I awoke on Christmas Day feeling lazy. Breakfast was a Clif bar washed down with water from my camelbak. Anna and I spent the majority of the morning sitting in the newly discovered Rec Room surfing the web and posting pictures. A little after noon, we geared up to go our separate ways into the park.
I started by heading down the main park road all the way east to Panther Junction. I wanted to get a baseline for my Big Bend Experience.
Next I rode up the enjoyably switch-backed Basin Road to the Chisos Lodge area.
The visitor’s center was closed, but the store was open. I purchased a pre-made sandwich and bottle of juice. After locking up my valuables, I walked down the short Window View trail. I sat on a handy bench and contemplated the view while eating my lunch.
Next up was the road to Santa Elena Canyon. It was roughly 30 miles to the canyon view, and it seemed to take forever. There was a new incredible view around every corner.
I arrived back at the campground around 5:45. Mike was relaxing in a chair with a book and John was unpacking his bike from the day’s ride. Ara joined us briefly to discuss the day and ask me to explain a digital photo editing question that was on his mind.
Anna, Mike, John, and I went out to dinner at the Starlight Theater. Built as a silent movie hall for turn of the century miners, the building looked like it could crumble into the desert at any moment. The food was excellent. The menu included several imaginative entrees that seemed almost out of place in the dilapidated ghost town of Terlingua.