Escaping Big Bend Park! TX

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Paragraphs of Daily Thoughts, some Mental Therapy and some reviews of our “well seasoned” Gear. Published Weekly or so.

Santa Elena Canyon-2 xxx

“There’s a vastness here and I believe that the people who are born here breathe that vastness into their soul. They dream big dreams and think big thoughts, because there is nothing to hem them in.”
~ Conrad Hilton ~

Javelinas-3 xxx

The Music continues in Terlingua. Music to my ears, Music to my Soul surrounded last night with familiar faces for the Fiddler Circle at “The Boat House”. A weekly gathering of Musicians. It was my first time around and what a good time it was. As swaying to the tunes played, some food offered, conversations with others about Life and such and this space we all share I realized how much I will miss this present, and yet the "road" is calling stronger and louder than ever. The anticipated unknown awaiting daily.

Banjo Case xxx

Shuffleboard xxx

I go back thinking and remembering when Texas was an “in and out” State in my mind. When the thought was always "there is nothing in Texas", till someone said I should come to Big Bend. "Big Bend?". I had to look on the map as I was not going to go to Big Bend. That was till I saw this huge green blob marked as such defining the National Park and another one being the State Park. Will try it. I had never heard of Terlingua neither. It was the first month or so of our departure. It did not take long to fall for it. Away from it all as I call it "the end of the World"! It has been our winter Oasis.

Shuffleboard-2 xxx

Woodstove-2 xxx

This winter is the longest we have been here. I stomp around wanting, desiring to leave, and yet having been through such an important and incredible healing time, I am not ready. The fruit of “The Oasis” have bloomed. Sometimes one has to stop wondering and let the nature of Life take it’s course, no questions asked, with the trust of it’s outcome. Letting the body rest in one space for a healing trickling down moment by moment filling so ever slowly finding the empty inner pieces of a puzzle. The image is almost complete.

Amongst Friends

Another Musical night happened yesterday, again at "The Cave" in "La Kiva", in Terlingua. A "Classical Quartet”. Beautiful sounding space, Musical privilege and some good humor to open up the one hour performance. A contemporary piece ending the “encore”. Familiar faces. A comfortable atmosphere.

Much hilarious…

The finale…

The Show…

And now running  away into the Park. Times a bit unbalanced, we must check in with “Mother Nature”. The skies are blue with no trace of a single cloud, not very conductive for photos as also mixed in with a permanent haze. It is not the intended always reason for us being on the road. Cloudy and no haze days have been of many. It is the seeking of this leveled sanctuary the Park represents for me.

Santa Elena Canyon-6 xxx

Santa Elena Canyon-8 xxx

Santa Elena Canyon xxx

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“Ocotillo” site again was taken. “Terlingua Abajo #2” was the only one left with no shade and a neighbor on each side. The temperatures were soaring. Close to 100 tomorrow. I wanted to be near by Santa Helena Canyon before sunrise, for sunrise. So here we are at Cottonwood Campground. If I was going to have neighbors why not also have shade under the giant cottonwoods. Not my favorite scenario all together but with Spring Break approaching as we will soon go in hiding, one cannot be too choosy.

Santa Elena Canyon-17 xxx

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Santa Elena Canyon-20 xxx

No boundaries here. Mental, physical, it is all a calmness one should not miss experiencing without a calendar or a clock. The sun and the stars with some Moon peaking out, all will be taken care off. Until I feel suddenly as the day goes on that the Park is" crowded" and I feel invaded. I am watching and hearing  the tourists being loud in spaces so quiet and serene in past times. Loud jokes, some profanities uncalled for amongst each other, remarks so out of place and context with their surroundings. I catch myself thinking of them unjustifiably as foreigners of this land. I feel bad with such thoughts, yet, they have brought the pollution of the city with them. I leave the canyon as I cannot handle it no more and find shade under the Cottonwoods for the both of us and read.

Santa Elena Canyon-18 xxx

Santa Elena Canyon-15 xxx

I start thinking how the outside world is going to feel once we leave here soon. No doubt we have taken roots. The roads will have to be the unknown ones less traveled avoiding an influx of a society so distant feeling. I know the West fairly well. It will be an added condition of the coming adventures. The years as such has taken us away from it all. We have our own stage now we travel with. A simple one yet at times hard to find. We will though.

No Fear…

I only have Javelinas visiting us tonight. I heard them before seeing them. Chumming away on the grass. Wild boar they look like and if disturbed have a bark sounding almost as a dog. They almost act domesticated. Besides the stars in their glory up in the skies they are my entertainment for the night. Spirit is already asleep, he has not woken up, no threat meaning. All has quieted down, we will be leaving in the morning, I don’t think I can take another day as such. There will be quieter times again when Spring Break is over. Soon.

