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Big Bend: A World Apart and Just a Stone’s Throw Away

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It’s an extremely humbling experience to visit Big Bend National Park. Not simply because of its magnitude, but because the National Park Service has referred to this piece of land along United States-Mexico border as “…one of the last remaining wild corners of the United States.” Often times, Texas is marketed as a whole other country, a world apart (so-to-speak), but to visit this park and this part of the Lone Star State is to understand the truth in that statement.

Big Bend: A World Apart and Just a Stone’s Throw Away

Photo: Facebook/Big Bend National Park

Statistics identify that Big Bend is one of the least-visited within the federal park system. By car, the trip to the park from both of the nearest international airports (Midland and El Paso) is no less than four hours. And speaking of cars, this isn’t truly the recommendation. Rent a truck or an SUV – something with the potential to go into 4-wheel-drive if needed. You really have to have a sense of determination to get there, or you live in the area, which means you’re a tougher Texan than most can lay claim to being. The long trip to the park and its relative ghost towns (Terlingua, Lajitas, and Study Butte), is for those looking to witness something of the past, practically untouched.

Big Bend: A World Apart and Just a Stone’s Throw Away

Photo: Facebook/Big Bend National Park

The undeveloped natural beauty of the area ultimately can’t be surpassed. Silence by day, darkness by night; one could feel lost even when they’re not. Or, it could be the perfect place to “find yourself.” If you’re longing for a reprieve from today’s persistent texting, emails, and smartphone notifications, there’s no better place than one that undependable power and limited cell service. When you can walk around hear nothing but the sound of your own thoughts competing with only the muted wings of birds flapping high overhead, you’re in the right place for soul-searching, if nothing else.

What’s YOUR Big Bend Story? Explore Real Texas Beauty

Photo: Facebook/Big Bend National Park

The convergence of desert, river, and mountains in Big Bend’s 800,000 acres makes it hard to come up with words bigger or better than “epic” in its description. With space enough for a Texas-sized exploration of the landscape, it’s more than possible you’ll be stepping on terrain that hadn’t previously seen footprints from another park-goer before. Geologists, horticulturalists, birders, photographers and general explorers of all kinds ultimately find themselves in awe of the visible opportunities in the canyon walls, grassy banks, Chisos Mountains, clear blue skies, and the like, which present themselves so openly to park-goers. It’s almost as if they say, “Here we are. We’ve been waiting for you!” There’s even a Fossil Discovery Exhibit on site, displaying the life-size replica of a Bravoceratops skull, of which pieces were discovered in 2011.

Big Bend: A World Apart and Just a Stone’s Throw Away

Photo: Facebook/The westexwindow

Similarly, one can find immense personal satisfaction, not to mention relaxation, at the Boquillas Hot Springs, which is also situated within the park, right off the Rio Grande! Sinking into a naturally warm pool which is contained by the fragments of a bathhouse from the early 1900s as you casually dip an arm over its rock wall into the swift current of a considerably colder river can be refreshing, to say the least. And, at any park location, the opportunity to just gaze at the Texas sky above, at its fiery sunsets in particular, is stupefying. Big Bend National Park really does make you feel like you’re in a whole other country, a world apart but just a stone’s throw away for Texans.