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Journeys Through America is a nonprofit organization providing educational material for all school-aged children across the country. The program will form partnerships with local school districts to provide children with a new, interactive, educational experience integrating the history of America and its National Parks. Journeys Through America's goal is to foster a fun and adventurous learning environment that will promote altruistic growth within our children and our greater community.

Big Bend National Park

By Jul 22nd 2010 No Comments »

On Sunday we arrived at Big Bend National Park in Texas.  Surrounded by the Chihuahuan Desert’s beautiful vegetation, the Rio Grande and the Chisos Mountains, this was quite a sight to see.  The rocks of Big Bend are a complex lot. Two seas, one after another flowed and subsided in the region hundreds of millions of years ago, leaving thick deposits of limestone and shale.

We arrived at the park late and set up our campsite at the Rio Grande Campground.  Though it was an empty and open campground we were not alone. We were joined by the shrill noises of numerous javelinas, a small pig like animal similar to a boar.

After a long sleepless night we awoke to see what the Chisos Mountains had to offer.  The Chisos Mountains are the southernmost range in the Continental United States. Visitors to the park often ask how the Chisos Mountains got their name.  While there are many theories, the most romantic one states that Spanish explorers called these mountains “hechizoa,” which means “enchanted” in Castilian Spanish.  We were eager to see how entrancing these mountains were. Our trail of choice was the Lost Mine Trail, which promised excellent views of the surrounding mountains and desert.  Legend has it, Spanish explorers discovered a rich silver mine near the summit and enslaved Indians to work it. The miners rebelled, killed their overlords, and sealed the entrance.  From the very first step, the Lost Mine Trail lead us into a different world – a woodland-grassland ecosystem.  The entire trail was filled with lush and new vegetation such as, Lechuguilla, Nolina and Agaves and after reaching the top we were not let down, we were surrounded by majestic views.

After a peaceful rest at the summit, we returned back to the base and drove west to the Chisos Basin campground for night number two.  This campground was populated with other tent campers and even provided shade to each campsite by an overhang.  Also differing from the Rio Grande campground, here we were surrounded by the beautiful Chisos Mountains.  It was a peaceful and beautiful evening, with no javelinas. The Same park, two campgrounds, one completely different experience.  After a scrumptious Mountain House dinner we called it an evening.  A drive to the Guadalupe Mountains was in store for the morning.

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