We decided to explore Rio Grande area on our first day (26 November 2009) in Big Bend National Park. First, the location of Rio Grande Village is on the opposite end of the town where we were going to overnight. On the map, Rio Grande Village is on the eastern side of the park, lies 20 miles away from park’s Headquarters and 46 miles from Maverick Junction. Secondly, we reserved the following day for Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive and the highlight of Big Bend – Santa Elena Canyon since the weather was forecasted to be sunny – an awesome day for photography!
Our wish was granted earlier when the sun came out as we reached Rio Grande Tunnel. The one and only tunnel in Big Bend National Park, this is the landmark prior to Rio Grande Village, Daniels Ranch and Boquillas Canyon.
Built in 1959, this iconic tunnel is located two miles north of Rio Grande Village in Big Bend National Park. It was the first highway tunnel built in the state of Texas. Plan to put this tunnel into reality was to reroute traffic away from a stretch of road known as ‘Dead Man Curve’.
Believe it or not, everybody is a field geologist at Big Bend. Trying to figure out how these funny shapes came about. Or formulating some theories to explain the strange surfaces. Interestingly, the rocks at Rio Grande Tunnel is a direct evidence of faulting. It happened when large bodies of rock slide downward along active faults due to massive stresses and stretches of the earth’s crust which occurred some 26 million years ago!
In short, rocks are not just happened to be there for no reason. They seem to have undergone the ‘evolution’ process as well!
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny'”” ~ Isaac Asimov