I took the 13 hour drive during June, which is not the best time to visit Big Bend.  But it was great, anyway.  The South Rim trail has about 2000 feet of climbing and is a nice 12-15 mile hike, depending upon whether one wants to add Emory Peak to it.  I did. 

I saw both summer tanagers and western tanagers.  On the South Rim, one walks for several miles above the Chihuahan Desert below.  I saw nobody the day I did it.  But what was really neat, to this weather junkie, was the “steam” I saw ahead of me.  It was humid air flowing from the south, hitting the cliff walls, being pushed up and condensing before me. This is called orographic lift and is why mountains get more rain than valleys–they provide a lifting mechanism that cools the air and wrings the water out of it, just as making a balloon with water in it smaller wrings the water out of it, too.

I also did the hike to the Window.



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