Big Bend Rafting and other stuff…..


As you all know, the Big Bend area of Texas is far and away one of Ann’s and my favorite places to spend time.  Last week we spent four days there again.  We again stayed at the Casitas at Far Flung Outdoor Center, in Study Butte.  They are the best outfitters for the rafting, jeep tours, and other activities in the Big Bend.  Before I get into trouble, I want to emphasize that is just my own opinion.

View from porch of our cabin at Far Flung Outdoor Center.

View from porch of our cabin at Far Flung Outdoor Center.  Long lens used.

You already saw some of my images of some birds from the trip, but I also was able to get a few more landscape photos as well.  The area was as greenest as I have ever seen in the many years that we have visited.  The above photo was taken in the evening as the sun was setting from my far right.  It is a view from the porch of our Casita, albeit with a very long lens.

One photo that I left out yesterday I would like to insert here.  This man, Joseph, a park service employee, has the job of traveling around the Basin in the Chisos Mountains cleaning out the composting toilets.  The boxes on his pack horses have HUMANURE  painted on them.  A thankless but necessary job, I am sure.  I spotted him while I was scoping out some birds with my 500mm lens.  He was riding towards me about 200 yards away.

Joseph, collecting from the trail toilets.

Joseph, collecting from the trail toilets.

Here are a couple more of my favorite landscapes from our trip.

Sotol and Santiago Peak - Big Bend National Park

Sotol and Santiago Peak – Big Bend National Park

"Dawn Sun on Distant Mountain" - Big Bend National Park

“Dawn Sun on Distant Mountain” – Big Bend National Park

On Thursday morning, we decided to take a half-day rafting trip that Far Flung has as one of their scheduled activities.  We load up and head up-stream to a river put-in area called Grassy Banks.  It is about 10 miles west of Lajitas.  We launch there, then float back to Lajitas, where we are met by the Far Flung crew to load up for the trip back to Study Butte.

Tim, our guide getting the raft ready to launch.  Notice fast moving water of the Rio Grande.

Tim, our guide getting the raft ready to launch. Notice fast moving water of the Rio Grande.

Ann getting into her life jacket.

Ann getting into her life jacket.

Away we go!

Away we go!

The ride wasn’t as dangerous as some of the trips that go through the canyons, but nevertheless I had to hang on to my cameras, grab the side of the raft, and try to keep my balance.  I managed to get a few shots from the raft, though.  Even with the Image Stabilization feature of my Canon lenses, it still was difficult to keep some images in focus.

One view from the raft.

One view from the raft.

Goats high on a bluff on Mexican side of the river.

Goats high on a bluff on Mexican side of the river.

Turkey Vulture warming wings for morning flight.

Turkey Vulture warming wings for morning flight.

After the float trip, we were happy to spend the rest of the day on the porch of our canyon sipping refreshments and watching the surrounding scenery and seeing the quail, rabbits, birds that play around the cabins.  What a great time we had.  Be sure and click on the images to see some nice enlargements.

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31 thoughts on “Big Bend Rafting and other stuff…..

  1. Great photos Mr. Bob

    Sorry I have not been around lately, but work takes control at times…but I have been keeping up with you and your photography.

    My daughter and I just returned home from Grand Teton National Park, (just before the Government Shutdown)

    I’m figuring I took somewhere around4700 photos, I’ll be posting some soon I hope.

    Raven

  2. Awesome that you went on a river run. Knowing how many “things” (RIP, coolers of beer) I’ve lost overboard while floating, I would have kept my more expensive cameras on dry ground! Still enjoyed your shots. Nice that you got the goats. Hard to see things like that unless you’re floating on the water!

    The “Dawn…” landscape looks like a painting. Love those canyon colors.

  3. Ahh, feel like I was there with you and Ann. Thanks for taking me on your recent trip. Loved the rafting and the sights from the porch. Glad I was able to fit in your suitcase—oh, wait, that was the camera in there! Sigh…thanks for sharing – Aaron and I will get back there sometime and I will enjoy your photos and words until then! hugs

    • Thank you, Dave. You won’t regret it. You might add another lifer to your list. Definitely one, the Mexican Jay. The only place you can find one is in the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park.

  4. WOW. Makes me jealous, Bob. Growing up On Fleming St. has got to be pushed so far back in the memory banks. Really happy for you guys.

  5. Bob, it’s for situations like this that I feel there should be a button for “LOVED THIS” (yes, sorry that was too loud I guess…). The personal memories and emotion I just felt looking at your great photos is priceless. Thank you for allowing me to return to Big Bend if even for a moment (I’m in Midwest). Loved the mountaintop goats! Great capture.

  6. Delightful, Bob! Great post. Your landscape photos are striking – very nicely framed. And I enjoyed seeing the good ones you took from the raft. I know what you mean about the challenge you faced trying to take photos from the moving raft. 99% of the photos in my own blog were taken from a kayak moving on the water here. No tripod, hand-held, and a rocking boat, sometimes with a stiff breeze,mmakes for a higher degree of difficulty than on terra firma. Thanks to you and Ann for taking your readers along for the trip.

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