Showing posts with label Big Bend Ranch State Park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Big Bend Ranch State Park. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hoodoos in Big Bend Ranch State Park

Photo: TPWD, Big Bend Ranch State Park
As a part of our recent National Trails Day social media project, our friends at Big Bend Ranch State Park posted this great photo on their Facebook page with the following text:

"One of the easiest, and most interesting hikes in the Big Bend Ranch State Park is the Hoodoos Trail. A large parking area is located right off Hwy 170 and the hike takes you down to the river. But the neatest stuff lies along the way. The soft rocks made during ancient volcanic activity erode in strange and exotic shapes. It’s fun to hike there during the day, but hiking during full moons is just downright weird! I always carry extra water, snacks, and a flashlight when I always seem to spend more time there than I’d planned.

Although the river is beautiful in this area, my favorite thing to do is wander among the hoodoos admiring their odd shapes and watching for lizards and other wildlife living in the cracks and crevices of the rocks."


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Color of Marfa's Grasslands and Mountain Biking in Big Bend

The colors are...wonderful.  Marfa's light, and the effect of that light on the grasslands north of town rarely disappoint.  Similar views can be seen from Hwy 17, the road between Marfa and Fort Davis. Come on out and see it for yourself!

#30DaysofBiking

Yesterday, we asked you to note the dates for the next Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest, a terrific mountain biking festival in Big Bend.  Today, we want to encourage you to ride your mountain bikes in Big Bend Ranch State Park anytime...don't wait for the festival to give the park a try?  Sauceda Ranch is the middle of Big Bend Ranch State Park, a perfect launching spot for long (adventurous) days on your bike.  And if you're a beginner, you can stick to the dirt roads in the park...and have a GREAT time, too.  Click here to download the park's biking guide!
The many roads of Big Bend Ranch State Park offer mountain biking adventures to even (prepared) beginning mountain bikers!  For more experienced riders, the park has been named an EPIC ride by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Red Flag Warnings and Mountain Biking Festival!

Photo by Luke Stewart Billingsley
Our friends at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center is flying a new red flag at their entrance on Hwy 118 just outside Fort Davis. The red flag denotes that we are in a Red Flag Warning. 

So what is a Red Flag Warning? The National Weather Service issues Red Flag Warnings to help alert people to the potential danger of critical weather and low fuel moisture conditions that could lead to wildfire. This could be due to low humidity, high winds, dry fuels, or any combination of these. CDRI hopes that flying the red flag will help remind people that Jeff Davis County remains under a Red Flag Warning.   And they thank friend, Stewart Billingsley, CDRI member and Jeff Davis County Fire Marshall, for the photo and for all you do for the area!

#30DaysofBiking

Save the date for one of the best mountain biking festivals just about anywhere, the Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest, February 12-14, 2015 in Big Bend Ranch State Park, and West Texas trails.  This festival is a benefit for trail development in Big Bend.  There's always something for everyone, experienced riders, beginners, even kids!  Click here for more information!



 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Our Ride for Reading Deliveries Shared by Bike Texas

Our friends at Bike Texas have helped us share cycling news from the Texas Mountains, and they graciously published our article on last month's Ride for Reading deliveries in Fort Davis, Terlingua and El Paso on their website.  Here's the link the article on their site (and we invite you to poke around and see what this great organization has to offer Texas cyclists!) and below is the article in its entirety.

Texas, Let's Ride for Reading!

Ride for Reading CyclistsBy Beth Nobles
Executive Director, Texas Mountain Trail

I’ll say it: “It is the best thing I’ve done on a bike.”
Last month, it has made U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke feel like a “rock star.” It made kids, teachers, and scores of cyclists from El Paso, Terlingua, and Fort Davis very happy. What was it? Ride for Reading deliveries in Far West Texas.


