Big Bend National Park: Native American Trail, Homer Wilson Ranch

We started Tuesday morning with an easy two mile hike to see Native American Petroglyphs. It was a hike that our guides knew about but is not on any map.

I guess I should have introduced our guides for this week: Erica and Erin, twin sisters (38 years old) originally from the hills of Tennessee and now from here in the Terlingua area (although they go back to see Momma every summer when tourism is down). They are river guides and hiking guides for the area. They developed this Road Scholar trip as we are doing it this week. These are two very active, outdoorsy and independent women as we learned as the week went on. They seem to know everyone in the area so it was not surprising they showed us a little-known trail to these hidden petroglyphs.

Our second hike was down to the Homer Wilson Ranch. Homer Wilson established the ranch in 1929. Eventually over 28,000 acres, at one time it was one of the largest ranches in the Texas. Wilson’s ranch focused on sheep and goats. Wilson lived at the ranch until his death in 1943 and his family moved away the following year.

We had lunch on Tuesday at the Cottonwood Picnic ground near the Cottonwood Campground. Right across the Rio Grande River is Mexico. See the last picture below and tell me where it makes sense to put a 25′ high wall? A wall built right along the river that would block the view of the Mexican mountains from this picnic site. If the wall was placed say, 1/2 mile from the river then US citizens would have to enter 25′ high gates to access this area of Big Bend National Park – one of the “people’s parks” – and would be in “no-man’s land” the entire time they are there. Even as it is now I couldn’t get to the river because of a 4′ high fence and I couldn’t see the river because of a build up of debris on the river side of the fence. This is not the only place the wall will hurt the National Park. The wall would run all the way through Big Bend, along the Rio Grande River. I’ll be posting and noting the impact as I come to it.