The only National Park on our winter trip was Big Bend. Neither of us had been there before, in fact, neither of us had really spent much time in Texas before. We learned a lot about Texas during the ~3 weeks we were there. It is, as they say, BIG! And this National Park is also a biggie. We camped in Rio Grande Village Campground, and we were lucky to get just about the last open site with electricity in that campground. We were on the east side of the National Park, click on this link to see a map of the area. We drove as far west as the Chisos Basin Visitor Center, a very scenic drive. Not for trailers and large RV's, however, with some tight twists and turns. The picture above was taken at an overlook near that center, it's a gap called The Window between the mountains with a very long range view. We also took a hike on the Boquillas Canyon Trail. It's not very long and not very hard, I was kind of wimpy that day. But we had a great view of the river and the Mexican town of Boquillas del Carmen across the river.
The weather was mild, at least to us, meaning there was not even any snow on the ground! It wasn't very crowded at the visitor's centers and on the roads or trails. It was about the second week of January. We entered and exited the park at the Persimmon Gap entrance. There are many more trails and roads and adventures open for visitors (except not right now) who want to explore more of this interesting area.
We've been planting and tending all around the house - new perennials, flowers for the hanging baskets on the porch and window boxes, more little things sprouting in the garden all the time, and new grass showing up in spots that had grown bare. When we dug up the flower beds by the road, I saved some of the clumps of day lilies and sedum that I have been able to divide and transplant. I cut back a lot of the hydrangeas, to encourage healthy new growth.
Our trailer is poised and ready to get out of our driveway! State parks are supposed to be opening soon here, and we will go to some of those places before we go to Montana and California to see the kiddos. If not for our stay-at-home period, we would probably have already been to see them. But we are healthy, and I did get to finally go see my mom, so that's all good. She's in that very vulnerable age range (>90) so we have kept our distance. And so far, it has paid off. I just feel so badly for all of the victims of corona virus, they aren't just numbers on a graph. I'm concerned for the many healthcare workers that we both know, who are victims in another way. I hope that there are a lot of mental health treatment opportunities available to them, because it must be heart wrenching and mind numbing to be working amid this pandemic. That combination was a big part of the reason that I retired from nursing. My heart ached for my patients and my mind couldn't shut off from the stress of dealing with life and death routinely. And I still have moments now when something stops me in my tracks and a lot of memories, and sometimes tears, rush back into focus for a few minutes. It might be a sound like an equipment alarm, a person or acquaintance from the hospital, or a medical term or reference that I relate to. Not like the seriousness of PTSD, but life-changing. And the situation now is at least ten-fold of what I experienced. Remember these people who work in all positions of the hospitals, and consider what is happening to them daily. Lift them up with a bit of praise and gratitude the next time you feel like you encounter a difficult situation.
Not to go all grim here, so let's go camping, please! I think I'll sleep in the trailer tonight!
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Hi! I'm Pam! Join me on this journey through the next steps of life!