One of the highlights of any trip to Big Bend to to hike the South Rim Loop. As much as I wanted to, I really didn't think that I could handle the 13 mile round trip and 1800 foot ascent!
Instead, I chose one of the “feeder” trails that can be taken as part of the South Rim trek. This one takes you the 3.8 miles to Laguna Meadows, hence the name. Longer than the hike on the Lost Mine Trail, I really thought I could make it to the Meadows.
But probably about half way there, I realized it wasn't going to happen. My legs just couldn't handle all of the climbing. Way more switchbacks and a much more difficult trail. Several times I almost quit but a light snack and a drink of water would provide a much needed boost to get me a little further along.
And the views were fantastic. This one is looking towards the Window.
At one particularly disheartening moment, this beautiful bird flew by and stopped in the tree next to me. Its sweet song lifted my spirits and brightened an already wonderful day.
The view from where I turned around. Casa Grande on the right and the Basin to the left, center.
I hadn't seen another hiker all morning until reaching this point. We talked for a few minutes. She said that Laguna Meadows was about another mile down the trail and another two miles to the South Rim. She had left early that morning and had made it to the rim already, going out the other trail to the Pinnacles. She was heading back down on the Laguna Meadows Trail. I was nearly exhausted after just hiking 3 miles or so of the trail. I applauded her and envied her somewhat. But she was young, and trim, and obviously in good physical condition!
But we each have our limits, and I had reached mine on this day. After a short break, a snack and drink of water, I turned around and headed for home.
Photographs taken February 22, 2010.