This morning we woke up at 6:45 to catch the sunrise. It was cold and breezy at the North Rim so I prepared myself by basically putting on all of my clothes, including the rain jacket and pants which acted as wind protection. I certainly wasn’t going to win any fashion awards but I kept warm!
After the photo session, we returned to camp for hot coffee before packing away the tents and hitting the trail. Our planned route took us to the South Rim where we were treated to more amazing vistas. I particularly enjoyed using my binoculars to view the trail down below in the distant desert. I’m pretty sure that our old campground from our previous trip to Big Bend was visible, but couldn’t quite figure out where it was. However, Santa Elena Canyon was clearly visible in the distance. The canyon walls looked incredibly tall!
Another awesome sight we witnessed was a Peregrine Falcon high above, just riding the wind. It was almost stationary, like a kite on a string, and I was wishing I had a super-telephoto lens… but I had to settle with a photo from my X100T.
The rest of the hike was mostly downhill so we made good time cruising the trail past Laguna Meadows and back to the parking lot. It was an awesome finish to an epic hike!
After a short rest, we visited the store at Chisos Basin and then Panther Junction for some merch, then headed out of the park to find dinner in Fort Stockton.
We decided in Pepito’s Café which serves Mexican food as well as burgers. It turns out we both thought the Pepito’s Burger sounded the best so we ordered one each. I’m not sure how it happened, but when they brought out the food, one of the burgers was a double! There must have been a whole pound of beef in the burger! It was amazing. When I held up the burger for a photo, the man at the net table applauded and said, “hiker hunger!” So true! But we had a long drive ahead of us so I ate half and packed the rest to go.
The drive went smoothly and I arrived home at about 11 pm, unpacked a bit, washed some supplies, took a shower, and crashed hard. A nice end to an amazing weekend backpacking adventure in Big Bend National Park.
Here are a few more photos from the day: