Pattison on Wheels

Sunday, March 16, 2008

3-16-08: Into The Desert With Unaccustomed Guidance

I got a grand tour of the Big Bend National Park by my old friend Judy B. She used to work in the park and has hiked it with her fellow naturalist husband Steve. It is so huge we didn't get to see much but she kept pointing out places I had to go to see beautiful stuff. We took a little hike into Santa Elena Canyon. That is the Rio Grande and the wall on the left is Mexico.

She helped me find a nice campsite and I will return tonight and stay for a couple days to explore. Her sympathetic ear helped me gel some of the ideas I have been hatching and she knows so much about the flora and fauna that it is scary. I can show her my photos and she identifies the birds, plants, places, et al. Good day, good thoughts and conversation.

This was left out of the previous blog entries. Splicing it in here.

My friends were busy with their house building project so I took a look around the area. I drove to Lajitas which is an old crossing of the Rio Grande. There is still a four wheel drive road across that looks as if it gets some traffic. The deal is you are free to cross but you can’t come back the same way. You have to re-enter at a port of entry which is a day’s drive away. Bizzaro. There is no obvious border patrol presence that I see but there are only a couple ways out of here northward and there have full stop checkpoints. Also they had a roundup recently that wiped out about 20% of the local school population. When one member of a family is found and deported often the rest of the family who are legal will go to mexico to stay together.

I drove up into the huge Big Bend National Park and checked out the busy visitor center. This is spring break, their busiest week of the year. People were waiting in line for the bank of computers used to register a campsite. I drove back to Terlingua getting quite sleepy because of the 45 MPH speed limit on the empty road. As soon as I left the park I woke up in the 70 MPH zone.

I drove the 70 miles to Alpine in the evening to attend the only listed NA meeting within . . . well, who knows how far. It was a great meeting and I really was stimulated to work on the topic: growing up. Really, it’s quite wonderful how just putting oneself in a context of self improvement moves one toward solutions. I feel transitional again and that is good.

I watched carefully for wildlife on the road back but saw only one deer and her fawn. At the legal speed they didn’t even know I was coming until I was past them. Hey, Texas still has three lane highways. I didn’t know any state was still so casual about the survival of its residents.


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