States visited: 49!

visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800

Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Valentine’s Day @ Big Bend: Sunday, February 14th

It’s Happy OUR Day! Of course, for us, it’s Valentine’s Day every day of the year: ahhhh! This morning, I made a cool treasure hunt for the kids, sticking clues on different campers along the campground, corresponding with site numbers. I gave Becca a bag of chocolate hearts to pass out to anyone who was outside; it was so cute, seeing them wishing everyone a ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’. Unfortunately, no kids were around, only adults, kind of a long way out for families to come for a weekend. Naturally, there was dissention in the ranks as to who should get to discover the next clue (nothing ever runs quite as idyllically as you picture it in your mind!) but the end result was a happy one: chocolate!

We started out our day at the Panther Junction Visitor Center and completed the little cactus trail alongside the building, learning about some of plants we’d see in the rest of the Park. I had the National Geographic book of National Parks and it detailed a great drive into the Chisos Basin, highlighting stories along the route.

We were laughing as we wound up and then down, via Panther Pass, the switchbacks would not have been fun with the camper, no wonder it mentioned: not suitable for campers beyond 20ft, even that would’ve been pushing it. We walked the short trail out to the Window overlook. This is a cool opening in the mountain range, which opens up to the vista below, it was beautiful.

After lunch, we drove back up to the Pass and parked up at the Lost Mine Trail head. We read the copious warnings about bears and mountain lions, telling us to keep small children close to us and not let them wander ahead of the group. I don’t think we’ve ever all hiked so close together before!

The hike up to the #10 overlook was 1 mile and afforded us incredible views of the mountain ranges and the valley below. We sat for some time, enjoying the views; it was incredibly peaceful. Dave, Jake and Caitlin continued up to the top of the trail, taking them to 7,000ft, a 5-mile round trip. I went back down with Nate and Becca and we explored the mountain lion exhibit in the Chisos Basin Visitor Center before heading back to collect the rest of the family.

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