Ride for Reading’s founder, Matthew Portell, says this:
During my first year of teaching, I asked my students to read for 15 minutes at home each night. One student replied that he didn’t have any books at home to read. It didn’t take me long to realize that student’s problem wasn’t unique. According to the Handbook of Early Literacy Research, the ratio of books per child in low-income neighborhoods is one age-appropriate book for every 300 children. I felt compelled to do something to help my students and others like them — so I combined my passion for cycling and reading. The result: Ride for Reading.

Simply put: Ride for Reading provides a way for donated books to be delivered to low-income elementary schools BY BICYCLE. Local cyclists are recruited for the deliveries, and books are donated locally or provided by Better World Books through the Ride for Reading program.


Kids choosing booksOur Texas Mountain Trail non-profit got involved with a call from one of our best partners, El Pason Don Baumgardt, who operates a mountain biking website for Far West Texas, www.GeoBetty.com. Don asks, “We’ve got one of the best mountain biking photographers, Devon Balet, coming to El Paso with his crew, Team Ride for Reading. Would you like them to visit the Davis Mountains and Big Bend and help you with your promotion of the area? And, oh yeah, would you like to do this Ride for Reading book delivery?” A few clicks online and it was a no-brainer for us. Soon we had the elementary schools in Fort Davis and Terlingua onboard too.


We recruited volunteer cyclists to meet at a central location not far from the school. There we packed the donated books into backpacks and messenger bags by age level, and then we rode to the local elementary schools, where the kids were excited (and cheering!) to be able to pick out a book (or two) to take home as their very own.


Ride for Reading promotes healthy, safe, vibrant activity and reading. Each child receiving a book must pledge: “I promise to read my book twice. I will never ever throw my book away. I will pass it on to a friend, family member, neighbor, classmate or someone else I know. And I promise to be the best student for the rest of the year.”
Fort Davis Ride for Reading cyclistsDon Baumgardt, organizer of the El Paso delivery in January, “I think the riders got as much out of the day as the kids. We were all so gratified by the response we received at Hart Elementary. When we rounded the corner two blocks from the school on our bikes a roar went up from the students. I still get goosebumps thinking about it.”


U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke participated in the El Paso delivery and addressed the kids, "I always wanted to be a rock star, because I wanted to come into a stadium and hear the crowds cranked up...people cheering with pom poms and signs...and today when I rode my bike here, I finally felt like a rock star!" That's right, cyclists...Ride for Reading can make you feel like a rock star!”


Want to organize your own Ride for Reading delivery in your own town? Ride for Reading would LOVE to schedule more events during Ride for Reading Week, May 5-11. They’ve even received a commitment from Better World Books to provide books for every delivery scheduled that week, and they’re excited about expanding the program in Texas.


Kids choose booksFounder, Matthew Portell: “I can honestly say one thing, the saying ‘everything is bigger in Texas’ is very true for the Ride for Reading deliveries we had in January! As the founder of Ride for Reading, it is truly amazing to watch such a little concept gain so much momentum. I dream that one day there will be a book delivery via bicycle in all fifty states, but it starts with the motivation of cyclists in every state."


We’re already talking to communities throughout our Texas Mountain Trail region of Far West Texas about adding events that week. As we learned and as our friend, Don Baumgardt reports, “the online resources from Ride for Reading made it very simple to organize the event.”
For information on setting up your own delivery for National Ride for Reading Week, May 5-11, visit the program’s website, www.rideforreading.org.


Ride for Reading deliveries are best if there are lots of community partners. Our partners for our January deliveries to Terlingua and Fort Davis include Friends of Jeff Davis County Library, Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce, Fort Davis ISD, Stone Village Tourist Camp, Davis Mountains State Park, Big Bend Resorts and Adventures, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Desert Sports (a great mountain biking outfitter), Terlingua CSD, Big Bend Chamber of Commerce, Brewster County Tourism Council, and our Texas Mountain Trail board of directors and volunteers, in addition to Team Ride for Reading, Ride for Reading, and Better World Books!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Terlingua's Ride for Reading Delivery

A happy student at Terlingua Elementary receives a
book through our delivery thanks to the folks at Ride for Reading!
We were most fortunate, as part of our efforts to share our region's tremendous cycling assets with travelers, to work with the WONDERFUL folks at Team Ride for Reading and schedule book deliveries to the Fort Davis and Terlingua elementary schools.  The book deliveries were part of a trip with photographer Devon Balet, who is producing a short video for us of our regional mountain biking opportunities.  Stay tuned for that!

