Big Bend Conservancy
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Past the red rock fins and spires and shortly before the Blue Creek Trail starts serious switchbacking, there are a few gaping caverns on trail left, the canyon's north wall. They sit at the base of red cliffs climbing to the Chisos and above a steep talus slope. Their alcove shapes and invisible reaches were too intriguing to pass untouched. I often fantasize about crawling into a cave and finding an ancient clay pot sticking from the dust or seldom viewed rock art, and these looked too significant to have gone unused. The largest went back a ways, but was steep inside. The ground was covered with the expected dust and additionally, light cakes of a compacted white powder. I picked one up and did what is always advisable to do when coming across an unknown substance - put some in my mouth. It really had a flavor to it. A really bad one. One I imagined was like fertilizer. My tongue immediately went numb and I spent the next few minutes spitting.
A fine looking young woman with dark hair and a backpack was ascending with her mother. I said hello and passed by. I heard her say to the older woman, "he's been out for a while." They giggled coquettishly. I puffed my chest out and cruised down to the Basin feeling like a king. Be it a smelly and hungry king, but a king nonetheless.
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