There are two large parks here, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and Big Bend National Park. Located along the Rio Grande, which forms the Mexican border, and is part of the Chihuahua Desert.
The slog across the wasteland of west Texas was a long one. Thankfully they had had a wet winter, and there were large swaths of wildflowers blooming in the dirt between oil wells.
Arriving just a few minutes too late to BB NP, we had to camp outside the park at a ranch/campground. Lots of spring flowers scattered about.
The next day we drove into the park, and took some time enjoying the flora.
We also checked out some of the (long extinct) fauna. This area was quite temperate and green on and off over the last 100 million years. There are several excellent fossil dig sites, and examples of the recovered fossils are displayed.
Such as this giant crocodile. With specimens up to 39ft long and 16,000 lbs, it was not to be taken lightly.
This is the earliest ancestor of the modern horse. Hard to imagine, but they definitely got bigger and faster!
A relative of the Triceratops.
Check out that femur!
Here is the arm (wing) of a giant flying dinosaur. Bigger than a small Cessna...
With a back country campsite secured, we wandered one of the few oases in the park. Hard to believe, but humans have been living here for over 15,000 years. Most recently European settlers who tried ranching with some success.
Then we made our way down to our campsite along the river. You will notice Mexico over there. Despite what you may hear on the TV, there was no rapists or criminals in sight. Don't worry, I am sure someone will insist on building a "big beautiful" wall to protect us from such beauty.
To be continued in part 2.