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The Great Unknown of the Rio Grande, Texas











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The Great Unknown of the Rio Grande - 47 miles between Santa Elena Canyon and Mariscal Canyon


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Stan Pully paddling his SOAR S14 Inflatable Canoe in the Great Unknown in 2012


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There is really nothing in the Great Unknown except open desert with Big Bend National Park on river left and Mexico on river right


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The river was muddy with an adequate flow on our 2012 trip


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Boquillas Canyon entrance looms about 70 miles ahead


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The Punta de la Sierra Mountains as seen from The Great Unknown


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A close-up of the Punta de la Sierra Mountains as seen from The Great Unknown


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Another view of the Punta de la Sierra Mountains as seen from The Great Unknown


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Looking down upon our muddy second night's campsite in The Great Unknown


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The Punta de la Sierra mountains looking eastward from above the Rio Grande


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Stan Pully with the Punta de la Sierra mountains in the background


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Marc McCord with the Punta de la Sierra mountains in the background


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The desert floor in bloom after recent rains in 2012


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Cactus and scrub brush are about all that grow in desert floor of Big Bend National Park


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An early morning view looking down upon the Rio Grande in The Great Unknown


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Back in the green ribbon of Carrizo cane that lined the muddy Rio Grande in 2012


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Stan's SOAR S14 parked on the Texas side while we freed a stuck cow from the mud


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This emaciated cow's right front leg was buried in mud nearly to the shoulder


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We gave the cow water and food as we worked for 2.5 hours digging it out of the mud


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Unable to reach food or water, this cow would have died in a couple of days had we not happened along


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The cow was truly appreciative of the water and food we gave her


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Having successfully freed the cow, we were now back on our way downriver toward Rio Grande Village more than 40 miles away


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We fought 35-40 mph headwinds almost the entire third day, and still managed to paddle over 25 miles


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We are getting near San Vicente Canyon - not as deep as the big canyons, but not as flat as the desert floor


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The rising walls approaching Mariscal Canyon offer a break from the flatness of the desert vistas


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The Mexican side is still flat and open desert everywhere we look


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Those mountains are a LOT further away than they appear


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The one thing that is absent in The Great Unknown is rapids


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We are getting ever closer to Talley - the end of The Great Unknown and the beginning of Mariscal Canyon


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Wind continues to ripple the surface of the river, but not as badly as yesterday


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The Talley Access is just ahead on river left


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The Talley Access in low water conditions - a carry and then a climb to reach our vehicle


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Copyright © 1997-2018, Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. All rights reserved. Southwest Paddler, CobraGraphics and Canoeman River Guide Services are exclusive tradenames and trademarks of Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. The textual, graphic, audio, and audio/visual material in this site is protected by United States copyright law and international treaties. You may not copy, distribute, or use these materials except for your personal, non-commercial use. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All original photographs on this web site are the exclusive property of Marc W. McCord or other designated photographers and may not be copied, duplicated, reproduced, distributed or used in any manner without prior written permission under penalty of US and International laws and treaties.

Last updated December 2, 2017