An icy cold wind with gusts of 40mph is greeting us this morning. A quick look at the many weather sites which never agree showed more or less this will only last the day. Everything is anchored down, the shipping container, ugly as it could be, has become a savior as far as storage goes and even staying in there to pack up the rig. However I never finished packing yesterday, Dan and Jackie came over to say their good byes and have a bit of my, I call it, “24/7 stew”. So we will finish that tomorrow. I pack the same wether for a couple days or six months, maybe more clothing for the six months. So everything this time is being reshuffled for better ease of unpacking, weight distribution mainly, considering the kitchen sink goes with us, including an extra 5G of fuel and a total of 8G of water! Not filled all the time but when needed.
We end up taking a ride to the Hot Springs of Big Bend Park instead, so much for trying to plan any destination. That fact has been going on for too many months now, I should give up planning. I know better than to do so. It is actually kind of fun, one to change their mind, it is called freedom and common sense according to the weather. Christmas is behind us, the New Year ahead not too far, and much thoughts as what will it bring us throughout most of its days passed on the road. Some new paths for sure, new faces maybe met on the side of the road on their own destination, what will Mother Nature surprise us with? Right now it is the calm, as my Friend Voni said sharing with me as I also feel the same “we are peopled out!”. It is so easy the be here, more and more I feel “The Oasis” being so far from it all, a spiritual heaven to regroup and again find the balance that I seek so much.
The Post Office where mail arrived every Monday…
Close to a century separates these two photos above. The Hot Springs of Big Bend are to me an enigma, a bit of a mystery and a wish in some sense that it would not have been turned into a National Park. I have had this conversation with a few earlier and the point is, as I was told, “the land is in much better shape today than it was”. The point is the area flourished for thousands of years and now it is the least visited Park in this country and the Hot Springs, what remains, have barely enough room elbow to elbow for maybe a dozen people. And that is it! Evidence of occupation has been left behind in the form of Pictographs and Petroglyphs, very few left, specially since the last flood raising the water levels to some incredible heights never experienced before and leaving behind much of its bottom clinging to the now dried out shores.
Just theories and opinions. Before 1909, when J.O. Langford settled at the Hot Springs with his wife Bessie, an 18 month old daughter and a baby on the way, the area was the recipient of farms with land producing corn, squash, beans and other vegetables with water plentiful from the Rio Grande. After 1909, finding the health benefits of the Hot Springs, J.O. opened the area to the public, at the time taking anywhere from six to seven days to arrive from Alpine. The Hot Springs was more than just a place to restore your health, it was a meeting place for people from all walks of life, from both sides of the river. Today all is gone, the river has an invisible wall now separating many who once were neighbors and Friends helping each other, there is only the remain of a couple buildings. The river did not separate two Countries as it does now leaving our neighbors scrambling for the bare necessities of Life.
and a few feet further…
It is comforting to know that much help is on its way for the little village of Boquillas right across the banks, where us wealthy still take for granted the basic necessities of Life.
The path along the river is to me of a magical Journey witnessing the geology formed within these millions of years Earth has been around. The Hot Springs are the prize but the short hike if one spend the time to look and feel is a cutaway carved by the water never ceasing to flow. Hardened sand from years past, tortured and twisted to no end is now a living Gallery for us to be impressed upon.
The stay was short however as of course dogs are not allowed on the path, for that matter outside the parking area. It is a rule I comply with now, just making our visits to National Parks a bit shorter in time spend, there is much more to explore outside Parks where Spirit would be welcome. Today the winds have died, the skies are uncluttered from any clouds but it still is 21 degrees outside.
Wether I accept it or not it seems that “events”, such as Christmas and another year with a new number coming up, does leave a mark on our days. It is as “what now?”. Where do we go from here since we have just turned a couple pages. Is there a plan we should have? Does anything needs to change and if so what will it be? It is as the path ahead has been repaved, and yet these days are just like any other day. I cannot help being filled with anticipation of the days to come, not just empty ones, but filled with new experiences as they are the ones that keep me going. Standing still makes my mind work without any new fuel added to it’s time, it brings on to many highs and lows which are only equalized when moving on to new discoveries, both physical and mental.
One of my funny thought is if I could have been only invincible from the cold! It is the only factor that slows me down throughout these months and as every year I ask myself the question if I like cold or hot weather better… I think I have decided “hot”!!! That might change in the summer. It is time for Spirit’s runs, our entertainment every morning, it is nice to have a clown for company, one with unconditional love without ever a complain as long as food is being served! One more sunset here… as many times as I tell myself I have seen and captured the most beautiful one, another presents itself and magically the camera appears. It is always the perfect image, the curtain that lowers itself every day like magic… it is magic!
Help us keep the site alive. Please contribute… The logistics of it have become costly. It is an open book, its pages for the taking with always the hope that you will support their presence.
Two years of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Texas the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun.
Merchandise is also available through SmugMug. If you like to order a print all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload on the Gallery.
Be well, always. Ara & Spirit