Wishin’ That The World Would Stop

On February 21, 2008, in Adventure, Friends, by Meghan

Emerged blossoms on a Purple-tinged prickly pear in Big Bend National Park

We were standing on a mountain top,
Where the cactus flowers grow,
I was wishin’ that the world would stop,
When you said we better go.
(Robert Earl Keen)

I find it excruciatingly challenging to appropriately explain my attachment to the great state of Texas in general, and Big Bend National Park specifically. Robert Earl Keen’s above lyrics explain my feeling fairly well: being in Big Bend makes me wish the world would just plain stop. I moved away almost 3 years ago, but Big Bend still occupies a corner of my heart. I suspect (and hope) that it will always be that way.

After the Rocky Raccoon 100 and a few days spent playing with my mom in Austin, TX, we made the seemingly never-ending, cross-Texas journey to Big Bend National Park for a week’s vacation. While I’ve surely talked to the near-end of my sweetie’s patience and interest about Big Bend, this was his first visit. I secretly hoped that, after a week of play here, he might come to love this place also. Or, at the very least, understand why I do. As such, I wish his first introduction to the place had gone just a tiny bit better.

After a long drive, we arrived by pitch-black night to one of the park’s campgrounds in the Chisos Basin. Our main interests were in pitching the tent and falling asleep as quickly as possible. I had gotten out of the car and was searching the trunk for headlamps when I heard a short, staccato series of thumps and thrashings and a single, human-made squawk come from the driver’s side of the car. I went around the car to see what had happened and all I saw were two feet, those of my sweetie’s, sticking out from some rocks and bushes!

It was really hard not to laugh at the sight (Impossible, really. Admittedly, I laughed. Kind of a lot. I still feel bad for laughing.), but my sweetie had taken a tumble into the bushes. When we got him out, it was clear that his only physical injuries were several skin-removing scratches on his face. Panic hit me quickly, though: at this rate, there was no way my sweetie would love, or even like, Big Bend!

We went to sleep almost immediately and slept until about 8:00 am, when the sun finally began to rise over the mountain peaks surrounding us. My sweetie excavated himself from the tent first, and I heard his first reaction to the scene, “Oh, whoa!” It was the sound of someone marveled by natural beauty, and it was also music to my ears! Had my sweetie forgotten last night’s abrupt and gruff introduction? I sure hoped so. When I emerged from the tent, I found him already taking pictures of the orange, sun-lit, mountain peaks and ridge tops looming 2,000 vertical feet above us. I deemed this another great sign that Big Bend was impressing itself positively on him.

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10 Responses to “Wishin’ That The World Would Stop”

  1. Backofpack says:

    Sounds wonderful. I have places that I am attached to like that…

  2. Alisha says:

    Ah, nature is… kind of great. I never did make it to Big Bend during my 3-month stint in Tejas (by the way, in Spain, they actually just call it Texas), but like backofpack said, I definitely have places that I feel the same (or at least comparably) about.

    Also, a belated “well done” on your RR100. I don’t think a DNF can eclipse what was obviously a huge accomplishment.

  3. olga says:

    Wow…you were the only one who made me want to go to TX…may be I’ll do RR after all. And great words of the song! I feel like that right now:)

  4. mtnrunR says:

    enjoy the vacation, i’m jealous

  5. JeffO says:

    Currently returning from Death Valley. A very awesome place!
    My years growing up in the hill country around Kerrville were awesome! I love arid places and the critters that crawl (except scorpions). I love the sunrises and settings. I love colors and fossils and the baring of very ancient history that you don’t tend to notice in greener places.
    Your photo of prickly pear is about the best I’ve ever seen. I love the cactus and yucca.
    I DON’T miss the HEAT!!! Aya! Gimme mountains and blowing snow! I love the outdoors, but nothing more than the Rockies.
    I will have to return to California and Utah, and maybe a trip to Mexico.
    You write so well. You should write the offical Big Bend book.

  6. Meghan says:

    Happy weekending, y’all!

    Michelle- I think we all need those places that we are attached to. Humans have been bound to their environments ever since the caveman days!

    Alisha- Sorry you missed Big Bend, but it sure is a long way from the rest of Texas! Enjoy every moment of Spain; I envy you!

    Olga- Heh, there really is something about Texas. It’s a little inexplicable, so you’ll have to see it for yourself. 🙂

    Tom- Don’t be jealous! Look at the beautiful place you live!

    JeffO- Hope you had an awesome vacation, and I look forward to hearing about it! The desert is one of those strange, quirky places that you can’t help but love, scorpions and all! 🙂

  7. KendraBo says:

    Why is the occasional klutzy mishap so endearing? It so is! I’m glad the involuntary epidermal sacrifice didn’t prevent him from seeing the beauty at dawn. I know how important it is to have the one you love also love the place you love. Lots of love, yep, yep!

  8. A says:

    I love the purple prickly pear photo! Nice! Hope you’ll have more photos to post; can’t wait to hear more tales of this beautiful place!


  9. corrdogiambalvo says:

    Hey Megahn and sweetie. Beautiful photo, beautiful thoughts…

  10. Meghan says:

    Kendra- An epidermal sacrifice, that is what I will forever call this incident!

    Anne- More tales coming! Acutally I just posted some more right now.

    Corrado- Hi to you!

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