Saturday, January 04, 2020

Travel Vignette: Texas; Coyote call at sunrise

By Elizabeth Prata

In the deep winter of 1994-1995, my husband and I and Abby the Cat bought a 1983 VW Westphalia pop-up camper van and took off for warmer climes. Our goal was to meander down the leftest road closest to the ocean, from Maine to Florida, across the FL panhandle, down Texas way towards the bottom, and across through Big Bend National Park, parallel the Rio Grande or the border all the way to San Diego. The we'd turn up and go as far north in California as the weather and timing allowed, which turned out to be Monterey. Then we'd head for home when the Maine snow let up, usually end of March. It was a good road trip, with lots of memories. Our country is beautiful and majestic, with a variety that's breathtaking. Being from verdant New England we did not expect to over the Texas desert as much as we did, but we did. Rocks, sagebrush, & tumbleweed, we were enchanted. Here is a vignette from my travel journal from February 1995 upon our departure from the National Park.

Big Bend National Park, Chisos Mountain campground

We left Big Bend National Park in Texas after 10 days and 9 nights of primitive desert camping. We absolutely loved it. The last couple of days we met 3 guys from Nebraska on a 'guy trip'. They sleep under the stars, chew tobacco, swig Southern Comfort and work for IBM. All 3 very cool. We call them "The Cowboys." The took us on a primitive road, 4X4's only, and we saw the interior desert we would not have been able to see in our van. We stopped for lunch at an old mine, and ate it out of the Bronco's tailgate- beans, beef jerky, and Southern Comfort. Then topped off the day floating in an ancient hot spring. The guys got out every now and then to cool off by splashing in the Rio Grande, but I didn't.


Sunset over the Sierra Del Madres
Geology lecture in the night air amphitheater
Coyote call at sunrise
Drinking Southern Comfort over a campfire with 'The Cowboys'
The hot spring
Back-country Bronco drive through rough terrain exploring abandoned mines
Climbing the high trail to 'The Windows'

Previous Vignettes:

Travel Vignette: Tuscany's Sparkling Coast

Travel Vignette: Paris, The City of Light

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