Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Turn off the lights 'cause it's night on the sun...

So husband and I are home from Big Bend National Park, and I'm not as happy as I thought I would be. Usually when I go on vacation, I stress out so much (is my house on fire? are the cats alive?) that I don't have nearly as much fun as I should. But not this time, for the most part. Getting out of the city and going some where so remote that even E service on AT&T's network is a miracle was exactly what we both needed. I've never been to the park, but husband did for part of his field camp when he was in college for his Geology degree. The park is in the very south west part of Texas, right on the border with Mexico. So close that on the way we missed a turn and nearly drove into the neighboring country. Thank goodness for the large LAST CHANCE TO TURN AROUND BEFORE ENTERING MEXICO sign, since I didn't have my passport with me. The drive was about 11 hours from Houston, and every border patrol stop we encountered (3 in all) included a guard who acted like Houston was on another planet.

Husband doing all of the driving. It's so handy to have a geologist on a trip like this.

We made it in one piece!


Here I am hooping, before the ranger comes around hours later, informing us of the bear sightings in the Chisos Basin campground just a couple of nights earlier. This wouldn't have been totally bad, except that I had to pee 2355245 times that night, every time worried that the bears were waiting outside my tent with a knife and fork. So for my piece of mind, we decided to camp only one night instead of 2, and spend the rest at the lodge. I want to be that girl who isn't terrified of the wilderness, and I'm usually not, but this time I couldn't be that brave. All I could think about was Steven Colbert's war against the bears.

We did see these animals, called Javelinas. Yes, they look like pigs, but haven't been related to them for millions of years. Strange!

The next day we took a drive to Santa Elena Canyon. To the left of the water is Mexico, US to the right. Unfortunately, river waters were too high to actually hike into the canyon. Still gorgeous and ominous none the less.

We also hiked Boquillas Canyon. Here's my sweet husband!


Right across these waters were two Mexican guys, Jesus and Victor. They were selling walking sticks and little wire animals. Lots of signs saying "it's illegal to buy the stuff", and me being the good German that I am, of course followed the rules. Jesus sang tunes to the hikers, and man, that dude needs a record deal. He was fantastic. I wanted to take pictures, but didn't want to freak the guys out. They were cool.

One day we drove out to Terlingua, a tiny little city right outside of the park (about 40 miles from the Chisos Basin). It used to be a mining town in the early 1900's, and now has a few little motels, couple of restaurants, and the only car repair place for many miles. You know, they say the desert is hot, but it's a dry heat. That's true and all, but man, that heat was intense. Not that it isn't in Houston, but it's searing in the desert, while here it's suffocating. Searing isn't as bad I've decided.

An old graveyard in Terlingua.

And the view Big Bend is known for, the "window".

We really had a fantastic time, and I was so happy to go to this place that husband has been wanting to take me for years. We spent lots of time laughing and reading and ordering dessert and not thinking about stressful things. I never thought I would enjoy not being connected to the rest of the planet (ok, ok, we had spotty wifi through the lodge), but being without tv and constant news and twitter and facebook is refreshing. Replacing the nothing of the internet with silence and no manufactured entertainment was exactly what I wanted.


The Snuggler said...

I had such an awesome time with you! Thanks for making the trip so wonderful and memorable. Wish we didn't have to come back. I love you so very much.

Nicole said...

Awww @ the snuggler SO sweet!! You two are adorable! Sounds like an awesome trip! One I am SOOO ready for! Glad you have a great time =D

slow panic said...

Gorgeous photos. I came to your blog by way of 52 Faces....

Looks like you guys had a wonderful vacation

Unlikely Oilfield Wife said...

Hey Nicole! It was so awesome, I definitely recommend it!

Unlikely Oilfield Wife said...

Slowpanic, hey there! Hope you enjoy the blog, thanks for visiting, and the compliment on the photos :)