Tuff Canyon was one of my favorite hikes that we did at Big Bend. We drove to the scenic look-out and then we walked a little ways down the path. As the rest of our group was finding the trailhead, I had to accompany two of my daughters to find a place to relieve themselves. There are a lot of cactus there, so if you find yourself in this situation, tread lightly and pick a good spot if you know what I mean. We descended the canyon, and it really isn’t grand like others we’d been down. But, it was lovely and very white in color. This is because Tuff is actually welded volcanic ash which is white in color.
We went along the bottom of the canyon feeling the children’s exploring nature kick in. It felt very closed in because the canyon is not very wide. The coloring of the rock is very pretty and there are varying shades of white throughout.
We stopped to eat lunch on a wide ledge of the canyon wall. It was a perfect picnic spot. Up and back from the ledge we found a small cave. My heart beat fast as we entered the cave opening. There was a giant rock filling the center of the cave. The kids tried to climb it and we all imagined the rock dislodging to form the cave.
After the cave we all watched a play the kids put on for us on the picnic-ledge-turned-stage. It was a short play and I don’t remember most of it but I know it was a bit Shakespearean. After lunch, one of our kids not to be named needed to go poop. I told her to find a place and dig a hole and bury it. She proceeded to do this, and I saw where she went, but she was sheltered from view. (So we thought) My brother-in-law Clay asked where she was, and I told him. He started laughing and said that one of the scenic lookouts was right above where she was going. We called out to her to move, and she said it was too late. She was finished already and super-embarrassed when we told her. I don’t know if anyone saw her, but like I said in the beginning, if you need to go, choose wisely my friend!
As we reached the end of the hike, there were more rocks and ledges to be climb. We hoisted up kids when we needed to, and we hoisted ourselves as well. I like that word hoist. You should use it today.
We saw a hidden pool while climbing through rocks and we found more edges that needed exploring. We saw mountain lion poop too. I kept thinking if I was a mountain lion, I would definitely live in Tuff Canyon. Oh and our kids like to live on the edge, man. I’m glad, and I’m excited about what this means about the women they are becoming. I already know that they are braver than I am, and that is perfectly alright with me. God has given us to each other to push and grow each other. Sometimes I push them, but I learn from them as well.
Alas, we reached the end, and there was nothing to do but turn around. We saw some guys climbing up the canyon to the scenic look-out, but we decided to stay on the trail and turn around. Aren’t we National Park friendly? It was sprinkling on us as we climbed up out of Tuff Canyon, and it was pouring by the time we reached the cars. The kids were happy, thirsty, and a little wet. There is a great satisfaction that comes from a good hike and exploring nature. You’ve probably experienced it. It is accomplishment, physical fatigue, and nature beauty experienced all rolled up into a warm tortilla-like feeling. Go get it! You know you want to.
After Tuff Canyon we went to the Terlingua Ghost town.It took awhile to get there and it rained on us most of the way. Thankfully the rain stopped before we started the walking tour. The store there is nice; the tour is short but neat. We really spent most of the time in the graveyard, and the kids had a good time looking at all the gravestones. It sounds morbid, but they were okay and it was good history to learn. We were planning to eat dinner there, but we were too early for the restaurant to be open so we decided to drive on to Lajitas.
There is a resort there with a nice golf course. There isn’t much else, and the resort is really very beautiful. There are lovely grounds, and the golf course is very nice. I was wondering how much water it takes for them to keep it so nice out there in the desert, but I guess most golf courses use a lot of water. We ate dinner at the Candelilla Cafe which is part of the resort, and it was pretty good but a little pricey for a camping budget. While we were waiting for our food, the children played on the stage of the resort’s large outdoor amphitheater. It was a nice supper, and we were happy to be able to head back to camp ready for bed. On the way home we saw a local pizza place, and we were a bit regretful of our dinner bill. However, we just let it be content to snuggle into the Chisos Mountains for another cold night.
To be continued…