I am amazed at the extremes here in Big Bend. Absolute calm weather, then 55 mph winds ripping through the campgrounds so suddenly I can tell you they started at 1:22 a.m. Mornings so cold I freeze even in long pants & shirt, a fleece jacket and gloves. Then heat so bad I have to change into shorts, short sleeved shirt and sandals by 11:30 a.m.and my skin actually hurting from the intense sun. A pastoral, relaxing, lazy-days type campground only 50-60 % full for nearly 2 weeks. Now Easter Weekend (aka Mexican Family Reunion Weekend) with campsites maxed out with tents, people, vehicles, coolers, kids bicycles, kayaks, and winds ripping just to add to the pandemonium!
Jane’s family left today after their 6-day visit. It seems like she had a very good time with them. Her daughter and two granddaughters are absolutely gorgeous and giggly. Her son-in-law and his parents friendly, smiling and great company. And, wow! What a good cook Bill, the father-in-law, is!! Most of the time I had already eaten when Jane’s family returned from their daily outings, but this morning I had pancakes and cheesy potatoes, sausage and egg casserole for breakfast and pulled barbecued pork for lunch that he had cooked! Heaven! I had worked 2 of Jane’s days on so she could enjoy time with her family. It was so much fun to see them all together! And I had flashbacks of Martha (of Florida EJ & Martha fame) whenever Debbie, Bill’s wife, spoke. Her little southern drawl reminded me so much of Martha!
So, by some miracle the campground quieted down before 10:00 tonight! Today was particularly stressful as the Mexican-American families began coming in to stake claims to the first-come/first-serve campsites by 9 or 10 this morning. The rules are that the campsite has to be “occupied” and paid for, but I was cutting them some slack in the “paid for” department. Everything was going okay until the families decided to change sites randomly through the evening! We have to keep track of who is where and it got a little dicey for a while. Once the tents went up and belongings were strewn about the families disappeared towards the Rio Grande River, so as I tried to correct improper food storage and garbage disposal issues I could not find the site occupants.
I later found out that no one from law enforcement was scheduled to work tonight and the officers that were called in were dealing with illegal crossings all along the river. Many of the adult campers were born in Mexico, not necessarily in Boquillas, but in little farm-ettes across the river. It is a very sad state of affairs that the border is not yet open and the people cannot visit each other legally. All law enforcement is asking is that the illegal crossings not take place so blatantly – such as in front of 30 other visitors at the Hot Springs. It will be an interesting weekend but I won’t be around the campground much as it is my 3 days off.
Tomorrow (Friday) there is a hike with other volunteers somewhere over towards the west side of the park. Then I am planning on doing some long hikes elsewhere. It is supposed to be hot so I’ll have to carefully plan water and provisions.
Sorry no photos today – too busy working this week. Cacti are in bloom everywhere despite no rain for approaching 80 days I think.