Comparatively speaking, this week, actually started a while ago in more depth than usual, the times in my mind have been rough. It is Lance’s Birthday this coming Saturday and I have had a hard time, worse than ever, dealing with it. His presence is a welcome daily occurrence, I just try to make it through, idling is not a good thing and I have found myself taking the steps to just go, trying to avoid a lethargic day filled with a newcomer never quite felt before: anger.
This was one of those days when I decided we should go to the Hot Springs in Big Bend Park. I can get lost within the scenery, it is my only savior and catalyst in this Journey, there are no walls to bounce back my emotions, its power can overcome the despair and admiration mixed with humbleness which fortunately takes over to lessen the depth of emotions… which do not seem to find any end to their growth.
The Hot Springs can be reached by a 3 mile hike from the Rio Grande campground or from a dirt road of the main road going south, again grand ma’s Buick would make it, which took us to the Hot Springs Historic District. I had not read any information about it thinking it was just some hot springs and quite surprised after riding the one way winding road to find a couple buildings.
You have to love the care Parks take writing information on banner and signs instead of wondering what it is all about till you get back to the… Internet for some research! Research I should have done before leaving, but where would be the element of surprise !
The Hot Springs are at the south end of the Park, it took a week to reach it in the early 1900’s and this was the Post Office where you could get your mail every Monday. The Hot Springs of course were the reason the Langord family in 1909 took claim of the land, but to this day I am surprised at that fact as, specially considering the transportation methods of the time, it was and still is a very far destination.
But the heat is what surprised me the most. It was a dense and heavy heat as we parked, we were the only ones there, and started the walk toward the springs. Some of you when reading “we” are well aware of the fact that dogs are not allowed on the trails. I have read about the many discussions regarding this subject on various Forums pertinent to Big Bend and other Desert destinations.
We have been to many Parks lately, and I was always pleasantly surprised mainly with County and State Parks to read notices that dogs on a short leash (6 fee) were allowed on the trails. Why?… the main reason being that their owners have been leaving them behind in their vehicles, and in the heat of the day, even with windows cracked open, many dogs have died. Is it fair for a family from Canada lets say, traveling with their dog, to have to skip all the hiking and trails? I don’t think so and feel that with a little common sense all will be fine.
I do expect for many to disagree with me, I am breaking the law after all, some of those Park Officers specially on Federal land are not the most pleasant people to deal with sometimes, but I will take my chances and hopefully never get caught… We normally, as the weather cools down, will not hike on the most public trails, this Park is huge… the odds of meeting such officers are slim and I know from conversations with others that I am not the only one.
Back to the trail… narrow and alongside a cliff with great rock formations…
Many pictographs not soiled this time with the presence of graffiti!
The overhanging slabs were many years ago a welcome protection from the elements for the Natives while cooking and taking shelter from the summer heat or rain.
… as this giant Palm Tree. It would have been great to spend a few nights just being, but camping is not allowed, at least I don’t think so, will have to double-check that information.
I almost missed the Hot Springs themselves along a branch of the Rio Grande and Mexico right across… they were under water due to the rising levels of water flowing… we (?) were not due to experience the 105 degree waters bursting from the Earth… not today! A bit disappointed, but not totally having had this chance to hike the trail and brave the heat, we turned around to head back to cooler temperatures.
A great sunset was waiting for us later on… am I imagining the painting? I know it does not make much sense, but I do see a dog throwing flames to a whale’s or shark’s mouth… mythology? Meaning? Odd? You be the judge…
You all be well… as always…
Ara & Spirit
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