But our Ride for Reading days were all about connecting kids with books, and reinforcing healthy active lifestyles and reading.  In fact, we are so excited about this connection, we're looking into scheduling more book deliveries during Ride For Reading Week, May 5-11.
Terlingua cyclists with backpacks full of books,
on the way to the elementary school for the delivery

Once we learned of the opportunity to organize book deliveries, all we had to do was ask....We contacted the schools and local cyclists to see if they'd participate in the program and we received hearty and enthusiastic responses, "YES!"
Our friends at Big Bend Resorts and Adventures (which
has its own mountain biking trail on property) was the meeting point
for the volunteer riders

Ride For Reading's mission is to promote literacy and healthy living through the distribution of books via bicycle to children from low-income neighborhoods. In low-income neighborhoods, the ratio of books per child is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children. *Reading is an integral part of education, and without books it is hard to build a strong academic base. Our children need materials to read at home and it is our goal to provide the means.

The pledge each child takes upon receiving a book:

"I promise to read my book twice.
I will never ever....
Ever, ever, ever....

Ever, ever
Throw my book away.
I will pass it on to a friend....
Family member....
Neighbor....
Classmate....

Or someone else I know.
And I promise....
To be the best student for the rest of the year"
L to R:  Marfa Public Radio's Kate Yoland, Team Ride for Reading's
Joshua Smith, Chris Reichel, Dejay Birtch, Devon Balet, and
Texas Mountain Trail Executive Director, Beth Nobles
Listen to the archive edition of the interview here.
What mattered to us was the enthusiasm the kids had for the
books, and for taking them home as their very own.


BIG big thanks to everyone who took part in the delivery days,
and everyone who supported this effort:  the riders, the Fort Davis ISD and
Terlingua CSD, Desert Sports, Friends of Jeff Davis County Library,
Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce, Visit Big Bend/Brewster County Tourism Council,
cycle-friendly Stone Village Tourist Camp, Big Bend Resorts and Adventures,
Davis Mountains State Park
, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Ride for Reading,
Better World Books,
and the partners, volunteers and board of the Texas MountainTrail...y'all are GREAT!
Would you like to work with us on future Ride for Reading deliveries?
Leave a comment on this blog post!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

JOIN US! Ride for Reading in Fort Davis and Terlingua!

Last week, Ride For Reading organized a book giveaway at Hart Elementary School, thanks to our El Paso/Texas Mountain Trail friend and volunteer, Don Baumgardt.  Won't you join us on your bike for this week's deliveries in Terlingua and Fort Davis?


We'll be on Marfa Public Radio's Talk at Ten show THIS MORNING...listen in for more information!

One of the best quotes of any Ride for Reading delivery was spoken yesterday in El Paso, TX! Congressman Beto O'Rourke said, "I always wanted to be a rock star, because I wanted to come into a stadium and hear the crowds cranked up...people cheering with pom poms and signs...and today when I rode my bike here, I finally felt like a rock star!" That's right cyclist....Ride for Reading can make you feel like a rock star!"

US Congressman Beto O'Rourke, Dejay Birtch,
Hart Elementary Cub mascot, Josh Smith and Don Baumgardt
JOIN US in Fort Davis on Thursday and Terlingua on Friday for similar book giveaways at the elementary schools! 

Fort Davis:  Meet at 11 am at the Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce Office.  We'll ride as a group to the Elementary School, where the students will be able to pick out books to take home as their very own!

Terlingua:  Meet at 11 am at Big Bend Resorts and Adventures.  We'll ride as a group to the Elementary School, where the students will be able to ALSO pick out books to take home as their very own!

Who is making this happen?

