Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park, April 2017

There has been so many threads on these 2 parks that people have learned almost everything about these parks. But since I have an upcoming trip, I decided why not make a thread and share pictures and maybe videos everyday on my trip.

Trip is from April 20th to April 25th

This is my tentative itinerary. Feel free to give me any suggestions or if anybody from here will be there, would be nice to go on some runs together. I have been to BBNP and BBSP before. The only major thing I will do different this time is little offroading, lol. Trying to avoid too much pinstriping. I will not be camping, but instead I will be staying at the Chisos Mining Motel in Terlingua. I hope the weather is good at this time and not too hot.

This is my tentative itinerary...

April 20th (Thursday)
Get off work at 7pm. Get home and load my suv. 2 adults. We leave at 10pm, driving through the night for our 10 hours drive and ending the journey at the Chisos Mt Lodge in Big Bend National Park at 7am for breakfast.

April 21st (Friday)
Breakfast at Chisos Mt Lodge
Ross scenic Dr
Santa Elena Canyon
Old Maverick Road
Eat lunch at DB'S bbq (open 11a to 6pm)
More sight seeing.
Check in at hotel

April 22nd (Saturday)
Breakfast at Terlingua
Drive to Hotsprings
Rio grade village visitor center
Cross over to Boquillas, Mexico for lunch (Passports required! Wait and cross with other americans, for safety)
Some offroading, maybe River Rd ad Glen Springs. Don't know if I will get to Black Gap yet. Trying to avoid pinstriping.

April 23rd (Sunday)
Drive to BBState Park
Lajitas to Presidio. Stop along the way for scenic views, pictures and make a video.
Explore the state park. (Need suggestions)

April 24th (Monday)
Rest, explore Big Bend again
Do a hike or 2
BBQ at hotel

April 25th (Tuesday)
Checkout of hotel. Time to head home. Take the long way home.
Drive to Presidio.
Go up to ghost town Shafter. Explore Shafter
Drive up north to Marfa
Stop at Fort Davis
Drive to McDonald's observatory
Drive on US90 to Del Rio, TX
Stop in Langtry, TX to see the Judge Roy Bean Museum
Drive across the border into Mexico. Then drive back into the US and head straight home.
Drive home
 
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Got new tires for the trip...


And almost ready. Tuned my cb and got her cleaned. But I have one more detail to do to her before finally ready.


 
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bajarat

Explorer
You are safer in a rowboat to BDC than getting gas at a convenience store on Hwy 288 in PL !

Have fun ! It will be HOT
 

WeeJeep2

Adventurer
Sounds like a good trip. Are you moving hotels when you go to the State park? It will be approx. 5 hour round trip from Terlingua to the Saucida Ranger Station in the park without stops. Another option without camping is to stay at the bunk house in the state park. I've never done it but know several who had a good experience there.
 

AggieOE

Trying to escape the city
Truck looks good! Y'all don't think you'll be too tired to do anything that first day? I know it sucks to have to drive all the way across the state (I live near Pearland too). Splitting the drive 5-hours each will be exhausting still especially on those long desolate roads (without much emergency response). Don't be afraid to stop and get some extra shut eye! We're looking to make this trip soon but the drive has been the hardest thing to plan for.
 

lathamb

Observer
The old Mariscal Mercury mine is pretty cool. If you're feeling adventurous, you can take Glenn Springs Road to Black Gap Road to the old mine. If you're feeling less daring, just take River Road from the East. Also, Balanced rock is a good short hike, and close to the Basin. I was at the park two weeks ago.
 
Have fun ! It will be HOT
Lol, I hope it is not too hot.

Sounds like a good trip. Are you moving hotels when you go to the State park? It will be approx. 5 hour round trip from Terlingua to the Saucida Ranger Station in the park without stops. Another option without camping is to stay at the bunk house in the state park. I've never done it but know several who had a good experience there.
Thanks.

No kidding, I just looked at that round trip and it is truly 5 hours like you say. That means I would be very busy on that day. I plan to leave the hotel quite early for the early morning drive. You know sunrise at Big Bend is usually a very pretty sight to see. So, I hope I catch some good sights for some great pictures, gopro videos and enjoy the weather, driving about 40mph or less with the windows down.

I do not plan on moving hotels, though your suggestion sounds great. I will look a little bit more into it. But I think I may not move hotels and just do the driving. We will see.

I know I will be avoiding any trails in BBSP just because the trails are narrower and guarantee a lot of pinstriping. I am trying to avoid that with this vehicle, lol. My last 2 vehicles got pinstriping when I took them to Big Bend offroading on almost all trails in BBNP and BBSP.

