The road trip continues: The first ever BMW X7 starts into the third week of its five week journey across the US. This time we are on our way from Houston, via Big Bend to El Paso. Stay tuned to the BMW Group News Forum for upcoming travel diaries and learn more about our company in the United States.
Big things lie ahead! We leave as early as possible because, today, the distance is big, and so is our destination. Big Bend, one of the largest national parks in the United States. It’s going to be a big day.
Today’s trip will add up to more than eight hours on the road. The good thing is, it is almost impossible to get bored while driving. On one hand, the X7 has way too many features to keep you entertained; on the other, the landscapes and the roads are simply stunning. And they do give a pretty good impression of what awaits us later. The driving experience on this part of the route is just awesome. The roads are windy, but mainly going up and down, like riding a wave. This alone is exceptional – but combined with the different driving modes of the BMW X7, it is simply amazing.
Eventually, we arrive at Big Bend. Now, we are entering the wild. The national park is home to more than 1,200 plant species, over 3,600 different insects, 40 fish, 11 amphibian, 56 reptile, 75 mammal species and over 450 different birds, including the famous roadrunner.
After one full day in Big Bend, we are about to head west to within reach of El Paso: a city that lies right on the Mexican border, just like Big Bend and just like today’s route. It takes a while to cross Big Bend in all its wideness. The national park is huge, roughly 800,000 acres of wildlife.
The wildlife we were expecting turned out to be a bit different from what we actually got. Everybody was excited to see pumas, bears, rattlesnakes, scorpions or tarantulas. But it was almost impossible to spot them, even though we are pretty sure they were watching us the whole time. We saw more plants and flowers than animals. But we really did appreciate the Lupinus Havardii, better known as the Big Bend bluebonnet. The plant flowers between January and June and made the road we traveled on even prettier.
Even though the national park is home to 31 known species of snake, it is rare to see them during this time of the year, since it is simply not hot enough yet for them to come out. But just when we think we have to leave Big Bend with no predator sighting, a western diamondback rattlesnake crosses the road, looking at us as if to say: “I see you!” Maybe this beauty just wanted to have a glance at the BMWs passing by, simply because, right now, the BMW X7 belongs to the rarest species of Big Bend wildlife.
We couldn’t resist: We just had to take the X7 on a little “off-road spin” to the famous Rio Grande. The river begins in the Rocky Mountains and grows to an incredible length of 1,896 miles, which makes it the third longest river in the United States. Ending at the Gulf of Mexico, it flows through El Paso, Texas. And that’s exactly where we are heading now.
It takes us about two hours and roughly 120 miles to leave the wilderness and stop off in beautiful Marfa. This little town, literally out in “the wild”, would probably never have been part of our tour if it weren’t for the artist Donald Judd, who made Marfa his muse in the 1970s. Today, Marfa is a vibrant little art community.
After a quick look around Marfa, we are on the road again. 240 miles ahead and sometimes it seems that, if only our eyes were good enough, we would actually be able to see El Paso, although still hours away. That’s how straight and endless the road is. But you always arrive eventually. And, at our destination today, the sun is waiting for us: With 300 sunny days per year, El Paso is also known as “Sun City”.
The first ever BMW X7 took off on an adventurous 5 week road trip in the USA starting in Spartanburg, South Carolina, home of the biggest BMW Group Plant in the world and ending in beautiful Palm Springs, California. Stay tuned at the BMW Group News Forum for the upcoming travel diaries and learn more about our company in the United States.
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