Big Bend trip update

Hi everyone.

A surprise awaited us upon our arrival at Lajitas..  When I made reservations, they had rooms for 149.00, which normally I wouldn’t spend that much, but they had a “stay-and-play” special, stay three nights and get fourth free.  So we decided on that and reserved two rooms at that rate.  However on arrival, they told us our rooms were no available as they had a very large tour group arrive.  I was at first dismayed until the clerk said we had been upgraded.  Our upgrade was to a luxury suite, that normally went for 599.00 per NIGHT.  Wow!!  No extra charge to us.  Talk about luxury.  2  bedroom, large living room, 3 baths, 3 fireplaces, 3 flat-screen  televisions and a full kitchen.  So needless to say we are enjoying ourselves immensly.

After checking in, we felt in need of margaitas and some food.  We were provided both at the Lajitss Candelilla Cafe restaurant.   Margaritas-on-the-rocks and plates of Fajitas.  Excellent food.

Yesterday, Monday, we decided to drive into the El Saucedo Ranch headquarters, located in Big Bend Ranch State Park.  The drive is 27 miles from the main highway. The temp was about 74 degrees.  The trip took us one hour and 50 minutes, over a very rough caliche road.  Our average speed was about 15-20 mph.   Very desolate, but interesting geology mountain formations.  We got a few photos of them.  Not very many birds along there, but spotted two more lifers.  A Black Phoebe, and a Verdin.  So that made that trek worth while.  However, it was an exhausting afternoon, with it being about 5 hours round trip.  If it weren’t for spotting those two birds, I don’t think it would heen worth the trip.  That park really needs more development yet.

Oh, I almost forgot.  We also saw 3 aoudads before entered the park.  Ann spotted them first.  I failed to get a good photograph as the scamper back into the brush pretty quickly.

This morning we awoke to rain.  Not sure what we wanted to do, we decided to just drive into the Big Bend National Park.  We hoped that regardless of the rain we might see something of interest.  We did, however not what we expected.  As we left Study Butte to enter the park it started snowing, that’s right, you heard me right, snowing.  We kept on going and by the time we got to Panther Junction headquarters, about 30 miled into the park, it was almost a blizzard.  Snow had accumulated to nearly 3 inches I would say.  And cold, about 30 degrees and windy.  I had wanted to get some nice winter pictures, but I didn’t expect to get them in the upper desert.  On the way back, after we got to lower altitudes again, the rain and snow had stopped and we saw some Gray-headed Juncos.  I will post some photographs here after we get back to San Angelo.

Tomorrow it is supposed to be back to sunny and upper 60s.  Go figure.  Watch for another update in a couple of days.

Happy birding!!