PART TWO OF BIG BEND/TERLINGUA

by Lensgirl

I parked my truck and headed up the mountain path to begin what I later would call a great day at Big Bend. To the left you can see the Rio Grande River snaking its way toward Bouquillas Canyon.

Standing on the US side of the Rio I can see the small town of "  ".  It used to be that one could cross the river to eat authentic Mexican food.  I heard a story about two young guys who asked where they could find a good meal.  The answer was to let the old Mexican down by the waters edge ferry you across in his small boat and you will see a house up the road a bit then just knock on the door.  They did exactly that and to there surprise that little humble home was the place to get a good meal.  Uncomfortable yet intreged the two were seated at the kitchen table while an older woman prepared a meal of the finest home cooked authentic Mexican food in those parts.  As the men ate the front door opened and in walked an older man dusty from head to boot from his hard days work.  He tipped his hat to the guests at his table and walked through the room as if nothing was amiss.  Apparently that is how it was done only a few years back in this little town of **.


I walked a bit further and found these holes by the river bank.  Turns out they are called ** The ancient people of the area would grind grains on the rock by hand with another stone in preparation of their dinner and over time these mortese were worn into the stone.

Not far from the there I stumbled across this surveyers stamp in the rock. This is ***

At the top of this mesa I was greeted by this sign listing the wares I could purchase for a small fee from the  Mexicans across the Rio Grande.  I chose a whimsical black and white beaded rooster and a Ocatillo plant with red beads on the top that portrayed the fiery red flowers of an ocatillo in full bloom.  I put my money in the coffee can seen next to the item menu.  I wondered how they would get their money...my answer came not long after I continued on my hike.


After making my purchase I continue my hike along the beautiful Rio Grande I had heard so many folk songs about.  It was a very quiet except for the wind rustling through the grassy bamboo along the rivers edge.  Then I heard what I thought was a songs wafting up from the direction of the canyon I was hiking toward.  It couldn't be.  I was alone out here and didn't see any cars or people up to this point...at least I thought so.  There is was again only this time louder, crisper and absolutely magical.  I lone male singing his native songs in his native tongue.  The canyon walls carried his rich voice up high and along the Rio to where I was. My eyes searched for this troubadour as they are called. Can you see him across the water on the rock to the left of frame?

This was the view heading to Bouquillas Canyon in the distance.  The crooner was down on the rocks where you can see the river bend in the far picture.
This was the view heading to Bouquillas Canyon in the distance. The crooner was down on the rocks where you can see the river bend in the far picture.

As I worked my way down to him here are a few images along the way.....

Bamboo thicket along the path.
Bamboo thicket along the path.

The whole time I traveled closer I was surrounded by his beautiful Spanish voice.  I rounded the corner and there he was.  We visited for a spell.  He was pleasant and kind and asked if I had a request for him to sing.  I asked for * and sure enough he sang it and then mentioned that he had a can there behind me on the ground where I could tip him for his music.  So I obliged him happily.  I had no idea that in what felt like the middle of no where I would be serenaded in Spanish as I photographed the gorgeous scenery about me.  It was a wonderful day.  He continued to sing as I took these images.

In the lower right of picture you can see my new friends teal colored canoe tucked against the rocks that he paddles across to get his wages after I leave.
In the lower right of picture you can see my new friends teal colored canoe tucked against the rocks that he paddles across to get his wages after I leave.
This man help show perspective as to the enormity of this canyon wall. And that is only a third of the wall in the image.
This man help show perspective as to the enormity of this canyon wall. And that is only a third of the wall in the image.
How many different tracks do you see in this sand bank and what do you suppose made them? Hmmm...
How many different tracks do you see in this sand bank and what do you suppose made them? Hmmm...

On my way out of the canyon I saw some cabarros on horse back cross the river to replenish the wares.

I traveled to a few more destinations and was pleasantly surprised at all the visual offerings Big Bend has to offer.  Make it a destination and plan to spend a few nights in the park.  Do know it is huge and you can be alone most of the time.  I saw only a few people during my stay.  At night and in the morning no one was around and the camp sites are just a rail road tie marking the space to park your vehicle. You can stay at the Basin, rent a room, have a meal and go to the gift shop.  The rest of the park is wild and magnificent.

A home built by the early owners in the 30's
A home built by the early owners in the 30's

These are some of my favorite plants.  The ocatillo spire can grow up to twenty feet.  The plant is made into a liquor similar to tequila. Yum!

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