Truck looks good! Y'all don't think you'll be too tired to do anything that first day? I know it sucks to have to drive all the way across the state (I live near Pearland too). Splitting the drive 5-hours each will be exhausting still especially on those long desolate roads (without much emergency response). Don't be afraid to stop and get some extra shut eye! We're looking to make this trip soon but the drive has been the hardest thing to plan for.
Thanks.

Thanks for the suggestion. Just exactly what we plan to do. We actually do not plan to split it 5 hours each. More like drive until you get tired and need to switch. Then we switch. And right now, I am trying to map out rest stop areas along I-10 to see how often we can stop. And we truly are thinking of napping a bit somewhere, but also, thought that one can always nap while the other is driving. I know I would love to stop at some rest area, relax and enjoy the night atmosphere, especially at a Love's stop where a lot of 18 wheelers would be taking a break. I also hope that these 18 wheelers can be entertaining us on channel 19 as we cruise down I-10 throughout the night.

The old Mariscal Mercury mine is pretty cool. If you're feeling adventurous, you can take Glenn Springs Road to Black Gap Road to the old mine. If you're feeling less daring, just take River Road from the East. Also, Balanced rock is a good short hike, and close to the Basin. I was at the park two weeks ago.
Thanks for the suggestions. Just what I have planned to do. Take Glen Springs road to Black Gap to the old mine. But I must be honest to say what is going to stop me now is the thought of all the pinstriping I have waiting for me on that road. I have been trying to assess in my mind what I consider as possible damage to my paint, lol. Been thinking up some crazy ideas of how to protect my side panels.

I would definitely like to attempt hikes that are less than 1 mile round trip. Lol, don't want to be out there for too long under the heat. So, I am looking for short hikes for now.
 
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I was kind of disappointed at the lack of chatter as we drove along I-10 on our way out there. It was not at all like what we are used to hearing on I-35.
Did you travel during the day or overnight? I am guessing you may have traveled during the day. Not much talk during the day as at night.

I was on a trip once and it was about 10pm and I was driving and passing up some of these 18 wheelers. This was in Tennessee. Man, did one guy have a potty mouth. It was entertaining though. He was talking about some dirt that he does at some truck rest stops.

I like listening to some of their stories. It gets entertaining. I am hoping this time I get the same.

Also, in the same state, one 18 wheeler was trying to get pass like 3 others and was taking his time. I had my cb, but did not say anything. Then I hear one guy tell the 18 wheeler infront of me that there is a car behind him. So, they made room and he got on the right lane and I quickly passed him, picked up my mic and keyed it and said "thanks". Then I hear him say, "Nice car". I quickly said "thanks", plaid down my mic and watched the 18 wheelers in my rear view mirrors change from elephants to a dot as I disappeared infront of them in the night.
 
Just for fun, I just made a map now of possible places to stop for gas or just rest. I will probably stop at all of these places or skip some of it. Atleast, this will keep the trip interesting and not tiring for that night trip.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Pearland,+TX/Colorado+County+Safety+Rest+Area+Westbound,+Glidden,+TX+78943/Buc-ee's,+10070+I-10,+Luling,+TX+78648/Love's+Travel+Stop,+43+US+Highway+87+I-10+Exit+523,+Comfort,+TX+78013/Sonora+TX+Safety+Rest+Area,+3500+N+Srv+Rd,+Sonora,+TX+76950/Love's+Travel+Stop,+2723+East+US+Highway+290+I-10+Exit+261,+Fort+Stockton,+TX+79735/Marathon,+TX/Chisos+Mountains+Lodge,+Big+Bend+National+Park,+1+Basin+Rural+Station,+Big+Bend+National+Park,+TX+79834/@30.0639254,-101.5373908,7z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m50!4m49!1m5!1m1!1s0x86405890a6fe33a9:0xcabb7507f4a5ccee!2m2!1d-95.2860474!2d29.5635666!1m5!1m1!1s0x8643e8c2aa44c081:0xb66eabc405e19d6b!2m2!1d-96.6102343!2d29.6939152!1m5!1m1!1s0x86434612f55141e1:0xef42dabd5f232b80!2m2!1d-97.5924898!2d29.6507841!1m5!1m1!1s0x865bf3c7afbcf8bb:0xe4e5667809033011!2m2!1d-98.9025763!2d29.9820829!1m5!1m1!1s0x86f7d08ddf829589:0x24758cc220e258b7!2m2!1d-100.7451895!2d30.6160381!1m5!1m1!1s0x86f07e801b05d6a9:0x90625cea5de272bd!2m2!1d-102.8524304!2d30.8931667!1m5!1m1!1s0x86f1cb3679ba0aa9:0x720e0d3e89d4c70!2m2!1d-103.2446205!2d30.2051688!1m5!1m1!1s0x86f2165555555553:0xc23a301ec3cd8b89!2m2!1d-103.2993285!2d29.2705344!3e0

