Alrighty. Made it down to Big Bend NP. What a beautiful ride in! Everything I was reading said the park campgrounds are full and they were extremely busy. Well, could have fooled me. Yeah there are people here and camps are full… but far from what you would think of as packed. I guess I’m used to the chaos on the east coast. I was able to get a primitive camp spot last minute online at recreation.gov for 2 nights…10 bucks a night…which was the only thing available….. Grapevine Hill #2. I’m right next to another spot GH-3, which is a couple guys in a tent. It’s about 4 miles NW from Panther Junction…where the main NPS building is (great free wifi btw if you need it) and the only gas station on that side of the park. The road into my site (another 4 miles due north) was just OK for my 27′ rig. Very bumpy, rocky, with long washboard like stretches and very narrow in spots…others coming the other way with 4x4s were nice enough to pull off to make room for me. Just not sure I’d want to bring a diesel pusher or big 5th wheel down here…but I was just fine…couple dry washouts to cross, but I didn’t come close to getting stuck or bottoming out anywhere…just took it slow..5-10 mph. This road continues on to other GH camp spots and a trail head to Balanced Rock….which I’ll go see today…. so there is a somewhat steady flow of people driving by.. 2 or 3 an hour during the day. Site is flat and level. Has a bear box to store food if you are in a tent, but nothing else. There aren’t that many black bears here, 30 to 50 down closer to the Rio Grande…but its the javelinas that can get food aggressive and you need to look out for….they hate dogs too and will attack them if threatened.
Anyway, surrounded by great views and deafening silence. Nightime is sooooo dark b4 the moon rises, you literally can’t see your hands if you put them right in front of your face. It was crazy and a little unnerving to be honest. But man the stars are absolutely unbelievable. It’s ranked the #1 spot in the country for stargazing…for professional and amateurs alike. I will never forget it.
Internet and cell service is spotty throughout the park…comes in and out while driving. AT&T has zero signal. My VZW…I’m getting decent service…HSPA+ (basically in-between 3G and 4G LTE) . My 4G LTE VZW jetpack doesn’t work, but with my phone, I am pretty much able to access everything as normal, just slower. I’m actually surprised VZW is working this well here. There is no TV or FM radio signal whatsoever.
I’m at around 4,000 feet amsl, so it’s chilly at night…low 40s high 30s. 80 during the day. Moving down south to the Rio Grande Village on Sunday. Tomorrow…I don’t have a spot yet. I keep checking for cancellations in the park online, but I may need to look elsewhere outside the park.
Pics are from yesterday, sunset and this mornings sunrise. Sorry for the long post ..but people seem to appreciate the details.