El Paso Group Outings chair John Walton and Group chair Laurence Gibson joined a group of Dallas Sierra Club backpackers recently for a 3-day trip in Big Bend National Park. Destination was the seldom-visited Mesa de Anguilla in the extreme western tip of Big Bend just east of Lajitas. The group hiked about 8 miles a day base camping out of the Tinaja Grande. The weather was perfect with highs in the low 80’s and a big Supermoon illuminating the campsite at night. No one else was seen in three days on the trail.
Backpacking the Mesa de Anguilla requires detailed knowledge of the various tinahas (water holes in the deep arroyos) and which ones are likely to hold water. If water is not found, travellers face stressful situations getting back to civilization. This trip went off without a hitch and the group returned home just ahead of a massive snowstorm that covered the Big Bend. How wonderful to experience the cleansing effect of backpacking the Big Bend.
Dallas leader Zeev Saggi, an Israeli who grew up hiking the Negev desert, has backpacked the Mesa de Anguilla for 40 years. He will lead the Dallasites once again in February. Their annual trip features a sleeper bus (already sold out) full of Sierrans on five different trips ranging from day-hiking in the Chisos to traversing the Dodson Trail, to exploring the Mesa de Anguilla with Zeev Saggi.