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Bluebonnets before Sunrise, Big Bend NP 24

Big Bend National Park

I started this walk to a small hill that overlooked a rocky valley in the dark. I had scouted the area a day earlier, walking miles up and down hills and washes in the western slope of the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park. I was hoping to find a view that overlooked the landscape with the iconic Mule Ears rock formation in the distance. Now, as the first light of sunrise began to light up the high clouds resting above the mountains, I was glad I had spent time and effort scouting the previous day. The bluebonnets were abundant below the rocky perch I found, and the color of blue trickled down the the hillside. In the distance, one of the most beautiful drives in Texas, the Ross Maxwell Scenic Highway, curved its way through the valley. It was an amazing sunrise. Behind me, with clear skies and a three-quarters moon setting, the well-known Cerro Castellan rose into the cold February air. But in front of me, the view of the Chisos and bluebonnets was the best, and a great way to begin a new day in this remote region of Texas.