Wednesday, November 28, 2012


sensory overload thereof. The pictures speak for themselves.
Talk about switchbacks! Second gear and smelly brakes, but we're here at Chisos Mountains Basin +- 5500ft, extinct volcano surrounded by peaks as shown in the photos, which rise another 3000 or so feet. It's all that we expected and much more. The Basin is 20 degrees cooler than the desert floor & harbor pine, juniper, assorted cactus, deer, mountain lions, bears and misc. other wildlife. A fellow camper spotted a bear yesterday. We've seen no fearsome critters, yet, during our hikes, but we make lots of noise.
Big Bend Nat. Park is 801,163 acres & was estab. in 1944. Much of the park's const. was done by the CCC
(another example of "good" the government has done), & the park is the largest in the lower 48.
At all points of the compass there's a spell-binding photograph.. Never have I seen anything to match it and I've seen a good bit of stuff.
The rocks of Big Bend are a complex lot. Two seas--one after another flowed & subsided in the region 100s of millions of years ago, The mountains uplifted along with the Rockies, +- 75 million years back.
There is remarkable diversity of life--1200 plant species--some found only here & 450 species of birds.
Inhabitants include Apache, Span. Conquistadores, Comanche, US soldiers, miners, ranchers and farmers,
Mex. revolutionaries, international outlaws, bandits and us, for a week or so.
Hiking every day, constantly "rubbernecking" the flora, fauna & topography. Pretty whipped right now.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Can't get over that whirring wind--the vastness--the harsh, harsh landscape (note the photos).
Roughly 4k yrs. ago native people lived beneath mammoth rock outcroppings in the canyon walls away from unfriendly critters--4 & 2-legged, and painted from the heart. There's a Shaman, a portal to pass through upon death & assorted animals. We're talking legitimate religion, here.
Iron oxide mixed with animal fat constituted that dominant reddish color which proves to be the most permanent.
Creationist contend that the world is 6K yrs. old, (that evolution is pretty much a crock). Hence, in their minds these indigenous Seminole Canyon natives would have been around a mere 2k yrs. when they did this painting--when they mastered the art of subsisting on this unforgiving land and dinosaurs would have been running around in their hood.
Met a flint-lock deer hunter and re-enactment nut this evening--they do an annual re-do the battle ofSan Jacinto when the U.S. Army whipped the Mexicans and officially stole their land. Said he shot 20 female deer last year during an approved hunt to cull the over population. Whatever....
Back to the rock drawings, I think about the fact that +-50% of Americans don't believe in evolution and this prompts me to go outside on this windy clear night with clean cool air, nothing much for as far as your eye can see, and think about tomorrow--the last leg to Big Bend. Trippin out...
hope the photos show up. lots of mystery associated with this electronic stuff. Gates and Jobs have the last word.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Up on a ridge at Seminole Canyon St. Park and the wind is 20 mph-- whistling & buffeting the EGG a bit, but then we put the cooler on the tongue and she settled down a bit.
Blows the mind to switch from hill country tall tan grass, live oaks & cedars to this Big Bend Country with canyons and endless harsh prairie. The photos were taken as soon as we arrived. A little weather looks like it's blowing in, but it's so far away there's plenty of space for it to dissipate.
Gonna hike around tomorrow and look at some Native American cave drawings, geological wonders of assorted types, and probably run into a few other goobers who are out trailering around. On that note, a block away through the brush at another trailer, some dude and his wife have five dog cages filled with five dogs. We're figuring they're touring around to dog shows, but then I'm fhinking maybe they simply love their canines and it costs too much for a sitter.
Jumping to Conclusions Is a Cheap, Rather Effortless form of Exercise. Beats the hell out of Weightwatchers & its free.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

More shots at Guadalupe

Thanksgiving photos at Guadalupe


about being waist high in this Texas grass amongst all the butterflies--endless blue sky above--gnarled ancient live oaks here-and-there, and the quietness...oh the quietness...not a sound...not one sound, and I feel alone, though I'm not, and I think of Robert Duval's, Lonesome Dove and High Plains Drifter's Clint Eastwood before he talked to chairs, Cormac McCarthy's rich prose, and I feel blessed to get to know what a local called "God's Country." Yes, I know, "God's Country" is all over--down east in N.C. a barrier island with a fire red sky at sunset...the Smokies, camping on a bald at night, with a trillion stars..Little and Big Dipper, Orion's Belt. Yep, God's Country is all about.
Off to Seminole State Pk. tomorrow in Delrio, Texas. It seems Seminoles, on the run from Florida, teamed up as scouts, with U.S. Calvary to hunt down Apaches...a bit of an odd marriage. More about this later.... Gonna hike the last leg of the trails here at Guadalupe River State Park, then begin prepping for our trek to Seminole.
We didn't know today was Thanksgiving...thought it was next Thursday...but then a fellow hiker wished us "Happy Holiday" and we got to thinking, a realized it was today. Having a fat slab of ham I'll cook on the grill, sweet potatoes from the microwave (that's making strange sounds...the microwave, that is) and fresh green beans. I'll have a big fire tonight and we'll eat nearby at the picnic table.
Peace, and Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Dick and Ann
note: With a little luck, some photos will follow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


and you're standing in the Texas grass and sparse forest and they sky's blue andit's quiet..oh so quiet

