Big Bend – Day 2

Location: Chisos Basin Campground, Big Bend TX
Address: Window View Dr, Big Bend National Park, TX 79834
Cost: USD$14/night
Facilities: Restrooms, Covered picnic tables, camp BBQ’s, Potable and Non-Potable Water


I had a great sleep last night, woke up at 9:30am which is a bit of a record haha. I think I forgot to mention in my last post it’s significantly cooler in Chisos Basin, by morning I was comfortably sleeping under my doona (comforter). I got up made breakfast then went about sorting out payment for the camping and entrance fee to the park USD$25 per car. To pay for the camping there is a board at the entrance to the park which has a box full of little yellow envelopes which you fill out your details on and put the money inside and slide it into a little mailbox type thing, then you take  the flap of the envelope and put the receipt on your campsite post in a bulldog clip (the ranger then checks these posts periodically each day). The entrance fee you just pay at any of the visitor centres or entrances (I came in too late so it was shut). On the walk up to the visitor centre I captured this one.

Chisos Basin Camp
My little van sitting amongst the mountains.

Being a later start to the Day I decided to do one of the shorter hikes, The Lost Mine Trail, an out and back hike that is about 7.5km (4.6miles) long and climbs 345m (1135′). The trail starts at a small car park (be weary of this in the busier seasons) and is a gentle climb most of the way with a few switchbacks closer to the top where it gets a little steeper. It finishes at a wide rocky peek with amazing panoramic views of the valleys and basins below.

Lost Mine Trail End
Top of the Lost Mine Trail

Me At the top

My Little friend, A Horse Lubber Grasshopper.

At the top I met a man named Tom a teacher from San Antonio and we walked down together and talked which was nice as I have been alone now for a little while haha, he pointed out some of the flora to me and also alerted me that there was wifi at the visitor centre :-). Overall it was a great hike well worth the effort with great views.

Back at the visitor centre I jumped on the wifi for a little bit, then jumped back in the Van to head back to camp. I turned over the ignition and she roared to life and died… don’t pacin this happens sometime, gets a little excited first start and over shoots (we’ve all been there 😉 ), so I turn her over again and she turns over and over, a few more times than usual so I give her some gas, but nothing. I try a few more time, but she just turns over and over with no ignition. It sounds like there was no fuel getting to her so I was thinking maybe the fuel pump, just what I need…. By this stage one of the workers had seen/heard me and wanders over saying sounds like a fuel issue, he had had a vandura also and willing to help, so we go to work removing the engine cover (centre console), this is when I learned that it isn’t fuel injected at all but has a carby. So we open up the air intake and I reeks of fuel, but we still go to work trying to locate the fuel lines so we can check if we have fuel etc. at this stage the guy has to go back to work but gives me some tips and goes on his way. About to slightly disconnect a fuel line to check if the pump is Ok I give it one more shot and she fires up, happy man haha. My hypothesis and diagnosis is I flooded the carb when I put my foot down, and the reason she has been getting so excited is when the AC is on the iddle revs are lifted to compensate the compressor load so on startup the carby is getting too much fuel and flooding. So I’ve been turning off the AC to start her now and shes been solid ever since.

Another spectacular dinner with a View and off to bed early ready for Day 3 in Big Bend..

2 Replies to “Big Bend – Day 2”

  1. Hi Dayn! Love reading your blogs! Hope you’re blisters healing! Spoils of being in the wild!!
    Good to hear you’ve mastered the van startup!! Keep the photos coming! X

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