Hiking the Marufo Vega

Today Jaclynn and I hiked the Marufo Vega, which we believe is the longest and one of the most strenuous hikes in Big Bend. Despite our age difference (i.e. – she had me holding her back a little bit!) we hiked it in 8 hours, 33 minutes. The views from the trail were breath-taking as we wended our way through the Caballo Muerto (dead horse) mountains, gazing across Mexico to the San Carmen mountains.

We saw several plants which we could not identify, beautiful ground-hugging flowers, and munched on some yucca flowers in addition to the treats we brought. Since Jaclyn was on duty we were officially “patrolling” and she had to pick up any “latrine debris” and other goods that previous hikers had not packed out. We even found a pair of size 38″ x 30″ black jeans turned completely inside-out. Not sure yet what we should do with those!

The most amazing thing we saw was towards the end of the hike – we had accidentally scared a gecko and in his terror he shed his tail and fled! The tail wriggled just like a worm for about 2 minutes and worked as nature planned! He made his getaway while we gazed in curiosity, then horror as we realized it was his tail! I guess if we were a dessert predator we would have had a tasty snack of gecko tail! (Sorry, no pictures because my camera lens was on the fritz.)

First, the plant hexia, ocatillo in bloom, a red-leafed plant we could not identify, some beautiful scenery and (lastly) “they don’t call ’em the dead horse mountains for nuthin”!

s-1a-Hexia s-1b-Looking back towards car s-1c-Ocatillo Blooms s-1d-MV Scenery s-1e-Jaclyn Admiring s-2a-Bright Red Leafed plant s-2b-Dead Horse Mountain

We added an extra mile to our hike by taking the 1- mile round trip spur to the Rio Grande to have lunch. I thought it would be grand to wade or swim in the river but was thwarted! What appeared to be lovely sand was actually silt which threatened to suck me under like quicksand, so I abandoned my swim. The photos below show the blossom (and bee)-laden tree under which we ate, a very unique green barked tree we could not ID, and a pregnant(?) mare we spotted on the opposite bank after we hiked back up to the river overlook a ways.

s-2c-Lunch spot by Rio Grande s-2d-Tree full of bees and flowers s-2f s-2f-Bright Green Barked Tree s-2g s-2h-River View s-2i-Horse Over yonder s-2j

Sorry, but the camera quit working after this. Jaclynn complained that “you take pictures of everything!”

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