While in Big Bend National Park to hike the Window Trail we traveled to see the Rio Grande which separates the United States and Mexico. It seemed somewhat ridicules to be this close to one of the US borders and not take some time to visit it first hand. From a distance there were mountains on the horizon which somewhat matched my expectations of what this area would look like.
For whatever reason, whether from photos or things I’ve read, I expected there to be a canyon kind of like the Grand Canyon with a river running through it and on one side would be the United States and the other Mexico. In this particular area that was not really the case. On one side was a desert, relatively flat, and the other was a tall cliff separated by the Rio Grande.
Making our way to the Santa Elena Canyon Trail we discovered that the river bends and enters a canyon with sheer cliffs on either side. Maybe this is why my expectations were of a canyon with the Rio Grande running through it. Even so, I was surprised by how steep these canyon walls are and how small the river is. At least how small it was while we were there. During times with higher rain amounts I imagine this river to swell considerably. While learning more about the Rio Grande we found out that one of the issues with it being a major border was that the river can change course over time from a rising and falling river which also can change the border between Mexico and the United States.
Shortly after exploring the Rio Grande I realized that this completes our adventures from one end of the United States to the other. We’ve been to the Canadian/United States border after hiking in Isle Royale National Park, the United States/Mexico border while in Big Bend and the East Coast and West Coast. Also we explored Alaska/Canadian border. The only piece left is Hawaii which will be our final trip in 2018.