A walk in the Park, Big Bend. Tx

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

"The unconsidered life is not worth living" Socrate

Big Bend Park  

Unusually waking up late these past days, I know it because my solar panels are already showing a nice charge with it’s red light lit, and another golden quiet one has made it’s way through the shades. I am moving along fueled by such low energy that a bit of frustration has made it’s way into my mental state of mind. Spirit as usual is curled up, his eyes are still closed, a good sign that I do not need to rush out for his morning run and clowning around. So again I learn from him and conform to his own moments. I want to ride… I miss my medicine. I am thinking to deflate these tires a bit and at a restful pace confront these dirt and rocky roads surrounding us. Maybe stop at a neighbor or two and see what they are up to. Start a fire first and cook for a couple days worth, thinking I might soon be able to chew on some real food.

Big Bend Park-2  
Big Bend Park-6  

The sun is now up I believe at high noon, and nothing yet has been accomplished. Not physically anyhow as I just had a long telephone conversation with my Friend Brent. Telephone is not dead. I actually think it is making in my Life a strong comeback. I remember when a while ago my Friend Carl called me one evening as after the usual 
small talk I asked him what did I have the honor of his call, thinking something important must have happened. “No” he said, “we never really talk and I just thought this would be a nice change for us to catch up on Life”. How right he was! How things have changed. What was the telephone then called so "impersonal" has now grown to “intimate”, as e mails today just cannot define one’s truly reaching out with one another. Typing also becomes so tiring specially when one is as slow as I am. I have tried e-voices, another failure in true communication of the mind. So we talked for an hour and a half, we are now all caught up and myself feeling good about having truly heard a Friend’s voice and catching up on "all" as it should be.

Big Bend Park-17 Big Bend Park-40
Big Bend Park-25  

Still no riding today! I realize it is not going to happen. I know I only want to ride because I cannot. If I could, this is exactly how the day would have gone by. I did cook however, food that I cannot eat today, even a nice whole wheat loaf of bread I have to savor only with my eyes and imagine how well it would taste with much… butter! Oh! well, nothing to complain about, tomorrow is right around the corner as I am sure Spirit slobbering has also something to do with all this cooking and baking. Poor guy, I will share my bread with him, that is his extent of human food consumption.

Whole whet bread Whole whet bread-2
Paul Voni Doug  
Water meter man  

Yesterday was a different story and now a day later all feels so good from a short ride and a hike through Indian Trail in Study Butte, aka, Terlingua. We first stopped at my neighbors Paul and Voni who had a visitor from out of town, Doug (everyone is from out of town!). Much chatting later we were all ready for a ride, them through the Park, my own thought being to “Closed Canyon” and hiking. We met again at the Gas Station, slash store, where I had a chance to meet the man with the best job in the world, the water meter man hard at work. Gas up, always, whichever way one goes that is the rule as I do myself even carrying always an extra 2.5 to 5 gallons of fuel. And then I saw a yellow Goldwing pull out behind me with an odd trailer barely seeing the head of a Dog. Well, we get stopped often, we are tailgated, we are passed and waved at, it was my turn to do the same as a couple miles later they did stop when I was frantically hand gestured that I wanted to take their photo, as others do to us.

The Shadow Box  
The Shadow Box-2  

“Shadow” is his name and so glad that Spirit did not get too close to his vehicle as his bed was so much nicer, much jealousy I am sure would have ensued. They haul their bike and trailer in a Toy hauler parked near by Lajitas and I am sure we will bump into each other again as they will be here for another month or so. Maybe Shadow and Spirit could actually meet, away from his car. Time was passing by, as usual there is never much sense to really conform to a plan, it never happens. One look west toward “Closed Canyon”, which is passed Lajitas, showed some unwelcoming clouds, the kind that will ruin a photo with a “blah” white colorless sky. Eastbound looked much better, I love the solitude and the landscape of “Indian Trail” with the Chisos Mountains in the background, even if technically Dogs are not allowed on the trails. There were some nice cloud formations and so we changed direction.

Park entrance  
Big Bend Park-13  

I always wonder about such sign. Aren’t we a bit too late? Like a couple hundred years?