Our non-profit Texas Mountain Trail is happy to coordinate these events, but we've had LOTS of help from wonderful people who've helped make this opportunity available to our Far West Texas schools.

Devon Balet, Ride for Reading, Better World Books, Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce, Stone Village Tourist Camp, Davis Mountains State Park, Big Bend Resorts and Adventures, Visit Big Bend, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Friends of Jeff Davis County LibraryBig Bend Chamber of Commerce

Monday, January 13, 2014

We're bringing Ride for Reading to the Mountains!

We're looking for volunteers to help us deliver books to elementary schools in Fort Davis (on Thursday, January 23rd) and in Terlingua (on Friday, January 24) through the Ride for Reading program, with special thanks to regional partners (listed below) and Better World Books...

Here's a short video of a Ride for Reading book selection at an elementary school:
And another on the delivery by bicycle!
Would you like to join us by riding your bicycle to the elementary schools in Fort Davis and/or Terlingua?

Information on the Fort Davis delivery on Thursday, January 23rd is here and here.

Information on the Terlingua delivery on Friday, January 24th is here and here.

Many thanks to folks who've made this happen:  the schools in Fort Davis and Terlingua, Don Baumgardt of El Paso's GeoBetty.com, Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce, Stone Village Tourist Camp in Fort Davis, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Davis Mountains State Park, Big Bend Resorts and Adventures in Terlingua, and Brewster County Tourism Council, and of course, our own volunteers and members of the board of our regional Texas Mountain Trail non-profit organization.  Y'all are GREAT!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Sounds of Big Bend

View from a rock shelter in
Big Bend Ranch State Park
One of the great joys of visiting our region isn't discussed much, because, frankly, it is hard to convey.  When you're here, if you let yourself stop a few minutes and concentrate, you can experience absolute  quiet.  What you see in our landscape are unspoiled vistas, but what you HEAR--because we are so remote--is what early man heard, what the Apache and Comanche heard, what Cabeza de Vaca heard, what the early settlers heard as they moved through our region.

We were reminded of this when we heard a podcast by "How Sound" about the sounds of Elizabethan England.  It is worth a listen in that it forces you to think about the sound of today's world, and the sounds we've lost from the past.  If there is a place in Texas to reclaim the sounds of the past, of the true frontier, it is in our region. 
Santa Elena Canyon
Big Bend National Park

We offer a private wilderness experience, trails to hike where you see no one for many minutes (and perhaps hours), so it is easier here....to stop and listen to the silence.  Maybe you'll hear your heart beat, maybe you'll hear a rock tumble as an animal scampers about, maybe you'll hear the wind swell and then wane.

This is why we often advise people to explore the region by bicycle:  you're out in the open, not protected by your car.  There's no metal box to divide you from the land. 

Metate left near rock shelter in
Big Bend Ranch State Park
And when you happen upon remnants of early cultures in Big Bend, take a few minutes to experience the sound of their world as they did. 

What were the sounds of grain being ground in the metate at the rock shelters? 

What were the sounds of rock art being created? 
Rock art in Big Bend Ranch State Park

What were the bird songs?

What was the sound of the Rio Grande, lapping against the rock canyons?


Take a river trip and experience it yourself.  And a hike.  Have a great time in the Big Bend of Texas.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest in February

The terrific folks at Desert Sports and Big Bend Ranch State Park are once again holding a GREAT mountain biking festival for beginners through expert riders, the Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest.  February 13-15, the trails in Big Bend Ranch State Park, Lajitas and Big Bend National Park will be explored with patient and skilled guides.  The event is a benefit for the Big Bend Trails Alliance, which does important development and maintenance work on the region's trails, so the modest festival fees are going to a good cause!

This year's ride menu is HERE.  The list includes kid's rides, rides on the state park's EPIC trail, short rides and long 2-day rides....there's something for everyone!

Want to sign up?  Sure you do!  Links to registration are on THIS page.

