Big Bend Ranch State Park was a trip full of firsts for us. It was my first time to actually go on a long road trip and put Chewie through his paces. It was Ashley’s first camping trip ever! It was our first time to experience the beauty of Big Bend together. We were lucky enough to be invited on this trip by a group called Texas Overland. We met up with the group just west of Austin to stock up on supplies at the grocery store, then get started on the long 9 hour drive.
Only stopping for fuel and a quick 2 hour nap, we finally made it to the city of Presidio. We checked in at the Ranger Station just east of town, gave over our vehicles a once over again, and then made our way into Big Bend Ranch to make camp for the night.
Ashley was excited to experiment with photographing the Milky Way far from any city lights. After about 10 minutes of trying different lighting setups and shutter speeds, she was able to capture some breath taking shots. The picture of Chewie and the Milky Way was accomplished with a 30 second exposure and a quick flash from the lights on our iPhones!
The next morning we packed up camp and headed on to the Sauceda Ranger Station to meet up with a few more members of Texas Overland and to decide on where we would be camping that night.
We set up camp in a beautiful area surrounded by towering plateaus on three sides. We hiked up to a high point and took in the breath taking views for a bit before the sun went down. Dinner consisted of some gourmet grilled cheeses loaded with bacon, sausage and sautéed veggies. I was beyond excited when I pulled out my Dad’s old boom box and was able to dial in a station playing some Texas Blues. My Dad’s old boom box holds a wealth of sentimental memories from my childhood. I can remember that thing supplying the background music for every family camping trip growing up, as well as being the news source we depended on during power outages typically caused by bad weather. I am so thankful for my Dad letting Ashley and I continue to create memories with his old boom box.
We awoke the next morning just as the sun was coming up over the ridge. I hopped out and made some quick breakfast tacos before packing up to head back home. We said goodbye to a few friends from Texas Overland that were staying another night and started down the trail. We decided to stop and enjoy some sights on our way since we were making the drive back solo and wouldn’t be holding anyone else up.
I spotted this old Nissan Patrol parked back behind a shop in Presidio and had to have a picture with it. While passing through Alpine we spotted a few random camels grazing in a field and had to double back to make sure we weren’t going crazy. We stopped at a little cafe in Marfa for lunch before getting back on the road. Thanks to the stops we made as well as Chewie having a little overheating issue, a 9 hour trip turned into an 11 hour trip. Once Chewie cooled off and some coolant was added to his system, we were back on the road. We rolled back into Austin around 11pm that night, exhausted, but so excited about completing our first big trip.
Overall we loved every bit of our trip to Big Bend Ranch State Park. Having made new friends, experienced new things and taken in all the new and beautiful sites along the way, we only wished it could have been a longer trip. We knew right away that this was just the first of many adventures we would experience together.
Post by: Alex