There was and is renewed energy which opened up as soon as the wheels started turning. So much I wish everyone would ride and feel and experience what I do. It is the open road, the wind blowing on the face, it is the landscape passing by and yet always ready to be explored when coming to a halt. All was so perfect yesterday, all is always perfect, we do not have a choice truly, so we do need to accept it all with a smile and a joy as much as possible. We parked and it was time for lunch, breakfast for lunch, something like that, time to share a piece of bread with Spirit, get our water jugs ready and hit the trail. Feel good moments, Spirit filled with himself much energy, time disappearing, it is then just Mother Nature and us once again. My eyes do not rest lingering on every shape of rock there is, my senses take me back to the maybe one moment when such rocks decided to tumble and shook the Earth.

Big Bend Park-11  
Big Bend Park-9  

The colors of all hues, I can smell the air surrounding us, clean, spoiled yes, and yet unspoiled in comparison to the big cities just a few hundred miles away. There is no liveliness but there is Life. The cactus is trying to make it through the winter, the crust as I am even cowardly stepping on knowing the years it will take to again form itself and lay ahead of us without an interruption of traces of footsteps. All these surfaces, these chambers it took the so many years to be carved, all are here now to look at in amazement as all never ceases to astound me. The trail is as I am suddenly in this time machine which takes me away, far away. I don’t know if it is into the future or back into the past, as it really does not matter at all. It is my moment transported into Nature’s moment.

Big Bend Park-38  
Big Bend Park-10  
Big Bend Park-35 Big Bend Park-31

And then a couple strange things happened. I found Texas… upside down… kind of.

TEXAS Big Bend Park-33

From then on, Spirit, who has never been one to refuse hiking, suddenly stopped. He laid down. I encouraged him to go on with a treat, one of many I always carry, we hiked a few more steps and end up on his part as a total refusal to go on. This had never happened before. He started walking back, the more I asked him to come back, the more he walked away, not fast, stopping actually and waiting for me. Well, I did not have his leash and had no choice but to return which is when again he started walking by me, a couple steps ahead as he always does. I tried again to change direction, all I received was looks for him as… time to go. We went on, surprised on my part for sure. We arrived back outside the Park, and after a bit more water drinking and eating on both of our parts, a truck pulls in. A National Park Ranger. We exchange small talk as he goes on the same hike we had just come from. I today realize he must have seen Spirit’s paw prints, very obvious, but he never came back to say anything.

Big Bend Park-30  
Big Bend Park-43 Big Bend Park-44

I came across another Ranger at the store a bit later on and we talked about Dogs in the Park, on the trails. I make no excuse for being wrong, it has nothing to do with the fact that I agree or not, but, somehow, I do not believe in coincidences and Spirit had just saved me from a Federal offense and a round trip to Federal Court which I think is in Odessa, a couple hundred miles away. I gave him an extra treat… I just don’t know what to think about it. Had he not wanting to come back, we would have been face to face with Mr. Ranger on duty.

Big Bend Park-36 Big Bend Park-29
Big Bend Park-16  

It was a beautiful ride back to “The Oasis” that evening. The mind a bit bewildered about the past good Karma that had just happened… or did Spirit know? Maybe so…


Till next time, you all be well, always, it is our best choice.

Ara & Spirit

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4 Responses to “A walk in the Park, Big Bend. Tx”

  1. Lorena Says:

    love that one triangular rock photo, so metaphoric, harkening back to ancient times

  2. Patrick Says:

    Hi. My name is Patrick. I’m an 11 year old boy from Canada. I think what you are doing is really cool and inspiring. Your dog is really cute, I have 2 of my own. I also have a cat, 2 fish, and 2 frogs. Just out of curiosity have you ever ran into any wild animals on your journey? Also what do you feed your dog out there, and what do you sleep in? I’m going to track you every day! Please write back. 🙂

  3. texascindy Says:

    Always, that still small voice will guide us. Apparently Spirit hears it, too. I hope it was just a quirk that Mr. Ranger showed up; not someone calling in on you and Spirit….Great photos as always,. Makes me anxious for our trip out there!
    Take care,

  4. Garry Says:

    Way to go Spirit!

    How do they know?

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