Last year, we enjoyed the interpretive ride (easy!) through the state park to the ruins of a modest ranching enterprise from the early part of the last century.
TPWD interpreter explains the significance of the homesite ruin
at Big Bend Ranch State Park along the ride route

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

First Day Hikes AND The Best of 2013: Beauty of November's ice storm

Our last "Best of 2013" posts, a rare icy day from November.  We're happy to say this happens only once in a blue moon out here in our Texas Mountains, and just an hour or so after these photos were taken, the melt was nearly complete.  But it was beautiful, right?

The ice that turned much of our region completely white this weekend has all melted, including this beautiful scene along Hwy 90 between Marfa and Alpine.  But it is so pretty, we wanted to share some images from the ice storm...since we rarely have winter weather like it!  Most of the time our winter is clear, bright, sunny and warm!

FIRST DAY Hikes!

Tomorrow, celebrate the start of 2014 with our friends at Texas Parks and Wildlife with your choice of THREE First Day Hikes!

Hiking group at Franklin Mountains State Park
 Our friends at three regional state parks are offering guided hikes for the New Year:  Check out the options by clicking at the links: Big Bend Ranch State Park, Franklin Mountains State Park and Wyler Tramway!  Or visit our region-wide events calendar at:  www.texasmountaintrail.com/events



Big Bend Ranch State Park Cinco Tinajas


Moderate-difficult. Begin with a gradual incline over scree, or rubble, proving to be challenging for some; the trail transitions to well maintained terrain with a continuous, yet gradual incline, to the top at Mundy’s Gap. Elevation gain of 1,000 feet.
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrail.com/events/franklin-mountains-state-park-first-day-hike#sthash.coS5boBm.dpuf

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hospitality Heroes Award to Bill Blaziek


Our Texas Mountain Trail awards "Hospitality Heroes" designations to folks who've offered distinguished service to the region, or who've provided outstanding support to travelers.  Earlier this month, the latest award was given to the El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau retiring General Manager, Bill Blaziek, for his support of regional partnership and cooperation, and support of our non-profit Texas Mountain Trail's efforts to market the region to travelers.
L to R: TMT Board Member, Leesy McCorgary; TMT Emeritus Board President,
Bernie Sargent; Bill Blaziek, El Paso CVB; TMT Vice President, Rebecca Diaz
Previous award winners include:
--Van Horn's Ralph Gilmore, of the Crossroads Coffee Shop, now of the Hotel El Capitan for outstanding friendliness and hospitality to travelers
--The staff of Marfa Public Radio, for their lifesaving coverage during the 2011 wildfires
--The staff of Big Bend Ranch State Park, for their care to travelers during the extremely cold 2010-11 holiday season
--Hyatt Place in El Paso (Airport location) for their "early adopter" willingness to participate in new programs for residents and travelers, and exceptional support of our Texas Mountain Trail organization
--Rep. Dee Margo, for his efforts in the state legislature to secure funds for historic preservation and heritage tourism
--The people of Van Horn for their care of stranded travelers when I-10 is closed due to bad weather

Congratulations to Bill on his retirement, and thanks to all the folks in Far West Texas who make traveling through our region a great experience!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rock Art in Big Bend Ranch State Park





On a recent trip with the Tierra Grande Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, we were treated to a ranger-led hike to see some rock art in a remote area of Big Bend Ranch State Park.

From the park's website:

"Big Bend Ranch State Park
offers some of the most interesting archeology and history in the region. There are presently over 500 documented sites on the park. Many of the known sites are located near water sources but sites also occur on upland areas away from any obvious drainages, springs or tinajas. There is both need and potential at BBRSP for additional archaeological research to be conducted.


The earliest artifacts identified within BBRSP indicate that Native Americans traversed the area as early as perhaps 11,000 years ago, and continued to do so well into the 19th century. Native American site types attributable to the prehistoric era include open campsites, open camps associated with rock shelters, rock shelters, quarries, lithic scatters, Late Prehistoric Cielo complex (ca. A.D. 1250-1680) sites, rock art sites (primarily pictographs, or rock paintings) and special-use or ritual sites."



