The ride to Mariscal Mines, Big Bend. Tx

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. ~ Anais Nin ~

As always a  ride off road brings up a certain sense of complexity. Few understand my distrust toward information I receive regarding the roads. We are not a four wheel drive, we are not on two wheels, “Old Faithful” is a totally different animal when “off road”. We are “high clearance” and that is about all we have in common with any other vehicles. We have good traction only because of the “Freedom” wheel mounted with a “VW” tire, it is also cost effective and with low pressure even this one wheel drive will climb some muddy and sandy steep hills and crawl with much ease amongst the rocks.

Big Bend  

What it does not do well are the very uneven roads when suddenly Spirit and I are eye to eye. It has happened, I then love that look on his face. The complexity of an unknown road that has been publicly tagged as “difficult” brings up all at the same time some joyful excitement, keeping much attention ahead as to not get into a situation where we cannot turn around if we had to, since I do not have reverse, and a sense of welcomed adventure. I have to say that River Road East sometimes made me feel as I was on a well maintained paved highway, it’s degree of difficulty was really null. I wanted more, there was none.

Mariscal Mines  
Mariscal Mines Mariscal Mines

The dry bed creeks crossings where a bit more fun, they had been maintained I could tell not too long ago as the banks of their slopes where more gentle than left in their past raw stage. Of course this will change with the first heavy rains as every non paved road changes here from rain to rain. There has been many instances, not that day, where I parked and walked around a bend to check out the situation. “That day” was incredible I must say for so many reasons, the main one being the prescribed medicine for cabin fever, for having to hibernate as we did even if it had been for a short time. Not only we were out, both of us nose up and breathing heavier than we both should, but the space we were in was and felt as being beyond the present civilization.

Big Bend  
Big Bend  

Raw, untouched, colorful, gentle and brutal all at the same time demanding due respect. The welcome signs were everywhere, but also do not abuse words glittered as silent messages. I felt the past presences of Natives and their Villages near by, we tip toed when parked and off the road a bit stepping on that crust gently as to not disturb what took millions of years to create. Quite often only glancing without a step forward. I did not wonder why we had never been here. Those questions do not matter, they are then, we were now. The important part was that our path had finally taken us on these roads I am sure for a reason not there in past tense.

Mariscal Mines  
Mariscal Mines  

The sun was descending fairly fast when suddenly facing east the dwellings of the Mines were visible. How strange and formidable it was, in the middle of this vast space, far from it all, the Mine itself and smaller dwellings which sheltered the workers at their hard work. It was as it did not belong there, it was maybe just a vision of those buildings suddenly on the slopes of a hill. It was only a few more miles. The road became very rocky bouncing us a bit, I was happy to have new tires as also trying to avoid the single rocks on the surface as if they had been planted by a hand to puncture us. They are a reminder to pay attention. There is much information on the Internet about the Mariscal Mines. It was started in 1900 and short lived only until 1943. Cinnabar, mercury, there was the need, they built the Mine.

Mariscal Mines Mariscal Mines
Big Bend Mariscal Mines
Mariscal Mines  

I realized very quickly the dwellings being in the shadow as facing east. There would be no time to adventure ourselves in the buildings, not even knowing if we could. I now know that we should not. Enjoy the moment I thought. We shall return and camp near by soon, be there when the sunrise happens and all is filled with the new sunrays of another new day sometime soon. We did take a quick hike to the very impressive buildings as also I realized I needed to read about them to know each of their purpose. Hiked back, we both had a late lunch, meaning Spirit ate the bread and I ate the pasta. I am not cruel, Spirit gets very sick on human food besides bread or very plain ingredients. Drank our water and again we were back on the road to return, excited about catching the sunset hour while riding back.

Mariscal Mines  
Mariscal Mines Mariscal Mines
Mariscal Mines Big Bend

My latest”smiling” observation. I don’t think many read anymore… A Friend that “saw” my latest entry e mailed me, she took the time to do so, to ask me “Where was that Farmer’s Market.” I only replied “read the Journal”. She is a close Friend. Another Friend I had written about the fact that I was glad a package of mine was being held by the sender till I return from surgery next week wrote “I am glad your package arrived… that was fast”. I love when I read “ Your photography is really great, so where have you been and where are you now?”.  And it’s alright. It is quite alright…  I might be doing the same sometimes most likely, skim. Many Friends provides me with such much entertainment and smiles and head scratching. What I am thinking however is where all is this going? I think there is more being written today than the population will ever have time to read. I wonder if all millions of entries in fonts and images will ever be saved and for future generations will be the words read to figure out a bit how we use to live. There will be much head scratching also then, I believe.


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

Ara & Spirit

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2 Responses to “The ride to Mariscal Mines, Big Bend. Tx”

  1. Louise Says:

    We get The Question, too. “So, where are you?” Makes me shake my head! There are some blogs I just skim, but before I contact the author I try to read at least the previous month’s entries.

    Your description of riding the hack is very interesting. The physics of the vehicle are different, indeed. But the concentration on a challenging road is something most riders can understand! We don’t do much interesting riding on the little scoots these days, unless you consider trying not to get run over by Florida car drivers to be a challenge. I just added a trunk, and my goal is to cover it with stickers and make it as crusty as your saddlebags 🙂

  2. The Box Canyon Blogger Says:

    The one that bothered me the most is when (supposedly) close friends, even brother, son nephew… etc. asked “where are you and what have you been doing?” It was obvious who was reading our blog and who wasn’t. Perfect strangers that never missed a post… and then friends and family who could give a ****. See, it still bothers me 🙂
    Mark and “The quiet one.”

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