National Public Lands Day Want to get out to Big Bend and volunteer your time?  Join us for National Public Lands Day on September 29, 2012.  We will have a group volunteer opportunity in the morning, a special luncheon and a behind the scenes tour in the afternoon.  This is a great way for families to volunteer for our wonderful park together.  Click here for more details. Friends of Big Bend National Park is always looking for volunteers to help with fundraising and membership.  Please contact us at membership@bigbendfriends.org if you are interested. National Public Lands Day 2009 was a success! Thanks to the Friends who joined us in the park on September 26, 2009 to volunteer for National Public Lands Day.  And a special thank you to our sponsors, who made the weekend possible!  Stay tuned for next year's event, and make plans to come volunteer at Big Bend. 101_2882 BillMiller   Culligan  saintarnold   Transpecos with additional thanks to Forever Resorts Central Texas Trail Tamers The following is a report from Pat Dixon for the October 2009 Central Texas Trail Tamers volunteer trip to Big Bend:
The Central Texas Trail Tamers visited Big Bend national park Oct 17-24, 2009 to help maintain hiking trails and park features, as well as enjoy the beautiful surroundings.  The week was well spent.
This was a personal quest for me.  After residing in Texas for over a decade I had not been to Big Bend.  It seems every year some conflict arose.  This year I finally made it.
I arrived at the park on Sunday Oct 18 and hiked the 5 mile Lost Mine trail, which was well worth the effort.  We setup camp later at the Remuda bunkhouse that evening, which is in the Chisos Basin lodging area.  Our crew of 13 people had all arrived.
Monday morning we had a safety session with trails crew supervisor Eric Walker.  The Friends of Big Bend provided us breakfast at the Chisos Basin lodge.  We then set out for some brushing work on the Window trail.  We had a nice lunch at the Window which is a waterfall with a precipitous drop.  
The following day we split into 2 crews lead by park service representatives.  Our crew was lead by Laura Hicks and we went to Pine Canyon to build some erosion mitigation structures.  We hiked all the way up to the waterfall for lunch which is a beautiful area.  On the way out Jerry Levenson got 2 flat tires.  We removed the wheels and left the car behind for the night.  The park maintenance shop was able to repair both tires that afternoon.
The other crew lead by Collin Carroll went to the Rio Grande village area to clear brush from the old hotel building at Hot Springs.  The vegetation had grown thick around the structure and it took a lot of work to thin out the undesired growth.
On Wednesday the crews returned to the same work assignments.  The Pine Canyon crew used cedar logs to build water bars.  The weather was great, cool and comfortable with low clouds surrounding Casa Grande and surrounding peaks.  The other crew continued work at Rio Grande.
On Thursday the crews returned to there respective places but after lunch the Pine Canyon crew went to Rio Grande to meet with the other crew and have a concluding gathering with Eric Walker.  We were given volunteer patches and served cold drinks and Eric complimented us on our work.  
Friday was our play day.  I did a 15 mile hike on the South Rim loop, which was fantastic.  Again the weather was perfect.  Other TrailTamers found other diversions.  We travelled that evening to Terlingua to have dinner at La Kiva.
We broke camp and departed Saturday morning.
Our cook Martha Spetseris did a great job.  Experienced TrailTamers know that the cook is the most important member of the crew and we made it through the week happy and healthy.
We saw quite a bit of wildlife.  There were several black bear spottings.  We had a crew of javelina visit us one evening at the Remuda.  A mountain lion walked past our cook tent one evening.  We saw 2 mountain lion crossing a road near Chisos Basin lodging area.  We saw a fox on the drive to Terlingua.  
In conclusion, we got significant work done which was appreciated by the park service hosts and had a very enjoyable time in the great weather and beautiful surroundings.  
TrailTamer participants:
Pat Dixon (crew leader)
Martha Spetseris (cook)
Tina Drake
Richard Drake
Bill Swaim
Charles Grant
Donald Edson
Dorothy Lay
Jerry Levenson
Lin Risner
Loren Ramshur
Lorenzo Perez
Vick Hines
CTTT Jerry Levenson photo 10-09