Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Day Five at Big Bend National Park: Grapevine Hills Hike to the Balanced Rock

We left our campsite in Terlingua very early this morning on our way to hike in the Grapevine Hills.
The rising sun casts interesting shadows on the stone formations.

As we turned off the paved road, the sign announced
six miles to the hiking trail.

Looking back the road to the Chisos Mountains
with their morning shadows.

Looking back the gravel road again.

The area west of the road is filled with canyons.

The sign reads:  "Grapevine Hills Trail.   This trail enters a realm of petrified fire.  Here, under enormous pressure, molten rock ballooned up beneath the earth's surface.  As erosion stripped away overlaying layers, the exposed dome fractured into a moonscape of giant boulders."

Starting up the trail.
Leaving the truck behind.

A view to the right of the trail.

Looking back the trail to enjoy the view!

Desert flowers along the path.

MarySue pauses to enjoy the view.

Delicate desert flowers along the path.

Close-up of colored rock.

Looking back the trail yet again.

After we climbed a lot, we looked back again!

The object of our climb: the balanced rock.

A lizard enjoys the warmth of the sun way up high in the rocks.

Bruce pauses at the top.

By the time we were nearly back to the truck the sun had
warmed the Prickly Pear Cactus and the blooms were open.
It was a hike and an adventure we truly enjoyed and will always remember.  But we already have plans for more adventure tomorrow.