We left Big Bend National Park today after six nights in Rio Grande Village. As I said, it wasn’t much of a campground – really just a parking lot. We made the most of our time there anyway. We went on five different hikes and explored as much of the Park as we could practically get to in a day. We never did make it to the West side of the Park. It was just too far from the campground. Maybe we will get back someday and check out that part of the Park.
We weren’t sure how far we would get driving today. Our ultimate destination was Inks Lake State Park but we thought it might be a bit much for a one-day drive. Also, I was concerned that the Park might be full for the weekend. Well, it turned out I was right. I think Texans like to camp in the fall when we have nice cool weather and you can justify a campfire. We called Inks Lake and they said they didn’t have any open spots until Sunday. So, we stopped in Kerrville for the night. It was still a pretty long day of driving (so long that Alan even let me drive for part of the way.) We will head to Inks Lake tomorrow after we stock up on supplies.
The funny thing is that we thought we were going to be staying at a different campground in Kerrville. We knew we had been in Kerrville twice before and stayed at two different parks so tonight we headed for the KOA which was convenient to the highway. As we pulled in, we both said “we’ve been here before!” We couldn’t remember exactly when, but the campground host told us it was in February – probably on our way to Falcon Lake in South Texas. I’ll have to check our trip log to be sure. This happened to us once before when were driving to/from Florida (coincidentally, I was driving that time, too and I don’t drive that often.)
The interesting thing about our drive today was how different gas prices were across Texas. There was gas in Big Bend (good thing considering it is about 50 miles to get from the South end of the Park to the main entrance) and they were charging $2.66 a gallon. The first town we got to on the way out was Marathon. They were charging $2.79 a gallon. Not too much farther along near Fort Stockton we saw gas for $2.06 a gallon. When we stopped for gas along I-10 in Junction they wanted $2.89 on one side of the street and $2.79 on the other. We drove a little further into town (less than five miles) and ended up paying $2.45 a gallon. We got to Kerrville and our KOA campground has gas for $2.04 a gallon! Can you believe it? We would have expected the prices in the heart of Big Bend where there isn’t any competition to be the highest but that definitely was not the case!
I have lots of pictures to post from our various hikes around Big Bend. I thought it was a great place and the weather was perfect the whole time. There are big mountains and barren deserts that we explored along with the Rio Grande itself. We even took some interesting drives along dirt roads. If they would only put in a decent campground with hook-ups. The National Parks have a serious problem with this. They will let people in tents camp anywhere but if you want electricity – forget it! If we get a generator in the future that would give us more options, but it is a lot of weight (and fuel) to haul around. We may be able to manage for one night on our batteries but that would be about it. You would get so many more people exploring these great places and it isn’t like there isn’t already electricity in the Park. Sometimes I wonder what the real goal of the National Park Service is . . .