Leg Four – Head to Across the Desert to the Mountain

Friday December 2 – Big drive across southwest Texas from Fredricksburg to Big Bend National Park. Several Border Patrol check points as I skirted along State Hwy 90.Since a young boy when our family traveled across the US southern desert, I always wanted to go to those mountains in the distance.  Headed to the mountains of Big Bend National Park.  Yes, they are far away.  Set camp in the Chisos Basin.  Fixed a real camp dinner first night.

Saturday December 3 – Got morning exercises in with lots of stretching and hammer swings.  Then got my steps on the hike to The Window Trail which ends with a view through the mountain to the valley below.

Afternoon beer at the lodge a short hike from camp.  Everything is up rocky hills.  Tasty Hazy Pale Ale from Midland Brewing Co.  Best beer on the trip so far.  

Ordered in a nice charcuterie plate for lunch from the chef.  The air is so much cleaner and brighter.  You can see farther and feel the blue color.

After the moon went down got my first real look at the stars of a Texas sky.  You have to be there to see them.

Sunday December 4 – Moved camp deeper in to the park.  Hiked across desert to The Towers.  That’s them in the distance.  Came to a pivotal point in my process.  During my hike I had my daily conversations with God and then Teresa.  I was asking for her opinion on some issues.  In the very middle of this hike God told me to seek guidance through him, not Teresa.  She had lived her life.  Talk about out of, and in, the middle of nowhere.  BAM.  The rest of the hike was nice but pretty uneventful.

Moved camp further south in the park to Cottonwood site about 300 yards from the Rio Grande.  And again, once the moon set the stars shine bright, deep in the heart of Texas.  We also had a pair of large Horned Owls that entertained us campers that evening and in to the early morning.

Monday December 5 – Wonderful sun rise over the US – Mexican border.  Full display of God’s power, wonder, glory and love. 

  Two short hikes.  One down to the Rio Grande to dip my hands in the cool waters.  Second more interesting up and into the Santa Elena Canyon which straddles the US-Mexican border.  (first image) Right America.  Left Mexico.  (second image) cliffs in Mexico.  The water and shade kept it cool in the Canyon.  The Canyon Finches have a distinct “tee-tee-tee-tee-tew-tew” call that echoes off the canyon walls.  Subaru handled the “scenic” road out of the park.  Who needs four-wheeler when you have the Subaru.   Long haul through high mountain town of Alpine was wonderful.  Great tacos and big glass of water.For 160 miles though the Permian Basin Oil Fields (Balmorthea, TX to north of Carlsbad, NM) we are drilling, pumping and hauling oil and gas.  Wells and gas release fires are 40 miles in every direction.  It is like a factory spread out over 100’s of square miles with trucks of every type moving throughout the factory 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Photo does not show it well, but there are three oil derricks and maybe 100 gas release fires in this sunset picture.  Finally found a place to stay in Carlsbad, NM.It may look flat and expansive in the last few images.  It is flatter, wider and more expansive than I can describe or photograph.  

Next major stop is Santa Fe.