Moonrise xxx

You were born with potential
You were born with goodness and trust
You were born with ideals and dreams
You were born with greatness
You were born with wings
You are not meant for crawling, so don’t.
You have wings
Learn to use them, and fly.
~ Rumi ~

All about our Gear

The Kitchen!

My kitchen has shrunk this past year trying to lighten up the load and being more efficient as a few items were not needed and actually a couple more have to go. From a big tool box I am now down to this little one found at a hardware store. Yes, all fits in.

Kitchen xxx

Kitchen-2 xxx

I think I will just go through the photos while I cooked dinner in Cottonwood. One cutting board which happens to fit in the tool box. It has to remain at the bottom. One knife with a sheath and with a blade as flat as possible for fast chopping as a curved blade will not work quite as well. Those knives are now available everywhere. I think I got mine at a Safeway. Keep in mind storing everything is a bit of a puzzle. I find it entertaining…

Kitchen-5 xxx

Next is a collapsible coffee filter cone. [REI]. A whip for pancakes or the crust of a one~pan Pizza and a laser cut grater which grates going both ways my piece of Parmesan cheese I always carry for some pasta.

Kitchen-6 xxx

Paper coffee filters which also are placed at the bottom of the tool box, a wood spoon stirrer, a collapsible spoon~fork and a knife sharpener. [Home Depot] 

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Kitchen-8 xxx


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My cup, coffee cup which is also a measuring cup having markings inside, mainly to make rice. Must have scissors to cut fresh herbs when available versus chopping. Also to open up those pesky packages that have a build in Ziploc, a task never possible by hand. And a garlic press, in this case it is a “Zyliss” which I have had for years. When done I just scrape off the garlic and place it in a bag folded but left open. The garlic will dry out and peel off the next day. No reason to waste water.

Kitchen-15 xxx

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This complete eating tool set was the best I have ever found. One can even use it to remove the pilot on a multi fuel stove to clean it. [the Leatherman in the photo has nothing to do with it]. Strangely enough I paid $9.99 at a Hardware store in northern California. It is made by “Fury” as I see it on Amazon now for $58.49, which does not make much sense.

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Kitchen-14 xxx

This is a water bottle pouch I carry my “olive oil” and “balsamic vinegar” in with 2 spill proof [sometimes] bottles wrapped with a Ziploc bag. Of course this does not fit into the tool box, the same with the Primus Pot I use which has a heat~conductive~shield making cooking much faster.

Kitchen-3 xxx

Kitchen-4 xxx

I think that is about it. Plenty sufficient to prepare any recipe found in my “One~Pan Recipe” section and more. Whether you travel by car, motorcycle, sidecar like us, it will do the job.

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This was my dinner, a vegetarian rice with sundried tomatoes, cilantro, zucchini, sliced almonds, red peppers…

Our Photo Galleries are on Smugmug.

Stay well and Healthy.
                                 Ara and Spirit

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6 Responses to “Escaping Big Bend Park! TX”

  1. mark johnson Says:

    Another beautiful batch of photos!
    Godspeed, Ara.
    Box Canyon Mark and Bobbie

  2. Randy Says:

    Wow what a post! Being a classically trained muscian you make me want to bring the truck camper back down and Winter around Big Bend. What fun! And I have way too much junk in my cooking drawer. Thanks.

  3. brian wrabley Says:

    Another great article! I feel the same way about Big Bend and Terlingua, I came to it late in my western explorations, I just haven’t been able to break away totally from the conventional world. As far as crowded national parks go, I’ve been in many where the people have no sense of where they are! Yelling, cussing, littering, it can ruin the experience! Pretty amazing how you store all your cookware in such a small tool box! Take care, Brian

  4. Ara & Spirit Says:

    See you down and up the road sometime. Clean up those drawers! Ara and Spirit

  5. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank You… I feel the same about yours. Hoping to see you soon sometime. Ara and Spirit

  6. scruffy Says:

    another great post Ara, thanks! You sound so good! Excellent for you and Spirit 🙂 The great green glob on the map drew me to Texas too, needing to travel to San Diego from Alabama to see family, and wanting a road trip, never considering Texas as a place to visit but something to endure( what did I know~), deciding to travel along the southern border, and spending my first night in the Chisos Basin, driving in on Easter Sunday by chance and everyone else was leaving! … end of season?? who knew? The place was magic, and it only got better from there, and I was hooked. Anyway, once again, thank you. I will meet up with you and Spirit again some day,somewhere, yep!
    Really like the posting you’re doing about your gear, really excellent! Always trying to carry less, and I have gear to trim. Fitting it all together, yeah, I too find it entertaining, a puzzle with purpose ~
    Safe, and magical travels to you two ~

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