Big Bend National Park in Texas is famous for its hot springs, but that's just Langford Hot Springs, which juts out into the Rio Grande.
Few people know that there is another hot spring hidden nearby.
If you are ever in Big Bend National Park, a remote area with not much to see around it, why not stop by Prada Marfa?
Unveiled in 2005, this installation artwork was modeled after an actual store of the luxury fashion brand Prada, but it does not allow visitors to shop.
Here we are in the middle of a wilderness where wildlife can make an appearance.
Although the original intent of this work has been interpreted as a critique of consumerism, its raison d'être has changed in ways that the author did not intend.
It has been consumed as a quirky tourist attraction that looks good on social media and embodies values that should be criticized.
Funny if that's part of the art!
Another piece exists near Prada Marfa.
It is not clear who created it and for what purpose, but it is clearly a tribute to the Prada.
In the wilderness, there was a shack that looked like a Target, a department store chain known to everyone in the U.S.
Rio Grande Village
Hot springs are located in the area of the river bed of the Rio Grande, which makes the U.S.-Mexico Border.
The park has at least four well-maintained campgrounds.
This time I stayed at Rio Grande Village Campground, one of the closest campgrounds to the hot springs.
It was very comfortable with washrooms and flush toilets.
It was also quite enjoyable, with the remains of settlers from the early 20th century still standing.
You can walk to the hot springs from the Rio Grande Village, but it takes more than two hours round trip, so I took a shortcut.
If you park your car in the Langford parking lot, it is only a 10-minute walk from there to the hot springs.
However, this time I wanted to visit another hot spring.
I passed by the Langford Hot Springs and headed further downstream along the Rio Grande.
It is an unknown hot spring that is not on any map, so I will detail the directions.
The road directly connected to the parking lot came down from the hillside on the left and merged with the road.
Continuing straight ahead, a sign indicated the distance to the Rio Grande Village.
The road turned slightly away from the river and passed a high point overlooking the floodplain on the right.
The first dry river that appeared was the landmark.
It was hard to tell, but the path branched off diagonally to the right, just before the large bend to cross the dry river.
If you were to continue straight ahead, you would realize that you made a mistake because the path would again be near the river.
The forked path went gently down to the floodplain.
Flooding every few years washes away the area near the hot springs, and the terrain can change.
In areas where the greenery was lush, the path was almost as gone as the animal trail.
Once here, you have no choice but to feel like a beast, forage through the underbrush, and use your wild instincts to find the hot springs.
There it is!
It is the Bamboo Pool, which I finally discovered on my third exploration of the area, even though it is located right near the Langford Hot Springs.
It was not bamboo by any stretch of the imagination, but the location was completely secluded by reed-like vegetation.
Since it was extremely close to the Mexican border, it was going to be difficult to defend myself if the border patrol found me while soaking.
The water temp was as warm as 99 degrees F.
The spring water gushed out gradually from the muddy bottom and did not look very clean.
Even so, I was filled with emotion at the hidden hot spring I finally found.