Big Bend: Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

When you go on holiday with an Englishman, expect rain. At least that’s what someone should have told me. After driving 466 miles and 7 hours, we arrive at the Chisos Mountains and it rains. What I didn’t understand before we got there is that the Chisos Mountains are raincatchers; gigantic, volcanic upheavals rising from the floor of an ancient ocean. As low wet clouds drift by, they gather around the mountains, giving them the look of Mt. Doom shrouded in the mist.

We plan two hikes for the day, and as it is very misty in the Chisos Basin, we head out into the desert to Santa Elena Canyon. When we get there, though, the trail is closed because the rain has swollen the river.

Even so, the drive along Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive is, well, scenic and there are a lot of overlooks and stopping off points with info on what we’re looking at.

One Response to “Big Bend: Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive”

  1. margaret Responds:

    It is now on my list of “must-see” places. We have scenic routes over her in the U.K. but ther is nothing as dramatic as this–not even in the Highlands of Scotland.

    I thought a lot of you when we were there. Big Bend is certainly different than the Lake District, but they are both interesting in their own way. (I’d love to visit Scotland, but AJM isn’t too keen.) Big Bend has an amazingly diverse plant and animal systems. It’s not anything like the barren sand dunes in a desert like in “Lawrence of Arabia”. AJM is thinking of taking SAM camping there next April. Maybe, someday, we can all go together. It’s a very long drive, though. And there is no other way to get there.

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