Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.


Yonderings: Trails and Memories of the Big Bend by Ben H. English

  • 5 Replies
  • 942 Views
*

Offline marufo

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 99
I just finished this new book and I can't recommend it highly enough. Full disclosure: over the last couple of years I've had the chance to get to know Ben a little and respect him a lot. He's the real deal.

I'll quote the back cover blurb below - it does a pretty good job of establishing his credentials. My personal comments would be that first of all, he has a deep love for the Big Bend country that he does a great job of showing and sharing on every page. And along with that, he has a respect for and fascination with the folks that have come and gone, striving and surviving (or not) to eke out a living here, and with the traces they have left behind, both in memory and on the ground. Don't let the word "Trails" in the title throw you off - except for a hike to the South Rim with a broken foot, much of the book describes journeys in remote areas of the Big Bend in search of long-abandoned trails, roads, and other rapidly fading traces of those who came before.

Published by TCU Press and available through BBNHA and the usual online behemoths.
Quote
It was a time before Terlingua Ranch and chili cook-offs, and you could drive a hundred miles without seeing another vehicle or another person.  The year was 1961, and the tides of humanity which ebbed and flowed into the lower reaches of the Big Bend were at their historical nadir.  It was a vast, empty land spotted by isolated ranch headquarters, a national park with few visitors, and the many ruins of a past shrouded in legend, lore, and improbable truths. There was no television, no daytime radio, few telephones, and very few people.
 
Ben H. English came to the Big Bend at the age of two, the fifth of six generations of his family to call this enigmatic region home.  With his family headquartered at the old Lajitas Trading Post, he worked and lived on ranches and places now little more than forgotten dots on yellowing maps. He attended the one-room schoolhouse at Terlingua, prowled the banks of the Rio Grande, and crisscrossed the surrounding areas time and again on horseback and by foot.
 
Some fifty years later he writes about those many decades ago, as well as the history and legends of this singular land he knows so well.  Ben separates fact from fiction and brings the reader into a world that few these days can ever imagine, much less experience.  He also writes about the lower Big Bend as it is found now, and what one can still rediscover just over the next rise. 
 

There's also a video of him talking about the book here:
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 10:12:17 AM by marufo »

*

Offline trtlrock

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1249
Re: Yonderings: Trails and Memories of the Big Bend by Ben H. English
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2017, 10:18:49 AM »
Thanks for the review -- this looks like a good read. Are there lots of large, high quality, interesting and/or rare photos? If not I'll get the less expensive version for my ancient Kindle.
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

*

Offline rocketman

  • Off-Grid Space Cadet
  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 252
Re: Yonderings: Trails and Memories of the Big Bend by Ben H. English
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 11:33:45 AM »
Just ordered a copy. Thanks!
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

*

Offline marufo

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 99
Re: Yonderings: Trails and Memories of the Big Bend by Ben H. English
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 11:47:21 AM »
Quote
Are there lots of large, high quality, interesting and/or rare photos?

In a word, no. Kindle away...

*

Offline Imre

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 227
Re: Yonderings: Trails and Memories of the Big Bend by Ben H. English
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 12:26:40 PM »
Thank you for sharing. I have ordered a copy. Can't have too many books about the Big Bend!  :eusa_dance:
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 09:03:05 PM by Imre »

*

Offline rocketman

  • Off-Grid Space Cadet
  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 252
Re: Yonderings: Trails and Memories of the Big Bend by Ben H. English
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2017, 08:13:41 PM »
I got my copy today! Can't wait to crack it open during my upcoming flight to Michigan!
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2018 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments