Big Bend Conservancy
2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!
Second Entry - Tuesday, August 16Our first day began with two great omens. As we drove up into the Basin, the thermometer on the car read 59 degrees. As we spoke to the volunteer at the Basin desk, the nice lady said, "The pipe at Boot Canyon is just dribbling, but (leaning toward us) that was before the rains. You should be fine."Before experiencing just how fine it was, we experienced the first of many delightful human interactions while at the Basin permit desk. "Carl (my backpacking buddy), is that you?" asked a voice that just walked in the door. The voice came from Thomas. Carl and Thomas had worked in the same Houston office for twenty+ years before Carl retired a few years back. You can't walk away from that kind of chance encounter, so we spent some time enjoying Thomas' company. Thomas' daughter was going through the junior ranger drill.Then we met Lane. A fifth-grader from Austin, Lane has to be one of the luckiest kids alive. His twenty-something uncle, a Ft. Worth firefighter, was helping him fill-out his initial paperwork for his man card. Lane's uncle had taken him to Balmorhea and taught him how to scuba dive. Now his uncle was teaching Lane how to have a straight-up conversation with two older men."Do you mind if Lane asks you some questions?" the young uncle asked us as we were going through our final pack preparations right outside the Basin ranger office. "Here Lane, ask them" the uncle said as he nudged the slightly timid Lane into our presence. Prompted by his uncle ("Look at them when you talk to them," "Shake their hand," "Go ahead," and etc.) Lane asked us why this, what was that for, and where were we going? It was pure joy to explain backpacking prep to Lane. I concluded by asking, "Lane, someday maybe you'd like to spend three nights in the High Chisos?" Based on the sparkle in his eyes, my money is on Lane entering the next generation of Big Bend romantics. The we set out up Languna Meadows trail. If it looked cool, we dropped packs and explored it. If it deserved more than passing conversation, we stopped and discussed it. I was so pleased that the pace of our trip was measured and fun. I am glad to have reached the point that I no longer want to get from here to there in a hurry.Lesson #1 - instead of my regular rip-stop pants, I wore COLUMBIA trail pants. The super thin and billowy pants Are The Way To Go!Had we wanted to hurry, we would have been annoyed by WETFEET. Trudging up Laguna Meadows we were overhauled by a 40-something day hiker (we are 60-something backpackers). After exchanging pleasantries, I shook the then-unknown person's hand and said, "My name is Don Prather." After the day hiker walked about five steps he whirled around, pointed a surprised finger at me and said "Don Prather...are you DPrather?...Bob Marley!!!!...But you don't look like Bob Marley!??!" As it was, we had a very enjoyable 45-minute BBC reunion right on the trail. We would see WETFEET again.Eventually we pulled off Laguna Meadows trail out onto LM-1 campsite. That place is great! It was so great that we decided to eat lunch and then siesta. My lunch was a packet of tuna enlivened with a packet of BUCCEE's mayo and a packet of their awesome jalapeno relish smeared over RITZ crackers. My bed was a tarp, and my pillow was a bottle half-filled with TANG-flavored water. Can it get any better than that? Our half-hour snooze was awakened by a 40-something man and wife who had also come to LM-1 for lunch. They were first-time backpackers/Benders who were on their way down after two nights in the High Chisos. His pack weighed 71 (!!!!!!!) pounds and he was most definitely experiencing a teachable moment. So we enjoyed lunch with them while they asked what they should and shouldn't pack (no - you don't need two JETBOIL stoves). Then WETFEET arrived. For the next hour we had to kind of great times that one would expect to have while eating dinner with old friends. Two or three conversation whirled together at the same time. The love of the Bend and the ways of backpacking were the subjects. It was all smiles, laughs, and hugs and hand shakes when it was over.And then alone, Carl and I had another laugh. We had come to a remote place for lunch and a siesta and had attracted a crowd. Carl had chanced into an old friend. We had enjoyed conversation with Lane. We had met WETFEET. Truly awesome; truly amazing.Afterwards we advanced to our base camp at Boot Canyon #4. The clouds kept the oppressive sunshine away and kept the temps low. Our only sweat was the mild sweat of exhilarated exertion. We never suffered from sun or heat the entire trip.As the day's final great experience, we went to the pipe at Boot Springs to fill water bottles. We had not depended on "found" water before. Boot Creek was gurgling and the pipe filled 1 1/2 pint bottles in less than twenty seconds. Going to sleep, Carl's last words were "We should go buy some lottery tickets." Yes - we were that lucky.
About half-way up Boot Canyon, attached to the west wall of the exposed rock canyon bottom, there was what appeared to be the wall footings of an old dam. Concrete and rock was all that was left. Anybody got an explanation?
QuoteAbout half-way up Boot Canyon, attached to the west wall of the exposed rock canyon bottom, there was what appeared to be the wall footings of an old dam. Concrete and rock was all that was left. Anybody got an explanation?Is this the remnant you are referring to? That is indeed the remains of an old dam. It was intact in 1985; I believe it washed out in the spring or summer of 1992.-Imre
We followed an intermittent trail. At times very distinct, but at times invisible, the trail basically followed the Cattail water flow down canyon. Perhaps this is a "once was but now isn't" trail?
This is what we saw. Do you know who built it?
Did you make it as far as the dam in Cattail?Photos?
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.