Last Sunday (and again Thursday!) I hiked Burro Mesa/Apache Canyon (approximately 8 miles round trip). I could not exactly find the canyon on the first trip, so I got better directions and had a “re-do” on Thursday. Before I forget, I saw Mike and Nancy, our back-country folks leaving Panther Junction with a horse trailer full of 6.5 horses this morning. In the round-up this week they had captured the horses I reported seeing at the Talley campground on the Rio Grande a couple of weeks ago. 6.5 because one of the mares is pregnant and the whole group is on their way to Presidio for auction. (I originally thought they would be transported to Austin.) Hopefully they will have happy new homes and the park vegetation will recover from the over-grazing and trampling inflicted by the livestock.
The Burro Mesa area is one of the park’s most archeologically important sites. The following website gives a good description:
Chert (also known as flint) is a silica rich, crystalline material that comes in just about every color of the rainbow (at least here in Big Bend!). When fractured it breaks with extremely sharp edges and was used by native Americans, among others, to make a whole variety of implements. I found it interesting that the Big Bend quarry was used for at least 13,000 years as a source of chert.
The Burro Mesa area is a protected site, so hikers must carry their registration form with them and drop it back in the box on their way out of the area. Below: trail head, rocky trail, some favorite cacti pictures, Torrey yucca flower head forming.
Next, the magnificently constructed stone corral, me to show how tall the corral is, ruins of the stone farm house, and some local fauna and flora:
On my Sunday trip I did not take any chert pictures and I am kicking myself for not doing so. The chert I found in some of the washes when I was looking in the wrong places were even more beautiful than the ones shown here. I will certainly go back to walk those washes againas well as to find the rock art that I could not get to! My Thursday trip starts out with one of the three javelina who were crossing the road giving me the snake eye! I ‘m sure he was just checking to make sure I was not going to run over his family.
Well, that’s all for Burro Mesa! I’ll end with a photo of the Big Bend Bluebonnet which are just starting to pop along the roadsides.