Big Bend Conservancy
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There are no true forests except upon the tips of the higher peaks, but shrubby plants abound, which are as strange and unfamiliar as the names they bear. Each of these plants is armed with thorns. You are wounded, caught, held, or anchored by this spiteful vegetation at every step away from the beaten trails...One is roasted unmercifully by day by 130 degrees of sunshine, and cooled almost to the freezing point at night. These great extremes of temperature shatter even the very rocks into fragments.
Boundaries in the Big Bend are vague and fluid; it is variously a place, a state of mind, and at times an illusion. Paradoxical views reflect different tastes and different experiences. It is a heaven or a hell, a land of serene beauty or barren ugliness, a place of soothing solitude or haunting loneliness...The Big Bend allows no winners; there are only survivors.
You need to see this place to experience the awesome moment when your heart stands still and your whole body seems to swell—almost to soar. The scene was so unexpected, so spectacular, we gasped as we saw for the first time this view of incredible beauty. As we topped the divide we could look down into a small bowl of a valley where typical government barracks were clustered like so many toy houses. The valley was surrounded by sparsely vegetated mountains spiked with pink rock formations that rose on all sides in rugged spires and cliffs.At the far end of the valley, beyond the winding road, our eyes settled on a cleft in the ring of mountains—the Window—and through this window we could clearly see another world.
In a lifetime spent in traveling, here I came upon the greatest wonder. The mantle of God touches you; it is what Beethoven reached for in music; it is panorama without beginning or end. No fire can burn so bright, no projection can duplicate the colors that dance over the desert or the bare rock formations that form the backdrop. No words can tell you, and no painter hold it. It is only to be visited and looked at with awe, it will make you breathe deeply whenever you think of it, for you have inhaled eternity.
We reached Persimmon Gap at late noon and there we got our first view of the Chisos Mountains. There is a strange, mystic beauty about that mountain range, something compelling and mysterious that grips you the first time you see it and never afterwards leaves you. – J.O. Langford
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