This last weekend, Sarah and I went to Big Bend National Park, which is like the sun--large and hot and full of Texans. We camped out, which is inexpensive compared to cornering the oil market, but always seems to include some unexpected costs--propane, ice, meat, whistles, etc. The whistles are in case you run into trouble on the hiking trails, which we so far haven't done.
At least, not by Saturday, when I write the first draft of this while Sarah is hiking the Santa Elena Canyon Trail. See, we're not alone here and I'm not referring to the lurking mountain lions. (They say, "by the time you see a lion, the lion has already seen you.") We're here with our dog, Blackie, who isn't allowed on the trails because this national park is also something of a wildlife refuge. Considering that Blackie has already barked at deer, rabbits, and a horse, I have some sympathy for the idea that dogs bother the wildlife here too much for them to walk on the trails.
Besides that minor inconvenience/potential tragedy (hiking alone in bear country seems less than ideal), this trip has gone pretty well. And Big Bend is quite picturesque, from the emaciated Rio Grande (and the Mexican national who came over to check the donation jar and tchotchkes that are set out); to the Chisos Mountains (surprisingly cool because, duh, they're mountains, with some real hairpin curves in the road); to the canyons of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive (just what it says on the tin).
Pictures to come.