Saturday, February 11, 2017

You’d Never Guess

The cloud cover that prevented us from seeing billions of stars at least afforded us a (brief) beautiful sunset.


Our first morning here at Seminole Canyon State Historic Park in the Pecos River country of south Texas looked like this.


Fortunately the sun managed to clear things up by about 10 am, and we were off to fulfill our plan of a day’s worth of hiking.   Do you see Seminole Canyon out there?  Can you see any ravines?  They’re out there—lots of them and lots of animals, insects, reptiles, flowers—oodles of stuff you usually don’t see.


Leftover fog captured by a few spider webs .


During our previous visit in 2007, we had taken this trail before, but we rode our bicycles on the 5-mile round trip. This time we walked, but managed to add a couple-three miles to the total.


Dagnabbit!!! No matter how far out into the wilderness we go, we can’t shake that creepy guy!.


The trail we were following, the Rio Grande River Trail led us right to it.


Here the canyon walls are steep and the river is deep.  This is part of the Amistad Reservoir, the international deep water play area for both countries.


   The Rio Grande is dammed from border to border about 26 miles south—left.  The water backs up into Seminole Canyon.  Look at the white cliff face on the far left.


This is a closeup of that area,


the Panther Cave pictograph overlook.  Zoom in on the right end of the wall above the trees and you can see the back end and tail of the panther.  The foliage is left in place to protect the paintings from the elements.  This makes the overlook almost useless for viewing, but anyone with a boat can climb the steps and get a closer look.

Here we found a shady spot to eat lunch and enjoy the view and chat with the few other visitors at the site.


From there our route deviated from the last time.  Instead of retracing our path, we continued our hike along the Canyon Rim Trail along Seminole Canyon.


This trail followed the canyon for about three miles, but added another 2 1/2 miles or so because of these steep canyons that ran at right angles to the canyon.  Each one required us to walk along one side, around the end, and back along the other side to the canyon edge again.


Each time we returned to the canyon rim we were higher than before.


After several miles we reached the point where the dammed up Rio Grande water ceased and left the canyon dry.  We were able to see how the canyon was actually formed. The curved sides clearly show how floodwaters sluice around the turns carving out the sloped edges


  We hiked around the last cutoff canyon ( that cut to the left below), and back to that rock outcrop. The last couple of miles led away from the canyon rim back toward the campground.


  In our day of hiking we crossed many of these basalt (cooled lava turned to stone) flows.


We saw numerous fossils reminding us that this whole area used to be a covered with an ocean.


Other interesting stuff included this rock stuck in the rock,


and this rock shape that looked to us like a petrified tree stump.


Six hours after the start of our hike, we arrived home hot, tired, and wondering where all those achy muscles came from.  We also had a greater appreciation for the powerful forces that carved out this area of desert and deep canyons.

Did we rest the next day?  Of course not!

Louise and Duane

1 comment:

Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

I think walking totally changes how and what you see. We rode bikes today on the same trail we walked here at the campground. Stopped several times just to look around and admire the area. So different than peddling along.

Have this hike on our list when we get to the Canyon. Hopefully, next winter.