'l Park Run & Hike!


Last stop: Big Bend National Park in Texas! It was our last stop of our vacation from Texas to the Grand Canyon, to California, to the Tucson, Arizona, area and back home. Our first hike was to the Balanced Rock and it was my favorite of all of our Big Bend hikes.  

Lifting Weights on Vacation!
Twelve days after running the 50K trail race, I went for my first post-race run and saw my first roadrunner. I did some hill work through a tunnel while looking out for mountain lions. I saw the sun rise over the mountains and ran to the Rio Grande River, which separates the U.S. and Mexico.

Hill Work: Tunnel Run (1800-2100' elevation)

The next day, I went for another run from our site at the Rio Grande RV Campground to the tunnel again. I ran with a walkie-talkie (no phone service) in case of emergency. While I was running, my husband asked me if I had heard the coyotes that he had heard from inside the RV. I did! I never saw them, but while we were driving we saw lots of deer and a javelina, too.

The View from the US to Mexico: Santa Elena Canyon at the Rio Grande River

There isn't much internet access in the park, but I was busy lifting boulders, hiking, running and driving anyway. It's a huge park and the maximum speed limit is only 45mph. That makes for some long drives!

What's the most frightening animal you've seen while running? I've seen gators, but snakes scare me more. I don't want to accidentally step on one and have it strike back. 

Where's your favorite place to vacation? Hard choice for me, but a couple of states that I like the best are Utah and Colorado.

Comments

  1. This all sounds amazing, the Rio Grand, the tunnel, the road runner! My favorite vacation state is Florida, of course!

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    1. I've had some fun trips to Destin and hope to explore more of the state someday.

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  2. Big Bend is wonderful (and huge). I visited it once and barely felt like I saw the park because it is so big! Glad you are having a good vacation and it looks so warm!

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    1. It is huge! We drove from one end to the other (Rio Grande Campground to Santa Elena Canyon) and there's still so much that we didn't have time to see.

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  3. hehe, i like your strength work! I have never been to Calif. or Utah, it sure does look pretty where you were! I love Montana near Glacier National Park:)

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    1. Glacier National Park - that's on my wish list!

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  4. Wow, you have been some amazing places recently! Take me with you next time!!

    Also...honestly, the scariest animal I've seen while running is probably the goose who chased me through the park in Boston once. Those things are mean!

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    1. I have a scary childhood memory of a goose chasing me - I understand!

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    1. I had more fun there than I thought I would! It was a great place to run and hike!

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  6. What a fun trip and beautiful scenery! Love all the pictures. I've never seen any "scary" animals while running (thank goodness) but I have encountered a few angry dogs. One of my favorite places to vacation would have to be Hawaii. We are going again in February and I am literally counting the days...

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    1. You reminded me of two things... I've been chased by stray dogs, too, and I loved our trip to Hawaii. I had a great running the Kona Marathon and hiking there! I'm sure you'll have a great time, too!

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  7. Luckily I don't see many wild animals while running.
    Your scenic vacation looks wonderful and LUCKY YOU finding places so beautiful to run.

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    1. Seems like you've had deer in your yard, but maybe you're so used to them you aren't counting them as wild! I saw some deer yesterday. They out-stared me!

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  8. Oh wow ... watching for mountain lions!!! I'm glad you didn't meet up with any! Your vacation sounds amazing ... this is part of the country I have not seen, but it is on my to-do list.

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    1. Me, too! Except that I really wanted to see one from the inside of my car!

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  9. Super jealous of your RV! We need one stat. I'm not even sure I would know a javelina if I saw one. In west texas, I ran across (literally) giant tarantulas. I didn't even know they existed there, so it really freaked me out. Plus I was watching out for rattlesnakes the whole time. Snakes are scary, but I keep telling myself that very few people die from bites here because we have such great access to medical care. I looked up the numbers once of snake bite deaths in the US, and it made me feel better.

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    1. I didn't leave my running shoes outside the RV - scared of something getting in them like tarantulas! Just before my second run, I read about wild animals in the park paper and learned that wherever you go in the park, you're in a mountain lion's territory. Gulp!

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  10. I have to say Alaska topped vacation places for me but of course Maine is an absolute favorite. Your trip looks great.

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    1. It would be great to visit Alaska! And I loved visiting Maine when I ran the Maine Marathon. We visited the coast and hiked in Acadia National Park. I wish that Maine was closer to Texas!

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  11. This looks like such a fun trip all around. How neat that you saw a roadrunner!

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