I have extended my stay at Big Bend for two additional days, as the first two days were completely clouded over, and I really want to see the park in the sunshine. I’m pretty sure there really are tops to these mountains; I just can’t see them.
Yesterday I left the campsite and soon realized that my neighbor was right behind me. I drove through the gas station to see what the price is ($2.70 a gallon!) and he drove in also. I went to the Panther Jct. visitor center, extended my campsite stay, got some water and dumped my trash and when I came out, his car was also there. Then I drove over to see the Boquillas border crossing; I had hoped to be able to see the actual river but the U.S. Customs building was in the way. You can take a rowboat ride across the river for $5, then there are people on the Mexican side who will give you a donkey ride up to the little town of Boquillas for another $5. I have no desire to ride a donkey! I drove on to an overlook area and saw some people on the Mexican side of the rivier working on some project. There were some walking sticks and crafts all laid out on a rock there with no one around; you can buy things made in Mexico on the honor system! Most of the small items were $6 and the larger items were $10-12.
I went on to the Hot Springs and was surprised that there were old buildings there…one was a store and another looked like a motel! I actually walked the ¼ mile to the hot springs! (And ¼ mile back) My knees and hips were feeling it when I got back but there were places to rest along the way. As I was coming back to the parking area, there was my neighbor again! I called out that it wasn’t nice to stalk people and he laughed; we stopped and chatted a bit. His camper is not as old as I thought; it’s a 1969 Playmor. He lives in it too, like me except he’s got almost twice as much space.
The hot springs are free and about a 20’ square pool right next to the river, just a few feet deep. I believe the water is 105 degrees.
I went on to the campgrounds. The one with electric hookups was like a paved parking lot though it did have some trees; campers were packed in very closely. This CG stays full all the time. The other campground without hookups had lots of trees and the sites were spacely farther apart. There’s a “no generators” area that would be quieter. There’s also a visitor center, store and another gas station there.