Camping in Big Bend


Sharing The Night By Dr. Hook


Thursday February 24th, 1983 - We drove to Castellon and camped in Cottonwood Campground in Big Bend National Park. Hiked Burro Mesa pour-off on the way and hiked Santa Elena Canyon before sunset.                                  



Click on the thumbnail photo for a larger version.




Friday February 25th, 1983 - We drove to Ojinaga, Mexico (across from Presidio, TX). The people stared at Beth because they weren't used to seeing women in shorts. We had a good Mexican dinner and got a motel room with hot running water for $6.00.

Saturday February 26th, 1983 - We had a wonderful Mexican breakfast before leaving Ojinaga to drive back to the park. We camped in a primitive campsite, Candelilla, and enjoyed a beautiful sunset and full moon in desert scenery.

Sunday February 27th, 1983 - Michael started work as a volunteer for the forest service, manning the ranger station in the Basin Campground while the rangers were out on patrol, and instructing hikers where to go.

The job paid $2.50 per day plus a free camp site.

Campsite #53

Thursday March 3, 1983 - Poured rain in the night had to abandon tent.

Friday March 4, 1983 - We had a pancake breakfast at the lodge, dried out gear, and drove to Ojinaga. We had drinks and dinner at La Fogata Restaurant.

Saturday March 5, 1983 - Went to Ojinaga Bakery and discovered pig cookies. We had lunch at La Fogata and were served homemade sopapillas for desert.

Sunday March 6, 1983 - We hiked most of South Rim Trail.

Tuesday March 8, 1983 - We hiked to Cattail Falls in the afternoon. Beautiful waterfall!

Wednesday March 9, 1983 - We hiked the Lost Mine Trail on our second anniversary and celebrated with vodka and lemonade.

Friday March 11, 1983 - We camped at the Gravel pit Campground.

Saturday March 12, 1983 - We drove back roads to Mariscal Mine and Glen Springs, saw hummingbird. We camped at Gravel pit Campground off River Road.

Sunday March 13, 1983 - We took the Daniels Ranch nature walk and hiked the Old Ore Terminal Trail - strenuous 8 miles. We waded across the Rio Grande River to Boquillas, Mexico and had burritos and drinks.

Tuesday March 15, 1983 - We took an afternoon trip to Alpine, Texas for groceries. (100 miles one way)

Friday March 18, 1983 - We drove to Castelon and saw hummingbirds in Santa Elena Canyon and slept at Luna's.

Saturday March 19, 1983 - We hiked the Chimney Trail, saw Indian Petroglyphs and a huge Cottonwood Tree at Red Ass Spring. 10 mile hike.

Sunday March 20, 1983 - We hiked Mule Ears Spring and Burro Spring, 6 mile total. Then we went to a festival at Boquillas and played pool.


Friday March 25, 1983 - We drove to Ojinaga in the afternoon and got a room with hot water for $6.00 and bought a wool blanket for $6.00.

Saturday March 26, 1983 - It was on the drive back to Big Bend from Ojinaga that Michael informed Beth that he was still married and had a 4 year old son.

Sunday March 27, 1983 - We hiked Ward Mountain and Blue Creek Canyon (15 miles) and found our own path straight down a 7,000 foot mountain.

Monday March 28, 1983 - Michael sold his 1976 Volvo 244 to a Park Ranger (it was his wife's dream car) which had been idle since we met and still had the half tank of gas from when he got back from New Orleans.

Wednesday March 30, 1983 - We hiked to the top of Mt. Emory.
Thursday March 31, 1983 - Michaels cousins arrived; Mark & Virginia Kreiger, Brian Julie, and Jenny Kreiger; Bill & Lil Kreiger; Debbie, Larry, Scott, and Broughton Garrett.
Friday April 1, 1983 - High winds.
Saturday April 2, 1983 - Showed relatives around Boquillos Canyon and Hot Springs.
Sunday April 3, 1983 - Easter. Everyone left in the morning. We hiked the East Rim (14.1 miles)
Tuesday April 5, 1983 - We had to move out of the campground. The Park was conducting a controlled burn in the Basin area.
Thursday April 7, 1983 - Camped at Government Springs, snowed 5 inches.
Saturday April 9, 1983 - We hiked Marufa Vega Trail, 12 miles round trip. The trail ended at the Rio Grande River, very pretty.
Sunday April 10, 1983 - We hiked Dog Canyon.
Monday April 11, 1983 - We moved back to the Basin Campground.
Tuesday April 12, 1983 - We hiked to Kibby Spring near Lost Mine Trail.
Wednesday April 13, 1983 - We departed Big Bend, stopped in Alpine, Tx for supplies. Camped at Davis Mt. State Park

Thursday April 14, 1983 - We toured McDonald Observatory and drove to Guadalupe National Park to camp. We saw 15 deer on nature trail to Smith Spring.

