We went to Big Bend!

Our friends Amy and Stephen invited us to join them and a whole group to camp out at Big Bend over the 4th of July weekend. I haven’t been camping — like in a tent under the stars — since the one time I went with a friend’s family when I was about 10 and I don’t remember that being particularly fun. But since Rebecca really wanted to go I thought I’d give it a try.

We got up early on Friday morning and heading out for the six and a half hour drive and arrived at our campsite in the Chisos Mountains just after noon. After setting up our tents (easier than I thought), we hiked to The Window.

Here’s a video and some photos (shot on my iPhone and GoPro) from the hike and our camp.

That evening we made pizzas on the grill — so awesome. And we’d hoped to do some stargazing but the clouds started rolling in. Then later that night it rained pretty hard; maybe two or three times. I was surprised that the tent kept us totally dry. Rebecca said, “that’s what it’s supposed to do.” “I know,” I said, “I just didn’t believe it actually would.” The clouds and rain became mist by the time we got up and the campsite looked beautiful.

The next day, Rebecca and I drove about an hour across the park to the Santa Elena Canyon. We had to hike just a short way but we also had to cross a little bit of water (thigh high). Here the Rio Grande is surrounded by 1500 ft. cliffs. It’s amazing. And there were people kayaking! I didn’t know you could do this. I’d love to come back just for that.

The views were so great I had to break out my Ricoh Theta S (360° camera). If you have cardboard VR viewer, open these in a new tab on your phone and have fun.

The first two are from Santa Elena Canyon. Click and drag to look around.

Open in a new tab – best for VR mode

Open in a new tab – best for VR mode

Open in a new tab – best for VR mode

That night, the sky stayed clear and we saw an incredible sky full of stars. The Milky Way was just beautiful. We were even able to take the rain cover off the tent and sleep under that big sky. It was a pretty great experience. I still don’t think I’m interested in camping just for the sake of it but if it’s the best or only way to see some place like this, then I’d totally do it again.

2 Weeks

I spent the last two weeks away from home and my usual routine. It was so nice. First, I was in Whistler, BC for our Mozilla work week. I got to see coworkers that I hadn’t seen in six months and meet a few people for the first time. It’s always great to get a chance to step back and look at the bigger picture, have conversations you don’t normally get to have and interact with people in something other than a video meeting.

Then I rendezvoused with my family in California and we spent a week out in Monte Rio & The Sea Ranch (with a pit stop in San Francisco for the Pride parade and celebration). All I did for a week was write, read, run and go to the beach. I shot a bunch of pictures and lots of video along the way (all on my iPhone 6+ and a GoPro). The pictures will have to wait but here’s the video.