We headed into Walmart at 6 am to clean up and get supplies. I went straight to the ladies room. A Walmart employee came in while I was brushing my teeth and gave me a a very odd look. I am not sure if it was because I was brushing my teeth in Walmart at 6 in the morning, because I was wearing socks with sandals or perhaps it was a combination of the two. It felt so good to have clean teeth I really did not care. We stocked up on two weeks worth of food because Big Bend is very remote and there are no grocery stores nearby. We hopped back into the truck excited to be close to our destination.

When we made it to the small town of Marathon, we knew we were almost to Big Bend. About another hour of driving brought us to the entrance to the park. From there it was still quite a ways to the Visitor Center at Panther’s Junction. The drive brought back great memories of our trip here last spring. As we were driving we noticed a lot of smoke a distance away. We made it to the ranger station at about 1 o’clock. We talked to the ranger on duty about our back country permit. She gave us a binder full of pictures and descriptions of all the primitive drive in sites in the park. She also let us know that there was a wildfire and although it was almost contained, a few sites were temporarily off limits due to the fire. I had a few ideas from my internet research. We wanted privacy, good views, and roads that would not be too hard on our vehicle. While we were choosing, another ranger, an older gentleman, offered us his help. He knew a great deal about the park and gave us some good suggestions as well as some places to explore that were off the beaten path. With our choices made, we returned to the desk and got our pass for the next 14 days for only $12 for the entire visit. We selected two campsites for one week each, Pine Canyon # 3, and Rice Tank. We were told if at any point we wanted to change sites we could just go to any ranger station to revise our permit.

With the paperwork taken care of, we headed to check out our first campsite. Big Bend is a huge park so getting pretty much anywhere takes awhile especially on the back roads to the campsites. Finally we arrived at our site and it was everything we had hoped for. We got the tent set up quickly happy to be settled somewhere for a week after our long road trip. There are no fires allowed here because of the dry conditions and it cools down quickly once the sun sets so we headed to the tent shortly after sundown.
Smoke as we drove into Big Bend

Our campsite Pine Canyon 3