Friday April 15, 1983 - There were many deer in the campground. We hiked El Capitan Loop Trail (about 10 miles) and saw a pair of Golden Eagles. We went to a good campfire program in the evening.

Saturday April 16, 1983 - Still camped at Guadalupe, we drove to Carlsbad Cavern and toured New Cave and the main cave. We liked the primitive aspects of New Cave the best. It was Michaels first cave experience.

Sunday April 17, 1983 - We hiked McKittrick Canyon Trail (7 miles) at Guadalupe National Park and spent a leisure afternoon in the sun. The wind came up hard in the a.m. and we had to drop the tent so that it wouldn't fight the wind so hard.

Monday April 18, 1983 - We hiked the Bowl Loop Trail (9 miles) - Beautiful! While hiking the steep decline into Bear Canyon we saw a Peregrine Falcon attack a Golden Eagle.

Tuesday April 19, 1983 - The wind blew unbearably hard during the night, got no sleep. We packed up and left at 2 a.m. to drive to El Paso, TX. We woke up Joyce and Shelby at 8:30 a.m. We had a nice visit and spent the night.

Wednesday April 20, 1983 - We left El Paso, TX and drove to Tucson, AZ to visit Meb (Meribah Todd). Beth and Meb have been friends since before Kindergarten. This is where Beth was headed from Big Bend at the end of February, before she met Michael.


Saturday April 23, 1983 - We drove up Mt. Lemon and did some hiking.

Saturday April 30, 1983 - We toured Saguaro National Monument west of Tucson and saw a snake.

Monday May 2, 1983 - We left Meb's and drove to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on the Arizona/Mexico border and camped in a beautiful primitive site with no neighbors.

Tuesday May 3, 1983 - We hiked Estes Canyon - Bull Pasture Trail (3+ miles) and drove Ajo Mt. drive, beautiful day. We camped in the same spot (Alamo Canyon) and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset.

Wednesday May 4, 1983 - We drove to Puerto Penasco, Mexico on the Sea of Cortez. We went to a bakery and then to a secluded beach and splashed in mild to cold water, then had a shrimp lunch.

Thursday May 5, 1983 - We drove to Joshua Tree National Park and camped at Black Canyon Campground. Very windy evening!

Friday May 6, 1983 - We drove highway 74 through part of Cleveland National Forest to San Juan Capistrano, California. We had lunch on Dana Point Marina then stopped at Laguna Beach to lay in the sun. Beautiful day! We spent the night at Mike and Debbie’s in Costa Mesa, California. (Shelby & Joyce and Mike & Debbie were people that Beth had worked with at Keystone, Colorado.) 

Saturday May 7, 1983 - We had a "nerve racking drive" through Los Angeles to Santa Barbara and camped in Los Padres National Forest in the Fremont Campground. Georgeous day! The campsite was too near the highway but a welcome respite from the furious traffic.

Sunday May 8, 1983 - We stopped in Salvang for Danish Pastries and had lunch on Morro Bay Beach, chilly and windy but nice. Got shells. We camped in Los Padres National Forest and hiked Cerro Alto Trail. Pretty view of green hills, mountains and ocean.

Monday May 9, 1983 - We drove up Highway 1 as far as we could. Past Cambria to Ragged Point. (Mudslides had closed the highway north of there.) Beautiful views! We saw several deer in velvet grazing on grassy flats beside the ocean. We drove to Pinnacles National Monument to camp and hiked Balconies Trail (2.2 miles).

Tuesday May 10, 1983 - We hiked High Peaks/Juniper Canyon/Condor Gulch Trail loop (9 miles) at Pinnacles. We drove to White Oak Campground in National Forest that took several hours on winding roads. Scenic, but cold!


Wednesday May 11, 1983 - We drove south on U.S. Hwy 1 as far as it was open which was only about 10 miles outside of Carmel, CA. We drove back north through San Francisco via Hwy 1 to San Rafeal. Beautiful day! We arrived at Vi & Erwins on Irwin Street in San Rafeal, CA about 2:00 P.M. (Vi was one of Michaels Mother's sisters). Michaels Mother, Pauline, arrived at 9:30 P.M.

Thursday May 12, 1983 - We all went to Calistoga to the hot mineral baths and spent the day.

Friday May 13, 1983 - We went to lunch at the Spinnaker and bought a new zipper for the tent.

Saturday May 14,1983 - Michael and Beth took a bus into San Francisco and walked all around Fisherman's Wharf area and Ghiradelli Square. We took the ferry back across the Bay to Sausilito and shopped. Beautiful day!


Sunday May 15, 1983 - We visited Beth's cousin Linda and husband Michael in Vellejo. Michaels Mom left.

Monday May 16, 1983 - We drove through the wine country and toured Sebastiani Winery in Sonoma along with a cheese factory, then over to Oakville and St. Helena. Toured several more wineries and drove to Davis and stayed overnight with David and Sue Viguie (friends of Beth's from Keystone).

Tuesday May 17, 1983 - We drove from Davis to Muir Woods and had a peaceful early morning (9 A.M.) walk. We then drove to the top of Mt. Tamalpaias and down to Stinson Beach where we took a short walk in the beautiful weather.

Wednesday May 18, 1983 - We left San Rafeal and drove up Hwy 101. We stopped at Fetzer Winery and took the Avenue of the Giants road through the Redwoods. We arrived at Redwoods National Park and camped at a primitive campground at Stone Lagoon. The weather was once again beautiful and we camped right on the beach, though it was windy. 


Thursday May 19, 1983 - We hiked the Rhododendron Trail (buds, but no blooms yet), the South Fork Trail and Foothills Trail through the Redwood Forest. We drove Davidson road to the beach and had dinner on top of Gulf Bluffs at overlook. We camped at Prairie Creek State Park. (Try the "Virtual Viewpoints" Panorama images at this link {requires Quicktime}.)

Friday May 20, 1983 - We saw Roosevelt Elk in the meadow beside the campground. We hiked Len Taypo/Hope Creek Trail through a "jungle" of Redwoods. We drove the coast drive and hiked Corruthers Trail. We hiked the Coast Trail a total of 8miles. Spectacular! We saw and heard Sea Lions. Peaceful hidden beach. We camped at Enderto Beach Campground. It was a half mile hike in.

Saturday May 21, 1983 - Heavy fog in the morning, we went on a Ranger walk to look for agates in Crescent City. We explored the tide pools on Enderts Beach, then drove Howland Hills Road through the redwoods and camped at Jedediah Smith State Park.

Sunday May 22, 1983 - We took South Fork Road off 199 to South Kelsey Trail in Six Rivers National Forest. Beautiful 8 mile hike along the south fork of the Smith River. Gorgeous aqua clear water, lots of wild iris. We camped in the National Forest and sunbathed on a rock in the river.

Monday May 23, 1983 - We drove hwy 199 into Oregon and stopped in Grants Pass for groceries. We drove to Crater Lake. There were high banks of snow on both sides of the road and we could only view the lake from one site by walking over a snow bank. We drove down to a lower elevation and camped at Boulder Flat in the Umpaqua National Forest, nice warm climate. 

Tuesday May 24, 1983 - We drove to Roseburg then over to the coast at Coos Bay. It was overcast along the coast and we camped in Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area at North Eel Campground. We hiked over dunes and through mud and dense thickets to the beach.

Wednesday May 25, 1983 - It was overcast in the morning, so we drove up Hwy 101 until the sun came out. We stopped at Newport to see the University of Marine Science Museum. There were many pretty beaches in route, and we camped at Hebo Lake in the Suislaw National Forest.

Thursday May 26, 1983 - We drove up Hwy 101 and stopped at Clatsop National Memorial, a restored fort of Lewis and Clark. We drove on into Washington and camped at Kalalock in the Olympic National Park, right by the beach.


Saturday May 28, 1983 - Michael called his Mother to check in and she informed him that his wife, Marjorie had filed for divorce. Marjorie's ex-husband, David, had seen the notice in the newspaper and contacted Pauline. The decision was made to return to Kansas City and insure that there would be visitation rights for Michael and Ryan.

Sunday May 29, 1983 - We left Washington and headed for Missouri. After a very long day of driving, we camped at Dunes State Park in Utah about 1 a.m.

Monday May 30, 1983 - We drove all day through Utah where we saw signs of flooding and again camped in a Utah state park.

Tuesday May 31, 1983 - Michael got a flight to Kansas City from Denver and Beth drove to Colorado Springs to stay with Kate and Kathy J., both friends from her Keystone days.

Pauline picked Michael up at the Kansas City Airport and they drove to her home in Lebanon, Missouri.

