I got back from Big Bend last night at about 7:30. The trip was incredible! Everything came together, and it was just fantastic. When people tell you that they like hiking, this is what they’re talking about.
The people on this trip were really fun. It was me, B-Dub, Chris (a mutual friend of ours) and B-Dub’s dad, Lee. We got along great the entire trip. No fussing, no arguments, just lots of fun and immature guy jokes.
We didn’t run into many others on the trail, but everyone that we did talk to was super friendly. Almost all of them were from Texas with the exception of one guy from New York. There was also a family from England, but they’ve lived in Houston for several years, so I don’t think that counts, they’re Texans by now.
It literally could not have been any better! Every day the high was in the 70’s, and the low every night was in the 50’s. I only took short and t-shirts on the trip, I was a little chilly in the evenings, but it was bearable. Each night there were no clouds in the sky, so you could see ALL the stars! We saw satellites, shooting stars, the Milky-Way, constellations, it was just indredible. The visibility wasn’t as high as I remember it being on other trips, but this just meant that you could only see 40 miles from the south rim, instead of the usual 60.
This was my favorite part. We hiked up into the Chisos and set up camp just over a mile in. The next morning we woke up and hiked a 9.7 mile loop, past Emory Peak up to the South Rim and back. Total elevation gain was about 1600 feet. It was definitely a strenuous hike, but I wasn’t overcome by it. My leg muscles are still a little tight, but I was never exhausted like I have been on other trips. And the view from the South Rim was just incredible. Looking straight down from the lip, its about a 2000′ drop. And looking out, you see other mountains, rivers that have cut their way through rock, miles of beautiful brushy desert, and it all just takes your breath away.
For the first time in a long time, I had all the necessary equipment, and everything worked! No equipment was missing, and none of it broke. I know, I know, this is just a minor detail, but it makes a huge difference in terms of your enjoyment in hiking.
Its 455 miles to Big Bend, which took us about 7½ hours each way, because we stopped to eat and stretch a couple of times. But the miles were easy because we were laughing and listening to B-Dub’s iPod. I love road trips, and this one didn’t disappoint.
I am so glad that I went on this trip. The whole thing was just awesome. I came back refreshed, and eager to tackle life. I think that’s why I love hiking so much. In our day to day life, we drive around in cars and work in offices and sleep in our houses, and its easy to forget that we’re human. When you go hiking or camping, it brings it all back to the basics, and for a couple of days you get to see the stars and feel the breeze on your skin and work up a sweat while walking through some really beautiful scenery. And after a couple of days, when you return to your regular life, you find that you have more energy and excitement for life.
Listening to Paula Abdul. Don’t ask.