Adventure Location: Stillwell Ranch, TX
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We cleared the park gate about 0830 this morning and made a left turn heading west. The traffic again was minimal all the way to Marathon. Gas in Sanderson was $3.059 a gallon and $3.329 in Marathon.
At Marathon we made the correct left turn toward Big Bend National Park (BIBE). From Marathon to the turn off to Stillwell Ranch the scenery is pretty nice for all of the 50 or so miles. However it was hot with Sierra telling us it was 91 outside. Sierra’s A/C did a wonderful job of cooling the OFM.
Once again we made a left turn at the sign for Stillwell Ranch and followed the road for 6 miles to the store. Along the way you pass through the notch in a hill and get this nice view of the ranch in front of you.
We rolled in to a friendly welcome. They have full hookup, water and electric and tent sites available. With the temps being so hot the wimp OFM chose a water electric site to keep us cool. Here is our crowded campground nest.
After setting in and getting some lunch into the body, we took a ride over to BIBE to get our free 7 day pass and check out some of the familiar hills near the entrance station at Persimmon Gap.
Dog Canyon is a trail the OFM has done a few times and is a reasonably easy trail for most folks. BUT it is a hot trail so take 3 times as much water as you think you will need. Cache a couple of liters of water near where the trail drops into the wash for your trek back to the parking. That will save you having to carry it all the rest of the way and back to the cache point. Please do not bother the other folks caches that you will likely see in that area.
It is also important to start the trail with a full camera battery. There are not recharge stations in the canyon. The first time through there the OFM shot over a hundred pictures and that was with a film camera back in ancient times.
This picture is from the parking lane at the main road. The notch in the ridge under the clouds is Dog Canyon. Do’t worry about the mountain lions and rattlesnakes that roam the area. In all our roaming we have only seen one mountain lion and a dozen or so rattlers.
Back at Persimmon Gap is a very easy trail that is not on the free map they give you. It starts at the Visitor center and winds around to the left side of this small hill in the picture above. Just ask at the visitor center and they will show you where the trail starts. We normally only used less than a liter for this hike per person. As is usual for BIBE, always start a trail with a full camera battery.
This one place where the OFM actually can have tooooo much fun.