Monday, February 13, 2012

Big Bend National Park: Cattail Falls

Yesterday, despite the forecast of a winter mix, Noelle and I pointed the Subaru south and headed for the Big Bend of the Rio Grande. We hit a little bit of freezing rain north of Pecos, Texas but we made it as far as Alpine, TX where we spent the night. This morning we awoke and ate breakfast at McDonalds. My first time eating at this fast food establishment in about 7 years. There just aren't many restaurant options in Alpine.

Anyway we drove through a light drizzle and fog through the disjointed, small mountain ranges of West Texas before we entered Big Bend National Park by 10. After paying our entrance fee we headed straight to a rough road and the secret trailhead for Cattail Falls. As we began our hike our spirits were high and the fog started to lift from the Chisos Mountains.
Chisos Fog
 The hike followed an old road and soon entered some trees where there seemed to be a little bit of flowing water. We found the "tie-down tree" I had heard about
The Tie-Down Tree
along with a sign warning us not to hike with small children due to the recent mountain lion attack.
Mountain Lion!
We then proceeded to hike on the trail gradually uphill. More and more fog began to burn off and the sun shone warm as we headed into some trees and approached the falls.
Hiking Out of Fog
In the Trees

While the falls were just a trickle there was plenty of water in the pool at the bottom of the pour-off.
Bottom of Cattail Falls
The whole area was a wonderland of ferns and cool, moist air.
Maidenhair Ferns
We enjoyed the scene for a bit before turning around and heading back to the car.
Hiking Back from Falls
 We savored our first taste of Big Bend in about seven years and were ready for some more!

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