National Parks

Initially, we were only going to stay near Big Bend National Park for only two days.  (I know that is not nearly enough time)  Had we stuck to our original plans, we would have missed the most challenging and rewarding hike of our journey. We intended to possibly squeeze in one full day hike which we did at the Lost Mine Trail  and a couple of other half day hikes.  Then it was on our way west towards California.  The weather on our intended route was horrible, not to mention dangerous.  (Well everywhere except where we were in Terlingua, TX)  Only 1.5 hours northwest was seeing wind gusts of 30+ mph and above, heavy rain, flash flooding etc.  As any seasoned RV'er knows, wind gusts that high and crosswinds especially can be detrimental to a tall, lightweight trailer box.   We had to adjust plans, recalculate, and determine that it was best to stay where we were for the next 3 days until the storms passed. After checking availability at the RV park for extended days, we regrouped and changed our agenda.  

We had initially set aside 2 full days at Big Bend National Park. (Dangerous weather changed our plans, however; more on that later). Of course, we ALWAYS underestimate the time we need, but part of the curse of trying to see the whole country in a few months is to set aggressive timelines and hope to stick to it. After our quick hike the day before to Balanced Rock, we were looking for something a little more challenging for our all-day hike. Jen REALLY wanted to hike Emory Peak, but that is nearly 10 miles and a max height of over 7800 feet and I really didn't think the girls could handle it.

This post is partially narrated by Leighton and Shayla as part of their homeschool, writing practice, typing practice, and spelling practice.   As the title suggests... We asked ourselves the same question when we first were looking for an easy late day hike in Big Bend National Park.  Is Balanced Rock worth the trip?  For us, the answer was definitely yes.  We arrived just outside of the park and stayed at BJ's RV Park in Terlingua Texas RV Trip to Balanced Rock

So after our  Yeah, you should fit.  The Cul De Sac of Hell.  experience (click the title to read that post), we were scrambling to find a new location to set up camp for the next few days.  All we had to do now was travel outside Joshua Tree National Park, to get some cell phone service and we would be all set.   Well, I swear Joshua Tree is the size of Connecticut.Joshua Tree National Park Good thing we had a full tank of gas headed into it. After about 45 minutes of driving we began