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Big Bend Picto-Essay

I am still trying to get my brain around this whole Big Bend thing. It assails the senses at every turn. We ventured down toward the Castolon Region of Big Bend today — it basically encompasses the western area of the park. You can make a loop of it by taking 14 miles of bone jarring high clearance gravel road on the Old Maverick  Trail and returning via the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive which is hard pavement.  It took us 5 hours.  My daughter called from Italy at an opportune moment when I had cell coverage and I stopped to preserve the good signal.    A Border Patrol aircraft circled us during the conversation,   Such is the Big Bend.
The 'Burb on Old Maverick Road
About half way down the gravel road you run up on the Luna Jacal. Gilberto Luna raised a large family in this rock and dirt structure.

La Luna Jacal

on Adams Creek. He died at 108 years old in 1947. I was looking at this place and thinking when did we come to believe a 2 car garage was necessary? I cannot even stand up full under the roof.

The Santa Elena Canyon is one of the highlights of Big Bend. The Rio Grande flows through the canyon for 17 miles at a depth of 1500 feet. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were both less than 1400 ft.

Santa Elena Canyon - the high water levels prevented us from walking into the canyon.

Nature dwarfs the paltry efforts of man down here. It certainly anchors my perspective. Anything I have done or ever will do will not equal any small part of the Big Bend. Any of my efforts will be imminently inconsequential in the grand scheme of things down here.

The Castolon area was an eye opener for me. Back in the day. this was a center of commerce for the southern Big Bend area. Castolon was originally built as an Army Outpost to control those pesky Mexicans back around the turn of the 20th century. The army buildings were later used to further the easy back and forth trading between Mexico and the U.S. Before overgrazing and overcropping, this was a thriving agricultural area.

I check out the Alvino House at Castolon. This old adobe was the commissary when the army was stationed here, It looks like I need to push away from Miss Kathy's table more often.

Miss Kathy gives me "the look" at Tuff Canyon north of Castolon. Most married men will have no trouble easily identifying this look.

The Big Bend is rife with sweeping vistas of the mountains. A visitor tends to become jaded after looking at them day after day. And then, you are jerked back into reality by a stellar view of something that is so unique it raises the hairs on the back of your neck.

Sotol Vista on Ross Maxwell Drive north of Castolon. Santa Elena Canyon is evident in the center of the pic at almost 15 miles distance.

Miss Kathy and I left Baytown, TX one week ago today. In the space of one week, my perspective on life and living has changed dramatically.

McCormick-Deering dozer tractor at Stillwell's

Life is lived fully when you are challenged. Life is full when you are closest to the edge. At 55 years old, it is good to feel alive and fully engaged once more. Seems to me like this area might be a good home for the Old Girl in the years to come.

The Horselubber Grasshopper which is identified locally as the 'Mexican Grasshopper'. This colorful little bastard has scarlet wings that I was unable to photograph.

I talked to my bro on Saturday. Work is still stalled at the Calvert job as we wait on the liner people to arrive. No problem on my end. I am on Terlingua time. ‘Manana’ suits me just fine.

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3 comments to Big Bend Picto-Essay

  • Joel

    “Life is lived fully when you are challenged.”

    I agree. Not all challenges are physical.

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  • don

    I sure know that look Miss Kathy was giving you – right through those sunglasses like they weren’t even there! LOL

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  • Bob

    My grandmother would give me that look when I was around 5. Scared me stupid. Your posts on Big Bend make me want to go back and spend more time.

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