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No Driving Is Best
Written By: OC Fotoguy
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 No Driving Is Best
 No Driving Is Best
 No Driving Is Best
 No Driving Is Best
 No Driving Is Best
 No Driving Is Best
 No Driving Is Best
 No Driving Is Best
 No Driving Is Best
 No Driving Is Best
 No Driving Is Best
 No Driving Is Best
 No Driving Is Best
       I know I’m burning out, but I still have some spectacular places to go on my meandering route through the warm places of our country before I get back to Ocean City and SpringFest, Fager’s Island Deck Parties, the beach, steamed crabs, all that stuff I love there and I’ll be headed that way soon.  I did find a couple bartenders who could mix a comparable Margarita to what Suzie at Mother’s mixes, so I satisfied that fix!   I know I’m ready for some Ocean City, though.  Today it’s time to stop and putter, organize my nest (slide-in camper on a pickup truck) regroup, reconnoiter, and rest.  I know it’s time.
I drove from Ft. Stockton, Tx. to my camp site here in Big Bend National Park (http://www.nps.gov/bibe/) without stopping to take any photographs!  That’s not me.  Yeah, it was high sun (10am-4pm, which produces drab colors in photos) and hazy, and I’ve been here before many times, and probably got those pictures anyhow before in better light, which happens around sunrise and sunset, but that’s not me!  I’ve been driving 6-7 hours a day, taking a walk, going to get something to eat, then walking back to my nest, and going to sleep for the last ten days.  That’s too much without a break from driving!  I’m taking care of that now.  I’m at one of my favorite camp sites in my travels.  There’re only three camping spots here.  It’s 6pm, the other two have nobody, although the reservation/permit desk said they were taken.  It’s amazing how they can’t keep track of what sites are occupied and which ones aren’t.  I don’t care; I got one for tonight and tomorrow night, and one’s all I need.  The site has a great view of the high rock wall between Mexico and the USA with a break in it where the Rio Grande has cut St. Elena Canyon.  Quite a spectacle and it’s near Terlingua Creek, where I soak my feet, after the sun cools down.  At 3pm on this 28th day of March it was 105 degrees in the sun and 87 degrees in the shade.  I’m looking forward to climbing the bluff after supper in the evening coolness and photographing the desert, creek, St. Elena in the distance and hopefully a colorful sunset and Mother Nature will give me something special to accent my photos.
I got to the National Park, which is about the size of the state of Rhode Island, about 11:30am and after driving here, have not done much, and nothing that required exertion.  I’m considering taking my one pot meal, a combination from my freezer of roast pork, black beans, onions, and plantains from El Sibone, a Cuban Restaurant in Key West, mixed with February’s freshly harvested zucchini squash and sweetcorn from Homestead, Florida.  My meal is a wonderfully slow heated blend of magnificent flavors.  I was going to carry it to the creek and sit in the water and eat, but it’s still 103 degrees in the sun at 6:30pm.  I’ll eat in the shade of my nest!
I walked up the dirt road that leads to here to look at what I needed to negotiate to get here and see if there may’ve been a better way.  Obviously a rain storm washed a gulley down the middle of the road before I got here.  There was barely room on the right side to fit my truck without going too deep into the rut.  I thought maybe I should/ve straddled the rut, but it’s too wide.  I decided I did right.  It reminded me of the terrible hill coming out of ToroWeep on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  This spot that I had to go through to get here wasn’t that bad, but bad enough.  There’re campsites before you get to the bad spot and it’s less than a mile walk from there to the creek.  I’ll think of that next time!  Then I walked to the creek, walked through the water to the other side and enjoyed its coolness; then up the bank to an old abandoned mining town from the 1920s.  Some of the walls of the stone dwellings still remain and there’re remnants of pottery and tools strewn around. 
I ate my meal, which was delicious, then climbed the bluff.  I got to the top, looked around and headed for the rim overlooking the creek.  As I arrived I saw two large animals crossing the creek. I thought, OMG, could they be bears?  I fumbled with my camera to get the correct settings, but it took too long.  Yeah, I know, just shoot on automatic and get the picture, then do it right!  I stood waiting and hoping there would be more animals, then  three javelina appeared, so the first two must’ve been javelinas, too, but they were much bigger.   Mother Nature always has something special in a place like this. I wonder what’s here that I don’t see?!?!  As I got back to my nest, I saw a light in the sky. It was too big for a star and was not moving.  Not sure what it is.  Maybe the space shuttle, a satellite, or the US Government has a surveillance balloon near here, but it’s to the northwest and this was to the east.  Who knows what it is?  I snapped a couple of photos; when I downloaded them and viewed them, the object appeared to be round like the moon.  What I saw was not round!  Maybe a UFO!
I didn’t get any color in the sunset, so I returned to my nest.  It was hot inside.  The hinge on the vent in the ceiling broke a week or so ago, so I have it tied shut.  It really enhances the ventilation, when it’s opened.  Hopefully tomorrow before it gets too hot, I can get it fixed well enough to open it, and then tie it closed again before I get on an interstate.  Going up on the roof of my nest now was out of the question.  I’d have singed anything that touched that metal roof!
Tomorrow I’m hoping to get awake early and gaze at the stars.  I won’t be able to ID many of them, but Mother Nature’s display will be awesome.  There are absolutely no distracting lights here.  This is as remote as I’ll get.  There’re no electric or telephone lines, there’s no cell phone service, no airlines fly over, and I can’t get any radio stations.  Then, I’ll be here all day without starting my truck’s engine or moving it.  Next year in my western swing I need to go to less places and stay at each longer.  My best days are always when I don’t drive!
The next morning I slept in, missing the stars, and walked north along the creek, saw a towhee, a strange black winged insect with a long reddish abdomen, and birds I had no idea what they were.  In the afternoon I basked in the creek.  When I got back to my nest it was time to move to CottonWood Camp Site for the night. 
 
Bob R  o.c.FotoGuy
more photos @ picasaweb.google.com/o.c.fotoguy2009
& facebook.com/OCfotoguy
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