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A River Runs Through It

February 3, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Big Bend Natural History Association will hod the 29th annual Pioneer Reunion on February 3, 2018, in the Community Room of the Big Bend National Park headquarters at Panther Junction from 1-5pm.

This year we will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic River Act and the 40th Anniversary of the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River. Our speakers are highly knowledgeable about the latter.

Raymond Skiles, with some help from his father, Jack, will give us some history of early days of running the Rio Grande. Raymond’s grandfather was one of the earliest river guides and used to take the DuPont elders on river explorations here. Raymond is Big Bend National Park’s wildlife biologist and is familiar with the history of the designation of the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River.

Keith Bowden of Langtry, TX, author of The Tecate Journals, is an experiential expert on teh Rio Grande, having canoed it from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico. He has canoed the Lower Canyons scores of times in his solo and minimalist fashion, and accrued a rare storehouse of stories from those trips.

John Morlock is the recently retired superintendent of Ft. Davis National Historic Site, but in his earlier career, he was the first River District Ranger in Big Bend. In that capacity he was instrumental in the establishment and management of the Rio Grande Wild Scenic River. Before joining the National Park Service, John was an infamously daring river runner from Terlingua known affectionately as the Wild Man. He, too, has a wealth of tales.

Last up is Michael Ryan, current River District Ranger in Big Bend National Park. Like John Morlock, Mike came to the Park Service from the ranks of the courageous river guides working out of Terligua. Mike will tell us what it takes to patrol and manage the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River and the rest of the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park these days. He, too, has some great river stories to share.

As always, reservations are highly recommended and can be obtained by calling Big Bend Natural History Association at 432-477-2236. Seating is limited to 120 by fire regulations, so call soon. Entrance is $15 per person and includes a finger food buffet on the patio, catered by Chisos Mountains Lodge.

BBNHA members get in for $13.50.

Come Celebrate the river for which both parks are named.


February 3, 2018
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm