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Round the Bend in 14 Days

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Offline Jimbow

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Re: Round the Bend in 14 Days
« Reply #405 on: January 11, 2017, 06:33:22 PM »
Wow. Now I'm really impressed.
Everything is in walking distance if you have enough time.

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Offline rocketman

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Re: Round the Bend in 14 Days
« Reply #406 on: January 11, 2017, 07:12:18 PM »
Wow. Now I'm really impressed.
I'm impressed by all of you guys who have the knowledge, experience, and time to plan and execute these fantastic adventures, then share them with the rest of us. Thank you everyone!

 :notworthy:
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Round the Bend in 14 Days
« Reply #407 on: January 11, 2017, 10:07:54 PM »
Wow. Now I'm really impressed.
I'm impressed by all of you guys who have the knowledge, experience, and time to plan and execute these fantastic adventures, then share them with the rest of us. Thank you everyone!

 :notworthy:

Thanks, Rocketman.  If we seem tall, it's only because we're standing on the shoulders of giants. 

http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/big-bend-book-reviews/colin-fletcher/
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Round the Bend in 14 Days
« Reply #408 on: January 13, 2017, 06:00:33 PM »
Holy cow. Did I just graduate to a sticky?  :notworthy:  < This emoji says "I am not worthy" and that's how I feel. But, wow...thanks, guys, that's high praise for a busted trip.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Txlj

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Re: Round the Bend in 14 Days
« Reply #409 on: January 14, 2017, 06:39:53 AM »
Well deserved sir.

Sent from flat land


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Offline Buck

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Re: Round the Bend in 14 Days
« Reply #410 on: January 16, 2017, 06:32:38 PM »
That was an epic story that took the better part of my afternoon to fly through.  You did, indeed, provide numerous answers to my question posted at "Big Bend, the Universe and Everything"; a personal connection, an emotional connection, a spiritual connection, a physical connection, a psychological connection - what am I leaving out?

I copied and pasted a few lines that struck me and have thoughts on a few that stayed with me below.

~~~

The pillow story was rich.  I think it was a kind of sacrifice to the cruel gods of nature, much like the trailer park on the outskirts of a town is sacrificed to a tornado in place of the actual town.  It's the classic story of sacrifice and redemption.

You mention Fresno Creek as your favorite place in the park.  Mine is the rocky bottom of Cattail Canyon between Copper Plaque Falls and Jacuzzi Pool where I, too, have stripped down in the summer heat and baptized myself in the Bend.

Unaided off-trail or cross-country travel is by far the most demanding. Almost every moment is fraught with decision and danger. The landscape must be constantly observed, analyzed, understood. Even when the way forward is clear, say down a wash or up a drainage or along a ridge, still the footpath is totally unmanicured and wild. The placement of every step is important. Inattention can be disastrous. Eventually, the mind becomes one with the landscape, other thoughts drop away, and the process becomes both engaging and freeing at the same time. The pace is glacial, one's inner conversation dwindles almost too nothing, and a kind of highly alert but simultaneously meditative state of intense “here and now” takes over.

This is well stated, although it is punctuated by the pauses, like when a clearing opens up or a view appears - ideal when they both take the form of a smooth, flat rock in the sun where you can stop and take off your boots and socks and catch a nap in the warm sun.  There's a rock like this on the approach to Maple Canyon, just to the left before you turn into the shadows of the canyon, where I laid with my wife in a warm, November sun.  There is another one on the ramparts above Castle Camp where a tiny square of copper marks a memorable moment.


One of the things I rediscovered on this trip was that I am completely comfortable being alone for days, even weeks at a time. I enjoy other people, but they're not a necessity. I am just as satisfied being completely alone. At this stage of my journey, it had been 10 days since I'd seen another person and I didn't miss it at all. Then, again, I'm a bit of an oddball. My 11-year-old son has been diagnosed with ADHD, heavy on the HD. It's clear to me that he inherited it from me (well, actually, perhaps from both me and my wife). But now, looking back, I realize that I, too, am probably ADHD, although 50 years ago, when I was 10-years-old, no such diagnosis existed. The cure then was swats with a paddling board. It's also become clear to me over the years that I have a bit of Asperger's. Bright, high-functioning, but a little odd. Quirky social skills. A bit of difficulty reading emotional cues. So no wonder I enjoy days, or weeks, of solo hiking in the wilderness.

You've diagnosed me.  Thank you, doctor.


All these brief, improbable encounters, I thought to myself. People from all over the nation and all over the world, driven by all sorts of reasons to leave the comfort of their homes, drive hundreds, fly maybe thousands of miles, and walk out onto this trail in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert beneath the Chisos Mountains, randomly bumping into each other at this one tiny, extraordinary crossing of Fresno Creek. Each of us affecting the other in small, but possibly important, and definitely unforeseeable, even unknowable ways.

This is my question from the other thread stated in a sharper way.


I had come to the spring in search of water but what I found was a mystery. And a lesson in grief. At 38, I was too young to appreciate its full meaning. I’d lost a few distant relatives, but no close family or friends. I hadn’t really experienced grief. I understood the profundity, the intensity, of the memorial only in the abstract, and dimly. But I never forgot it. When I finished my hike, I wrote a note to a seasonal ranger I’d met at the park, urging her to go out and visit the memorial. She did, and she wrote me back a few weeks later. Her impressions were much the same as mine.

This, too, is well stated.  I first visited the Bend a little over 25 years ago when the mystery of "what lies above Cattail Falls" was first planted in my mind.  That's another story, but one that started with the untouched smile of my youth that has, since then, become weathered by twenty-five years of much of the worse that life can throw at a human being.  All through it I clung to a simple Faith placed there by Providence much earlier in life.  Your story helps me see the Bend as a metaphor for that Faith - a place that is bigger than life's trials and that asks us to sit still and quiet at the feet of something bigger than ourselves - to strip ourselves down to only the essentials and to leave behind what is not important for what really is.


All in all, a well spun yarn o kindred spirit.   :notworthy:
"Hey, how 'bout a Fandango..?"

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Round the Bend in 14 Days
« Reply #411 on: January 16, 2017, 11:47:52 PM »
Hot damn, Buck! I've said elsewhere on BBC, and I'll say it here again: nothing beats being well and truly understood.  :notworthy:
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 11:53:40 PM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline horns93

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Re: Round the Bend in 14 Days
« Reply #412 on: May 23, 2017, 09:58:08 AM »
This was an amazing trip report, HMoD. It is great to read about others who have a love and affinity for this place. Thanks for sharing.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Round the Bend in 14 Days
« Reply #413 on: May 23, 2017, 10:50:13 AM »
Thank you, Horns (a TCU man, I presume: I was born around the corner). My love of Big Bend is not quite matched by my ability and skill, but I keep striving.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline horns93

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Re: Round the Bend in 14 Days
« Reply #414 on: May 24, 2017, 02:44:55 PM »
Thank you, Horns (a TCU man, I presume: I was born around the corner). My love of Big Bend is not quite matched by my ability and skill, but I keep striving.

Haha! No sir. I'm a Longhorn although my step father is a Frog so it's in the family.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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  • Golden Eagle
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  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Round the Bend in 14 Days
« Reply #415 on: May 24, 2017, 04:02:57 PM »
Thank you, Horns (a TCU man, I presume: I was born around the corner). My love of Big Bend is not quite matched by my ability and skill, but I keep striving.

Haha! No sir. I'm a Longhorn although my step father is a Frog so it's in the family.

Hook 'em! Me, too. ;)
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline ans015

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Re: Round the Bend in 14 Days
« Reply #416 on: August 27, 2017, 09:27:48 PM »
very inspiring. I loved your pictures and writing. I'v only done one backpack trip in Big Bend, but I would like to do something like you did someday. I especially liked seeing your pictures of the eastern side of the park. Iv never really seen any pictures along those mountains. It was very interesting seeing where you came back to civilization and located your food cache. I cant wait to bring my kids to big bend and do more stuff like this. You are a very legendary and inspiring man! :notworthy:

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Round the Bend in 14 Days
« Reply #417 on: August 28, 2017, 09:02:02 AM »
Thanks, ans015!


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"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

 


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