Archive for January, 2011

Chasing the clouds in and out of Big Bend Park TX

Monday, January 31st, 2011

“In that World, you’ll be able to ride in the morning with the spirit you had known in your childhood: that spirit of eagerness, adventure and certainty which comes from dealing with a rational Universe” ~ Ayn Rand ~

License plate


I love clouds. I love clouds as much as the surface of this Earth. I go back to my childhood when staring up at them wondering as I use to ask how “do they make these clouds?”, “where do they come from?”. Today was the day I was going to chase them, and we did as feeling the best I have yet since surgery. I found my pace again in the early hours of this morning, a pace with the four letters “slow”. I did feel a bit like a kid packing up for the day. Lunch, water, cameras, Spot, SAT Phone, cell phone, endless it seemed, second nature now after the constant repeat for days on end and yet for not as many days always hoping foreseen. Not even a breakfast, only a cup of coffee, but Spirit was fed. Of course. The sun was not yet not too far up, I knew it would be a few hours before noon, I knew Kathy’s Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe would still be serving breakfast and for $5 a giant burrito filled with freshly cooked eggs, potatoes and… bacon (oh! well…) would be awaiting including wi-fi as multitasking I know is a foreign word around here, but would save me some time for the upcoming day. 

Kathy's Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe

It is always a fun place to stop, it is the hub of Terlingua and also where according to my own taste buds, the best food in town, and cooked right for that matter. Not many people present, a couple guys from Fort Worth who knew us from our Journal, that was about it as I caught up with some of my emails. Reading them anyhow, I am always late replying. And if you are lucky enough, if Kathy is caught up, she will come out herself and chat with you. Ask her anything and she will know, she has all the answers, the good ones. Spirit in the shade as always, a bowl of water present, breakfast filled me up and it was time for a quick drive by up the road and then on to the Park where we had not been in over a month.

Cafe Colorful shopping cart
Door Flag on tractor

Big Bend National Park

This was actually the first time for this photo. Playing “tourist” I felt, my own kind of tourism, this was also the first time in a long one I felt regaining my relationship with “Mother Nature”, attaining again a composure that would allow me to just “be”, to be still while moving, to feel it all one sense at the time and put it all back together. To let behind the clock, the time passing by, to find again “mindfulness”, maybe think a bit about my present Life, ours, this winter path filled with the unexpected turns of events. Calm all was, inside and out, as it should be always and yet not always possible to attain.

Big Bend Park-6 

Big Bend National Park-2

Big Bend National Park-3

We had no clouds yet, only a couple faint ones, shy, but I had the confidence that they would arrive soon and play their games within those skies so blue their reality could easily escape me. Entering the Park I stopped, made a right hand turn and observed for a few brief moments “Maverick Road”. An easy dirt road but with much washboard, it would be a short cut to “Santa Helena Canyon”. Be wise I said to myself, this is not the time or the place to be bouncing disturbing those brand new patches installed. I am not suppose to be riding till February 10th anyhow, let’s avoid complications.

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We first took a ride up the Basin, that one, the curvy road which made me remember how much riding this hack is sometimes a “tour de force” on the upper body muscles. I actually shot a video going up which I will put together soon. We hang around for a while, talked to a couple employees who love their jobs at the Resort, not necessarily for the hourly wages, but the fact that they are provided with lodging, food and a space surrounding them so magical for the outdoor enthusiast. The clouds still where faint but building up for the evening show which I hoped would take place while we reached, slowly, “Santa Helena Canyon”, one more time as in the past and yet, always a feel unlike any other sight.

Big Bend Park

Big Bend National Park-13

Back down the hill, on to the road leading to the Canyon, the border separated by the “Rio Grande”, the border with the tall cliffs, majestic, grandiose and imposing. The road went on easy and yet at first we did not get too far, it was lunch time. Hunger came upon me and Spirit always happy to also stop and get the good smells within the surroundings. Peanut butter and Pita Bread, a few Clementines, and that was it. No roasted chicken, no hummus, no banana bread, nothing fancy as in recent past, only good food to keep me going for the day. Besides Spirit my only company was my “mindfulness” of the moment. It was time to appreciate the feelings of joy, peacefulness and yes, a new one, “happiness”, which too often goes by fleetingly and unacknowledged. It was liberating, it leads always to a better way of being in one’s own skin and within this world which then free us from the ruts we so often fall into.

Big Bend Park-2

Big Bend Park-4

It was empowering, it was all familiar however as before, as before spending so much time amongst an urban environment as if the cement jungle had shut down the deep reservoirs of creativity, clarity, determination and a wisdom I so much try to acquire. So many thoughts incessantly had streamed in my own mind, flowing with no rest leaving such very little respite for an inner quiet. The precious little room we try to keep for ourselves was as locked till that moment, that then moment so quiet without having to run around doing things all the time. So many actions being driven too frequently rather than undertaken in full awareness. The easiness of getting caught up of Life too often drops us off in it’s winds too strong to handle, submerging our lives as it can carry us to places we may not wish to go and may not even realize we are headed for. The “balance” of it all, always striving to maintain it. Urban~Desert~Urban…

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Big Bend National Park-12

Home Wilson Ranch-2

It is a hard task I find at times learning how to get out of this current, sit by it’s bank and listen to it. Use it’s energy to guide me rather than dictate me. It take the energy “Mother Nature” gives me, the pace found again has furnished me with my needs, my ability to cultivate the “present moment” so much sought after.

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Santa Helena Canyon-2

Santa Helena Canyon-6

We arrived. The clouds also arrived, but we had already lost the sun in the Canyon. The pace maybe? Too slow? Maybe next time as we will not speed it up, maybe only leave earlier. No matter, it was a beautiful sight, strolling through the water a bit, more peanut butter for more strength for the way back, the same route again even if “Maverick Rd” once again surfaced in my thoughts. We caught a beautiful sunset when almost reaching Terlingua, so beautiful we stayed through it’s many color change stages, and we got caught riding back in the dark avoiding a couple critters which only wanted to cross the road without waiting for the green light. What a wonderful day, inside and out, on land and in the skies.

Big Bend Park-8

Ara & Spirit

Be Safe and well
Peace, Love, Courage

Old Faithful-2


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