Sunday – May 10, 2015
Big Bend National Park, Texas
The hot weather continues at Big Bend National Park, another day with the temperature in the low 100’s. We got off to an early start this morning to hike the 1.4 mile Boquillas Canyon Trail.
The trail begins with a short climb, then descends via a sandy path to the Rio Grande River. We were amazed to see how narrow the river is as it winds its way through the park, separating the United States from Mexico.
Boquillas U. S. Border Patrol Checkpoint
Along the trail we encountered small "souvenir stands" put their by Mexican Nationals. They leave beautiful, hand-made walking sticks and other hand-made trinkets, with a suggested donation amount. The visitor will generally not see the Mexican Nationals, they tend to keep out of sight. If they are caught they are arrested for illegal entry and commerce. The park warns visitors not to purchase any items. These items are considered contraband and will be seized by park officers when encountered.
Some Mexican Nationals risk arrest, by openly crossing the Rio Grande River, on a horse or in a boat. We encountered two such individuals, one sang songs for money and another had just left his "souvenirs" and was returning to Mexico on his horse.
The Rio Grande River serves as the international border Between the United States and Mexico. Throughout much of its history, the border along the Rio Grande has been fluid, allowing people of both countries to come and go as needed. However, the border is an artificial boundary imposed on the natural environment, and as such is subject to political and social pressures that continue to evolve. Increased border restrictions have led to a number of important changes that affect the international boundary in Big Bend.
Tomorrow another adventure begins.