Big Bend State Park and other “stuff”… TX

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Las Vegas is not my “medium” should I say, if I can loosely use that word. But a while ago I made a point to spend a couple nights strictly to be able to play with the camera. The City mystifies me, everything there is bigger, shinier, louder than anywhere else. It is totally contrary to a Spaces that I seek for. The crowds are drawn, it smells of money, it is Showtime and yet it is Sin City on every street corner. I always wanted to make this photo video below, never had the technological knowledge to do so. I do now, so there it is.


And now a Story I was sent…

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.
"Not very long," answered the Mexican.
"But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.
The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."
The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."
"And after that?" asked the Mexican.
"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."
"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.
"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.
"And after that?"
"Afterwards? Well my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"
"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the Mexican.
"After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."
”Know where you’re going in life… you may already be there."

I think often the above story, and when I do all I see is this big circle of Life as coming back to where I started many moons ago, wondering why it all? My vision then jumps on to Los Angeles for some reason, the big cities and the bottleneck traffic jams with the many Souls stuck for hours every day to earn their keeps, to earn those keeps for the bigger house, the extra car, the better shoes, the kids wanting the $140 Nike’s. And yet the years will go on, eventually they will also take that Siesta on that Beach and have a drink with their Friends. I have no clue what the solution could be as in years past we sure do not have the knowledge of the years present.

fall leaves passing through Valentine  

On to the Park we went this past Saturday. We left early, winter gear on and plugged in, the obligatory missing the crossing deer with a huge rack this time, and again it was River Rd all the way to Presidio. The usual stop over at Don Jose’s Bakery for some great rolls to go, sweets and a breakfast burrito. Gas up and backtrack to reach the unpaved road just a few miles away toward the festivities. Yesterday’s ride wiped me out as never before. My body feels as broken today, wondering if age is catching up with me, overtaking my stamina on the rough rocky roads. It was the long awaited Fiesta Day celebration for Big Bend State Park, not the National Park everyone knows too well. It is only a few miles from here hiking through rugged terrain, I don’t even know if anyone has ever done it. By road it is 130 miles, the last 27 unpaved, it’s last 17 a bumpy rocky ride. Maybe it was not the ride, which managed to break all 3 mounts holding my right saddlebag, but riding and inhaling the dust from the vehicles of the 500 or so attendees.

passing through Valentine passing through Valentine

fall leaves

The Park did an incredible job besides the fact that entrance fee was waived and also so was overnight camping. Unable for ourselves to plan at such ahead time, I could not get a spot available for us, reason for the day ride. Rangers from every other State Park were present in big numbers and all activities again were free, including a great lunch  under a big tent, provided by Lajitas Resort which is now under new ownership, horse rides, guided hikes, jeep tours, I know I am missing some. I only attended the important event: lunch.


What started with blue skies and good light for photos turned out by mid morning into a pale day, the kind that makes me want to leave the camera in the case. I don’t have those fancy softwares that will make a bland photo a beautiful one, mine are what they are to the naked eye and I knew ahead this was not going to be the greatest camera fun day. It was a great celebration in itself, met many interesting people, but personally I just could not, as they say, "get into it". It is a huge Park, desolate with a rugged terrain, a demanding one if ever hiking, I just felt we should have not been there traveling such great distance while so many others where present. That is just my own feel.


I don’t do crowds very well, Spirit neither as he had to be on his leash and waiting for me most of the time. No regrets, will just have to go back as we did last year and enjoy the solitude of the area instead. Today we have officially moved into the tent. I decided to make it official! Grilling some chicken (again!) and making some rice for the occasion. The wood frame finally has been done, will just need to secure it to the ground when the day comes we leave again next year as we also will leave the frame up. Much space in here, cozy, comfy, warm and warmer by night time when the wood stove comes on. Not the real thing for sure as I feel cheating mostly, solar power, Internet, telephone… I guess I cannot go back now to a simpler Life.


We are getting ready to leave this week, “The Oasis” is seeing me walk between the tent, the shipping container for our camping gear and the fire where dinner is cooking. Old Faithful also which will be leaving minus one saddlebag as with broken mounts probably feels as my body does still.


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

Ara & Spirit

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3 Responses to “Big Bend State Park and other “stuff”… TX”

  1. john Says:

    Ara just great, with animoto, i can’t wait to set it upand do my trip.

  2. Joseph Schmoe Says:

    Thanks for the images Ara. Las Vegas is a City that hides it’s flaws not by darkness, but by by vivid displays of neon light. I am a big fan of neon, but I have never been able to catch the bright color or the texture of the light the way you did. Thanks for the video.

    I must say however, that I really enjoy your images of solitude, nature and open space. Those places have no flaws that need hiding – natural light only enhances its perfection.

    Stay safe, enjoy your new shelter.

  3. Evelyn Says:

    Wow!…that video was great. You ought to sell it to the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce for their Tourism promos.

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