Interested in seeing rock art at the park?  Our best recommendation is to contact a park ranger and schedule a ranger-led or outfitter-led outing. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cinco Tinajas in Big Bend Ranch State Park

We recently took a hike in Big Bend Ranch State Park with the Tierra Grande Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists to Cinco Tinajas.

Some great information on this trail can be found in the park's El Solitario newsletter from 2007:

"Cinco Tinajas Trail is a short 30-minute stroll from Sauceda. The round-trip hike of less than 2 miles has an elevation change of less than 200 feet. At the end of the mile-long trail lies a close-up view of
the tinajas. And there’s more. The canyon rim overlooking the Cinco Tinajas provides incredible panoramas of the far reaches of the park. Tinajas are desert water basins carved in bedrock by the erosive force of sand, gravels, cobbles and larger stones suspended in rushing water. Many tinajas, including these, hold water even in the driest of times. Knowing the location of one of these natural water basins was, and is, knowledge that could save a person’s life. 


Cinco Tinajas lies in a narrow slot canyon that contains a tributary of Leyva Creek. Almost all rain falling onto the upland area around Sauceda drains into this slot of dense volcanic rock, concen­trating a powerful erosive force on a fault or crack in the lava. Over millions of years the erosion formed five (cinco) interconnecting pools."


Monday, October 28, 2013

Colorado Canyon, Along the River Road

Colorado Canyon pull-off along Hwy 170, the scenic River Road, between Presidio and Lajitas is a favorite river access site, but is also a great place to pull off the road and enjoy the surroundings.

This section of the road runs through Big Bend Ranch State Park, which says this about Colorado Canyon:

"The Rio Grande/Rio Bravo corridor is an easily accessible area of the park for day use, including rafting, canoeing and free bank fishing. Several river access points are found within the park along F.M. 170. Colorado Canyon includes Class II and Class III rapids. This section of the river is not considered dangerous under normal flow conditions. The walls of Colorado Canyon, unlike the limestone canyons of Big Bend National Park and the Lower Canyons, are composed entirely of igneous rock. Raft trips may be arranged through local outfitters in Terlingua and Study Butte."

Information on river trips offered by area outfitters, here!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Save the Date: Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest!

Beginner, intermediate and advanced mountain bikers eager to ride our great Big Bend trails--including Big Bend Ranch State Park's EPIC ride (rated as such by the International Mountain Biking Association)--should put the Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest on their calendar for next year, February 13-15
We're definitely beginners and we had a terrific time on ride, accompanied by Texas Parks and Wildlife rangers, encouraging mountain bikers themselves.  They helped us see ruins of candelilla factories in the remote areas of Big Bend Ranch State Park, and the ruin of a rock house dating back to the 1890s.  We can't wait for this year's festival!
The Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest is already on our Texas Mountain Trail regional events calendar...along with lots of other fun things to do.  From our calendar listing:

"The fourth annual Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest will convene mountain-bikers of all skill levels for three days of trail adventures and social fun at Big Bend Ranch State Park, Big Bend National Park, and the Lajitas Trails, February 13 – 15.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is partnering with Terlingua-based outfitter Desert Sports to produce Bike Fest as a fundraiser for the Big Bend Trails Alliance. Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa will host the event, with camping available at the resort’s Maverick Ranch RV Park. Post-ride fun each day will include keg parties, hooping, dinner and live music in laid-back Terlingua, and a chance to ride around on the Austin Bike Zoo’s fantastical bike creations.

With over 200 miles of multiuse and singletrack trails, including the only International Mountain Bike Association’s only “Epic” trail in Texas, Big Bend Ranch State Park has become a world-class mountain-biking destination. The Epic trail, which can be extended from 54 to 70 miles depending on a rider’s preference, is a favorite among Bike Fest riders. There is also a two-day Epic ride option, with an overnight stay and meals at the Sauceda Headquarters bunkhouse.

Bike Fest participation has grown year to year because there is something for everyone, and each day offers a variety of ride options, including the Rincon Loop ride, and the 18-mile Contrabando Loop and singletrack Dome Trail."


