The mountains are calling and I must go…. John Muir said that, and I’m getting behind the notion with a backpacking trip across the high Chisos in Big Bend National Park upcoming. I’ve been trucking out to the Chihuahuan Desert annually since arriving in Texas, although the combined forces of forest fires, the COVID pandemic and an errant bungee cord that nearly took out my eye conspired to keep me away since 2018 — the longest stretch I’ve been away from my favorite spot in the Lone Star state since I arrived in Texas 20 years ago.
The 800,000-acre national park has changed quite a bit lately, from what I understand, seeing more visitors in what generations called “El Despoblado.” I don’t think we’ll find many crowds next week, and just in case all campsites will be in the backcountry. Highlight ought to be sleeping on the South Rim, a backpacking effort that should cover 14-plus miles, and some dynamite wildflowers in the desert. If you want to know more about the park, there’s the WildSam guide that was published last year, which I contributed to…. find it here: Big Bend: A Panorama WIthout End
I’ll be back with a report next week!