Other

 

Big Bend

 

I spent the holidays with family and friends in Texas.

 

Big Bend 2009

Reasonably-priced fuel AND Willie Nelson souvenirs?! Sign me up.

 

Big Bend 2009

Some of my friend's pets.

 

Big Bend 2009

And another.

 

Big Bend 2009

 

Big Bend 2009

 

Big Bend 2009

Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park.

 

Big Bend 2009

 

Big Bend 2009

In 1986 Clay Henry, the beer-swilling goat, was elected Mayor of Lajitas, Texas, the small town just outside the park. Most have long forgotten that his only opponent in the race was my father. The loss has haunted him ever since and although he would never admit it, part of the reason for our trip was a chance for my father to finally confront Clay. Unfortunately, he passed away a few years earlier in a drunk-driving accident and all that remained of the former Mayor was this stuffed visage. Right after this photo was taken my father muttered a few words under his breath, knocked stuffed Clay to the ground and ran out the front door. Closure means different things to different people.

 

Big Bend 2009

 

Big Bend 2009

 

Big Bend 2009

This is a type of structure particularly suited to the desert. It is called a jacal and is constructed of rocks, stick, and dirt.

 

Big Bend 2009

Terlingua, Texas is the home of the World Chili Cookoff. While having dinner at the Long Draw Pizza in Terlingua I noticed Carroll Shelby's wincing photo on this poster for the 1985 event. I learned later that Shelby owns a large ranch somewhere in the area, but what really caught my eye is the person sitting next to him:

 

Big Bend 2009

If I'm not mistaken that is David Hobbs, the man who was able to climb out of the depraved depths of international road racing to finally achieve greatness and immortality as F1 commentator par excellence on the Speed channel. You find the strangest things in the desert.

 

Big Bend 2009

I'm always surprised to see sports cars in remote places. Terlingua Ghost Town certainly qualifies.

 

Big Bend 2009

 

Big Bend 2009

This is a tenaja, Spanish for 'watering hole'. It is about 30 feet deep and although it can provide life-giving water in the desert, the unwary can slip down its smooth sides and drown.

 

Big Bend 2009

 

Big Bend 2009

Balanced Rock

 

Big Bend 2009

"Vaminos muchachos!" my father shouted, micro-Uzi hanging by his side. The drug mules were ferrying the loads over the river at a fast walk but never fast enough for him. By the time the trucks were loaded, the sunlight was nearly gone, along with the last of my father's patience. Many went to sleep with a hungy belly and a black eye that night.

 

Big Bend 2009

 

Big Bend 2009

Our last night in Big Bend was spent enjoying an excellent meal at the Star Light Theatre. The place was packed but we were eventually seated at the foot of the stage while the Jitterbug Vipers performed.

 

Big Bend 2009

The drive back to Dallas was a long one, made more interesting by snow almost the entire way home. By that evening over an inch had accumulated and it was still coming down. I planned to wake up the next morning and photograph all the snow but it all melted in the night. Stupid Global Warming.

 

Here is another page of black and white photos I took.