|For most love of the desert doesn't come immediately. With knowledge and exploring a fondness has developed for the subtle colors, cacti, lack of trees(as we know them), rock formations, etc. Big Bend National Park is welcoming. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO CORKY!! How many times have you longed to be "out of touch", no phone, no Internet? We are technologically removed from our friends and family. It is somewhat of an odd feeling. There is a "high" spot in the main road where cars can be seen pulled over to use cell phones-rather humorous looking. Arriving early, it took no time at all to set up camp. After selecting a short hike to Boquillas Canyon, we took off. The hike itself was relatively short unless you turned around 3/4 into it returning to the bathroom! While assuring Corky I would be fine, he walked on. His concerns stem from the adamant warnings of Homeland Security and NP law enforcement rangers. There are no authorized border crossings within the park; if you re-enter the US the fine is $5,000 and imprisonment for up to one year , or both. That rule applies to singing Victor and the Mexican Nationals placing their "for sale" trinkets over the US border. It is highly recommended to only enjoy the river via a guided float trip. Not only do both countries share a common boundary but the river can be hazardous with undercurrents, deep holes, etc. The park makes it quite clear regarding the eight extra law enforcement rangers and additional border patrol officers making their presence known. Back on track...we enjoy the ranger led programs the national parks offer. This evening the title was "Road Kill Clean Up Crew". You may be laughing as we did at first. Using a power point presentation the biologist/ranger conveyed, interestingly, vulture culture. They really do have a purpose! The day time temps had been 87 degrees; however, early evening we began to hear the wind blowing. It became so scary we brought the slides in. Next AM the weather station recorded gusts up to 50 mph! Just a little front passing over the mountains, so says the ranger. Up, up out of the desert to an elevation of 4,500'. Breathtaking views in the Chisnos Mtn, tall trees beginning to appear, and a picnic lunch in 44 degree sunshine. This was the Window View Trail. In the afternoon, we returned to the desert floor at Hot Springs. This site has been home to humans for thousands of years. The first inhabitants lived under the cover of the cliffs while the remains of a 19th century village remain. No, we did not get in the hot springs. I couldn't smell the chemicals-ha!! Did you notice the blue haze in most photos? Thank you California for the pollution. Wednesday and Thursday we hit the road. I hope Cracker Barrel cooks up a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL.