Day 389 – Riding to Big Bend and meeting folks along the way

I spent last night in a motel room at the same place I was camping. It felt so nice to be in a comfortable bed with AC. Even though I’ve been camping a lot I often find it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

After getting almost out of town something didn’t feel right and I realized I left my wallet back in my room. I’m very glad I realized before getting too much further. Whew!

The ride to Big Bend was beautiful. All the varying shapes and textures of the landscape is a pleasure to observe.

It was also fun asking people what they were doing as I encountered them on the road. I saw a white pick-up truck driving along side the road with some plants and thought there was some harvesting going on. Matt got sick of working for Southern Pacific and decided to start his own business harvesting local plants for resell to nurseries. He gets permission from ranches and pays per plant harvested. I got a great picture of him holding up a Y shaped Yucca aka Giant Spanish Daggar. The name is accurate – I actually cut my calf walking too close to a young one at the campground. I am going to try and meet up with Matt in Marfa or Alpine on my way from Big Bend to El Paso.

Next I met Anthony and Joelle as they sat in their truck eating lunch. Like Matt, the first thing they asked me is if I need water. Very kind of them. They were out inventorying all of the guardrails in their section for the Texas Department of Transportation. They said they saw me earlier and was wondering what I was up to. I guess few people try riding with a trailer to Big Bend.

After learning that the US Army tried using camels in their Calvary (see pic) I ran into Bill as he was going about his ranching duties. For a couple of hundred miles I have been wondering what bovines eat on this scrubby land and now I had a chance to ask. Bill assured me that this time of year they find enough to eat naturally and during the winter they feed them hey. I was amazed, but then Bill said there are only 400 cows on 84,000 acres so it made more sense that they would find enough to eat. Then I asked how he is able to find them all and he said sometimes it is a challenge and requires a lot of driving and horse riding. He and one other worker take care of the entire place with some help from the owners. That is a lot of land to cover.

It’s fun to ask people what they are up to and I find that most people are more than willing to talk to me.

I made it into the park and got my backcountry permit for Nine Mile Draw, the first area to camp inside the entrance. It was so hot by time I road the three miles to get there that I had to hide under a bridge in a dry creek for an hour to cool off. Then I made for the site and deliriously set up my tent before snuggling up to the bear box for shade until the sun went down.

I slept like a dead man.






One response to “Day 389 – Riding to Big Bend and meeting folks along the way”

  1. Penny Avatar

    We are enjoying your frequent updates and learning about Texas.