Tuesday, 7 February 2012

January 27th-31st, 2010 pt.2

Woke up this morning and popped our heads out of the tent.  Wow.  We were surrounded by mountains.  We’ve never seen rock formations like these before.  It was like waking up on another planet. 

Amanda in awe

Park ranger was out and about early and nabbed our $14.  If we woke up earlier and broke camp we would’ve dodged it, but we kept getting distracted by the phenomenal views. 

Here we are with the retired couple we met last night.  I think they were both school teachers and when they had kids, they travelled all over the states for a few years in their RV while home schooling their children.  Where do I sign up? 

I can’t believe we’re actually here in Texas doing this!  For me, this is where the east coast part of the trip has ended and the west coast has begun.  We’re on an all time high right now and to think that there’s still so much more to come.  I’m so glad Amanda changed her mind and decided to come.  If she didn’t, and I had to tell her about the trip, words can’t describe what I’m seeing right now.

We rode back to the park headquarters to get information on how to obtain the annual parks pass.  For $80, the two of us had unlimited access to all the national parks in the U.S. 

We also found out that we could purchase a backcountry camping permit for $10 that would enable us to camp 14 consecutive nights if we wanted to.  If we only knew ahead of time…researching really does pay off. 

It was hard to keep our eyes on the road

Hot Spring?  Hell yeah!

Trinkets left behind for sale from Mexicans across the border.  The spring was in the Rio Grande River, which forms part of the Mexico-U.S. border.  We could see them on horseback on the other side waiting for you to deposit money into a jar.  Then they would cross the river, pick up the cash, and cross back.  It is virtually impossible for the border patrol to monitor this. 

Oh yes!  The moment of truth...
Other visitors joined in.  Believe it or not, that's Mexico over there on the other side of the river.
I think the Mexicans can see your butt!
More visitors on their way to the hot springs

Time to find our campsite.  Looks like it’s gonna be rocky roads from here on in.  Trying to get used to riding on this terrain was a challenge at first.  It was far from being your typical graded gravel road. 

We arrived at our campsite called Candelilla and notice a vehicle was there.  We figure they would be leaving shortly since we booked this site for tonight.  Moments later a grey Jimmy pulls in.  A young couple from San Antonio came to warn us that the vehicle in our campsite is poaching rocks and artifacts from the park, which is illegal.  They decided to stay with us until the guy left, which he eventually did.  Mike and Alyssa had been recently engaged and they were vacationing here in the park.  We had such a good time hanging out that we all agreed that we should stick together for the night in case Mr. Poacher decided to show up again. 

53 km

Bye bye to pavement.
Heated water from the earth.
Fellowship is born. 

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