The fourth annual Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest will convene mountain-bikers of all skill levels for three days of trail adventures and social fun at Big Bend Ranch State Park, Big Bend National Park, and the Lajitas Trails, February 13 – 15.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is partnering with Terlingua-based outfitter Desert Sports to produce Bike Fest as a fundraiser for the Big Bend Trails Alliance. Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa will host the event, with camping available at the resort’s Maverick Ranch RV Park. Post-ride fun each day will include keg parties, hooping, dinner and live music in laid-back Terlingua, and a chance to ride around on the Austin Bike Zoo’s fantastical bike creations.
With over 200 miles of multiuse and singletrack trails, including the only International Mountain Bike Association’s only “Epic” trail in Texas, Big Bend Ranch State Park has become a world-class mountain-biking destination. The Epic trail, which can be extended from 54 to 70 miles depending on a rider’s preference, is a favorite among Bike Fest riders. There is also a two-day Epic ride option, with an overnight stay and meals at the Sauceda Headquarters bunkhouse.
Bike Fest participation has grown year to year because there is something for everyone, and each day offers a variety of ride options, including the Rincon Loop ride, and the 18-mile Contrabando Loop and singletrack Dome Trail.
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrail.com/events/big-bend-ranch-state-park-chihuahuan-desert-bike-fest#sthash.JxEsDvbq.dpuf


Check it out at www.texasmountaintrail.com/events

Travel Spotlight - the Rocking Chairs of the Historic Hotel Limpia

A Fort Davis institution, the historic Hotel Limpia offers
relaxing rocking chairs on every porch and veranda. What
better way to enjoy the quiet of the mountains!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ojito Adentro Trail in Big Bend Ranch State Park


Steady streams of running water
What do you find at the end of Big Bend Ranch State Park's Ojito Adentro trail?  Cool pools of water, ferns, dragonflies and damselflies, boulders and a quiet, relaxing beautiful place. 

The park lists the trail as one of their premier birding spots...and last weekend we heard birds, and saw lizards and dragonflies and damselflies.

From the park's website:

"The trail from the parking area traverses desert scrub into riparian woodland. The song of the Bell’s vireo is a common sound of the thickets along arroyos and in the understory of riparian habitats, and can hardly be missed between early March and September. In the spring and summer, watch for the zone-tailed hawk, vermilion flycatcher, summer tanager, blue grosbeak and varied bunting. Canyon, Bewick’s and rock wrens are present year-round, and a wide variety of sparrows can be found here in winter. This area can be very productive during migration (late March through mid-May and late August through mid-October) when flycatchers, warblers and tanagers can be common. Migration in West Texas is not as spectacular as farther east, but surprises can be found. Some of the more interesting finds at Ojito Adentro include painted redstart and a variety of eastern warblers."

 
From Trails.com

"The trailhead to Ojito Adentro not only marks the trail but provides hikers with an overlook of where they will end up. The arroyo that travels northeast from the trailhead ends in a cleft populated with a dense cluster of vegetation, interrupting an otherwise earthy colorscape with a sweep of bright green. Such is the nature of spring areas in this desert where long, uninterrupted vistas often offer trekkers with a view of distant but welcomed water sources. The Ojito Adentro Trail leads across a hot but mercifully short stretch of desert to a shady, cool oasis. The translation of “Ojito Adentro” is a charming one, where the diminutive suffix “ito” is added to “ojo,” meaning both “eye” and “spring.” Adentro is, in fact, an adverb rather than an adjective, and means “within.” Hikers who view the geography from the trailhead will begin to understand why Ojito Adentro is called “the little spring within” and will appreciate it fully once they are embraced by the spring’s cozy confines."
View from the trailhead
Travel Spotlight - the rocking chairs of the historic Hotel Limpia

What's better than a sunny spot to relax, and rock away the stresses of the city?  All week we're featuring the rocking chairs of the Hotel Limpia in Fort Davis.  Come, sit and stay awhile!