Thursday June 2, 1983 - Beth and Kate drove up to Keystone for the day.

Sunday June 5, 1983 - Beth left Colorado Springs and followed Kathy J. to her home in Russell, Kansas where she spent the night.

Monday June 6, 1983 - Beth drove 9 hours and arrived at Pauline's in Lebanon, Missouri.

Saturday June 11, 1983 - We drove to Pauline's country home in Competition, Missouri where we trimmed and mowed.

Thursday June 16, 1983 - We drove to Pauline's house in Independence, Missouri, where Marjorie had moved out of, and spent the next day cleaning.



Tuesday July 5, 1983 - Beth left Kansas City and drove to Russell, Kansas where she visited Kathy J., then drove on a ways and slept in the car at a rest area on I-70.

Wednesday July 6, 1983 - Beth drove to Denver and waited all day for Meb to get home. Beth stayed at Meb's for a couple of days. (While Beth and Michael were traveling up the west coast, Meb had moved from Tucson, AZ to Denver, CO)

Friday July 8, 1983 - Beth drove to Colorado Springs and picked up Linda Vereline who was a customer at Keystone that she had befriended, and they drove to Summit County and camped on Lake Dillon at Heaton Bay Campground.  - Aerial view

Saturday July 9, 1983 - Beth and Linda hiked up Lenawee Mountain and saw four mountain goats.

While Beth was camping and visiting in Colorado, Michael was able to visit with Ryan.




Sunday July 10, 1983 - Beth and Linda went to Cataract Lake and Falls.

Tuesday July 12, 1983 - Beth and Linda hiked to Surprise Lake (2.5 miles) and moved their camp to Blue Creek Campground off Hwy 6.

Wednesday July 13, 1983 - Beth and Linda drove back to Colorado Springs, CO.

Friday July 15, 1983 - Beth went to Kate's in Colorado Springs.

Sunday July 17, 1983 - Beth and the Kate went to a USFL football game in Denver.

Monday July 18, 1983 - Beth picked Linda up and they drove up past Deckers and camped at Buffalo Campground in Pike National Forest.


Beth eventually returned to Independence, MO to be with Michael in August. They lived in Pauline's house, cleaning and making small repairs. They went to Michigan to visit and meet Beth's Mother and family in Rochester. During August of 1983 they went to the annual Kelly reunion in Gladwin, Michigan at Sharkeyville School (Beth's father's place).

(Sharkeyville School)


They returned to Independence, Missouri and got there first job together cleaning Chi Chi's restaurant at night. Michael also delivered pizza for Dominoes.
They were able to find a one bedroom apartment just four blocks from Pauline's house. Beth started a job at the Red Roof Inn and Michael went to work for Forsyth Travel Library in Shawnee Mission, KS.

We still had Beth's car that had 95,000 miles on it when we left Big Bend. A Chevrolet Chevette. Beth walked to work, about 3 miles, and Michael drove across town, about 50 miles one way, to work.


They joined the Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church in Raytown, MO. Jennifer and her Father and Step-Mother attended that church. 

Beth and Michael worked at their respective jobs, made friends and saved money. Michael had learned right off to just hand the earnings over to Beth for saving. She is the kind of person that if you give her a nickel on Monday she will have $5.00 on Friday.

They made two trips to Michigan with Ryan that year. One for the Kelly reunion and one over Thanksgiving for The Rochester High School Class of '69 Reunion and for Meb's wedding to a guy she met on a plane trip to Maine. Meb and Gary were married in Meb's parents home. The service was performed by her Father, a minister.


Sometime toward the end of the year, Beth and Michael noticed that their anniversary would fall on a Saturday in 1985, so, why not tie the knot.
Beth and Michael were married in the Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church on Saturday February 23, 1985.
John Oliver wrote a little poem for the occasion:
Cold soup - what a gag - She can hardly believe "Would you like a drink? Please come with me."
A hot dog for lunch - He says - if you please, It's not quite a jar but works with a squeeze.
While you're taking a break out under a tree - That's Michael - Beth - and Scotch makes three.
Our wishes go further than today or a year, Forever and ever to each other be dear.
A token - a gesture - of friendship and love, May God bless you and protect you as he watches above.
They had both quit their jobs and on March 1, 1985 left for an extended honeymoon. Beginning, of course with a stop in Big Bend. They traveled for seven months and 25,000 miles before settling in Bradenton, Florida. I might add that the traveling was done in that same Chevette that had 140,000 miles on it when they left Independence. 

 Honeymoon Story

These pictures are from August 1983 to December 1983...

More Story to come!


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