Ever since the boys found out they could go to Mexico, they have made a big countdown. Initially there was some disappointment as we arrived on a Monday, and the Port of Entry was closed Mondays and Tuesdays. We had to wait until today, Wednesday, to make our trek there. First though, we were going to take a dip in the natural hot springs that was on the way. (All of this was still inside Big Bend National Park) We had to go off-roading for about 2 miles before we came to a sign with a turnaround that said NO RV’s, trailers or trucks with duallys. Soon we found out why. We were on a quick but scary ½ mile drive that was pretty much the width of Jesse’s truck. On one side, it was a sharp craggy rock wall that I was worried would scrape the truck the whole time, and on the other side was an immediate drop off. No railing, no shoulder, just a drop off. The road winded around corner after corner as well. I’m pretty sure none of us were breathing! BUT in true Tischer fashion, Jesse knew exactly what he was doing and did fantastic! Go Jesse!
From the parking lot, we had about a ¼ mile hike to get to the hot springs. We passed a couple of ancient buildings, houses and stores. All with a limestone wall backdrop on one side, and the reeds protecting the Rio Grande on the other. It was pretty neat when we finally reached the hot springs! It’s just right there on the bank, the boys jumped into the Rio Grande and then hopped back into the hot spring. The base of the hot springs was a fine sandy bottom, and though they said the temp was about 105 degrees, it was very easy for all of us to be in it, and it felt good on our hiking legs from long hikes the day before. The outside temp was at least 75 as well, dry and well, for January 31, perfect!
At the Port of Entry, there were two Park Rangers happy to see the kids and who wanted to describe to us what we’d be encountering in Mexico. No bringing back rocks, vegetation or skulls/bones among other things. But Mexican candy would be ok (all Andy has been talking about!) We walked about a ¼ mile to the river, and waved the row boat over. The boys were told they could actually walk across if they wanted, it would be very shallow, even though it was wide. But we all wanted the row boat experience!
On the other side, we went right over where the burros were, excited to ride those into town. Everybody did great hopping on and with the ride trotting the ¾ mile into town. Our burro guide was also our guide for the day and he took us to the Mexican immigration office, to the restaurant, and for a little tour of the town. The food was amazing, but the “best margarita in Mexico” was so good I had 2! We bought a couple of souvenirs, I noticed that they do all their sewing by hand. There were many solar panels in the town and we were told that many of them were given in part by the UN. We also saw where their little school, church and clinic were. After inquiring about Mexican candy (we still hadn’t found any!) we were told to go to the blue house at the end of the curve. That’s where the kids hit the jackpot and found what they wanted. They both really like tamarind flavored candy!
Back at our camper, I cooked up a big bowl of chili. Terlingua, which was very close to us, is known for their World Chili Championships. I purchased some local chili seasonings and made the best pot of chili we’ve ever had. Woody also did a ton of science experiments on the picnic table outside of our camper. He has been learning a lot about erosion, and he had a lot of prime examples to see in Big Bend National Park. This was a great way to road-school with the boys!