(1) Pearland, TX to Colorado County Safety Rest Area Westbound, Glidden, TX 78943
1 hour 30 minutes (95 miles)
Rest Area. Restrooms and benches to sit and relax

(2) Colorado County Safety Rest Area to Buc-ee's, 10070 I-10, Luling, TX 78648
1 hour (70 miles)
Buc-ee's. Restroom and food or drinks

(3) Buc-ee's to Love's Travel Stop, 43 US Highway 87 I-10 Exit 523, Comfort, TX 78013
1 hour 40 minutes (105 miles)
Love's gas station. Restroom, food and drinks.

(4) Comfort to Sonora TX Safety Rest Area, 3500 N Srv Rd, Sonora, TX 76950
1 hour 45 minutes (130 miles)
Rest Area. Restrooms and benches to sit and relax

(5) Sonora to Love's Travel Stop, 2723 East US Highway 290 I-10 Exit 261, Fort Stockton, TX 79735
1 hour 50 minutes (135 miles)
Love's gas station. Restroom, food and drinks

(6) Fort Stockton to Marathon, TX
1 hour (60 miles)
Gas station for gas and restroom.

(7) Marathon to Chisos Mountains Lodge, 1 Basin Rural Station, Big Bend National Park, TX 79834
1 hour 30 minutes (80 miles)
Big Bend!!! Make sure to get here no later than 6:50am for Breakfast at 7am when the restaurant opens.
 
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Triplesnake

Adventurer
Did you travel during the day or overnight? I am guessing you may have traveled during the day. Not much talk during the day as at night.

I was on a trip once and it was about 10pm and I was driving and passing up some of these 18 wheelers. This was in Tennessee. Man, did one guy have a potty mouth. It was entertaining though. He was talking about some dirt that he does at some truck rest stops.

I like listening to some of their stories. It gets entertaining. I am hoping this time I get the same.

Also, in the same state, one 18 wheeler was trying to get pass like 3 others and was taking his time. I had my cb, but did not say anything. Then I hear one guy tell the 18 wheeler infront of me that there is a car behind him. So, they made room and he got on the right lane and I quickly passed him, picked up my mic and keyed it and said "thanks". Then I hear him say, "Nice car". I quickly said "thanks", plaid down my mic and watched the 18 wheelers in my rear view mirrors change from elephants to a dot as I disappeared infront of them in the night.
We were traveling at night on the way out, and hardly heard a peep once we got west of Junction. I-10 is a pretty lonely stretch as you head west from there.

We do enjoy hearing the chatter as we drive. It gets entertaining, especially when the stories start up, or when tempers flair, LOL. It seems like the trucks are always surprised when we talk to them. I guess they don't get much interaction from us "four wheelers", much less any courtesy.
 
How do you like the Atturo MT tires?
These are not the M/Ts. The M/Ts are mud tires, but the ones I have are the X/Ts, which is their hybrid tire between the Mud tires and the All Terrain tires.

These are 305/45/22 Atturo Trail Blade X/Ts.

I really like it so far. For such an aggressive tire, it has some good road manners and quiet on the freeway. But sadly, my mpg has dropped because they are huge and heavier than my oem stock size of 275/50/22. I will give a better review on these tires after I come back from my trip. Since I will get to test it on the 700 miles drive one way and 700 miles drive back and also will rate it on its offroad performance while at Big Bend. Though offroading in Big Bend is not hardcore.

My truck now is fully transformed and ready for its road trip. I put my 2 45 quarts RTIC coolers, 2 gas jerry cans and 2 water jerry cans on my roof rack. This is my road trip look for my long road trips. And then I just did a photo shot and sharing some of the pics.




 
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What a long night. Drove for 10 hours. Stopped multiple times. I did 6 hours and she did 2 hours. It was so tiring. Traffic was light and weather was great. I did not get to the restaurant at 7am as I was hoping, but I got there at 8:15am, which turned out great as we stopped in time to catch some sunrise shots.
 
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