Charlie Goes to Mexico
Not to be confused with the title of an It's Always Sunny episode, this is about Charlie's escapades in Big Bend Texas. After driving 2,000 miles over the last week we felt we finally arrived in the wild West when we reached this spectacular region of SW Texas along the Rio Grande. And it was time to hike.
Dogs are not allowed on any of the trails in Big Bend National Park, but we took two hikes in neighboring Big Bend Ranch State Park where dogs are allowed. The desert landscape in the area was bordered by jutting escarpments that showed millennia of erosion from the Rio Grande's floods. On this day, the river flow was meager, due to the region's drought, but enough to water tall grasses and spiny shrubs on the river's edge.
Our first hike was Closed Canyon, a 1.4 mile hike down and back through a narrow canyon carved by the river.
In addition to being a natural wonder, the Rio Grande is also the border between the US and Mexico. Our second hike, on Big Bend Hoodoos Trail, was a loop around the hoodoos -- rock towers left by the river's erosion -- and down to the river. Charlie, not fully in the know, decided to swim across, momentarily crossing into Mexican territory! An international crisis was averted when she quickly returned to US waters. A truly epic adventure caught on video.
We had hoped that the swim would have cleaned her off her camping filth, but that was not to be the case. The dusty dry riverbed proved too tempting.
Aside from the international intrigue and dust bath, the hike had its highlights.