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Two yrs running and we've visited Cut-n-Shoot, Tex. (Note photos).
As the story goes, back in the 1800's the berg was five bars, a store with a post office & the Sheriff's Office/Court & Jail. The Sheriff was the judge, and owner of the most bustling bar/pool hall. If'n you ran afoul of him he'd lock you up, try you and maybe hang you. Cutting and shooting were his pet peeves, which he made known at every turn, earning him the name Cut 'n Shoot Harry, which morphed into Cut 'n Shoot, Texas.
With Ann and I liking woods more than cities, we mapped out a trek from last nights Cleveland, Tex. Pk., North, around of both Houston and San Antonio & through the rolling hills with tan, dry grass, cedars and live oaks where we got a taste of this region's underbelly. Clean little towns with pickups parked at an angle out in front of the hardware store, the barber shop, a cafe and misc. other establishments similar to what they were during many, many years gone by.
Taking these back roads comes with a price, twisting and turning, merging, over-shooting and turning around, etc but with Ann's superb navigational skills and equipment we made it to Guadalupe River State Pk. this evening. Words won't do it justice so we'll put together some photos & shoot them out on the blog manana.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Big Easy photos


This happens to be the title of the book Ann's reading: Periodic Tales..A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc. And in a way this is what this blog is all about: Periodic Tales.
Spent yesterday back in New Orleans. Met Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an Islamist from Turkey--charming fellow who chain smoked and took tiny sips of black coffee; then there was a skinny black fellow with a look of desperation playing a sax on the street corner and a filthy white fellow playing a guitar. Both were gifted; both probably subsisting on loose change tourists flung in their tin cans. Would loved to have had a chat with them & gotten some insight re: their journeys across the prairie of life. The gifted who are going to hell in a handbag. Now there's a theme for a book.
Had mediocre food. Had cold beer in a corner bar estab. in 1807. The drunks were happy and loud; the doors were open; muffled old rock music thumped; cigarette smoke swirled; a hard core gal drinking some sort of concoction with raw eggs, milk vodka & some other stuff I didn't catch; a million ancient business cards on the wall; the bar keep had a blinking light head band that said "Be Happy." There was this sort of stuff going on and on. Maybe too many sights and sounds. Time to head back through N.O's jumbo
pot holes to the trailer park.
Off to Carencro, La. to see a buddy then off to Texas manana. Maybe I'll see "Shrub" who's reported to be doing water colors out in the desert, or maybe Gov. Rick Perry, who according to some Texas liberals, needs to take a drug test.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Big Easy Ain't So Easy..

......for some poor bastards on the gas rig that blew up last was that dull, rumbling kind of boom you hear on a still night coming over the water. Wondered why I didn't hear any sirens, then we heard about. Two dead; two missing (dead, too)....four families all torn one minute,gone the next On a more positive note, we had an enlightenment type happening on Bourbon Street, the River Walk, brunch of beignet and dandy java....mostly rubbernecking...Manhattan kinds of street smells...a huge delegation of laughing Jewish folks from Russia with big name tags pouring out of the Hyatt.

New Orleans

Spent the day tooling around French Quarter. Ate beignets.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Grayton Beach

Early on Thursday morning. Grey day. Glad to be heading to Big Easy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Grayton Beach woodland trail

We hiked a couple of miles on this
trail. Saw some animal tracks. Cold this morning but warming up. Beautiful sky.
Fat Daddy of Fat Daddy's Bike Shop could have be mentored by Bernie Madoff. Hence there was no biking yesterday. As mentioned above, we took a walk through the Fla. panhandle forest. I think the photos will show deer moss & palmetto. Missing, is a photo of a mysterious animal track that we deduced to be from a good size coyote. And there were deer tracks nearby so I'm guessing the coyote was after the deer. Deer moss is a lichen that's a combination of fungus & alga & thought to be perhaps the oldest plant in existence.
It's cool, overcast & funky, today. May take a stroll on the beach before it rains. Ready to get the hell out of the panhandle & head for the Big Easy. Hankering for some gumbo and to see Louie Armstrong's birthplace....he being one of my heros.
A fellow just drove in from Iowa who's been to Big Bend Nat. Park where we're heading. We'll pick his brain this evening, as this seems to be the best source of information when trailering
We're wondering if we should have brought our passports to get into Texas, should they have seceded by the time we arrive. One never knows what Rick Perry's up to...dementia being what it is....