Thursday, June 4, 2009



After a less than restful night along the banks of the Rio Grande we decided we would leave our trusty ol' camper parked just where it was and head out for parts unknown in the pickup truck.

Our first order of business was to check out the campground in the Chisos Mountains. That was a good choice. The drive up to the campground was incredibly beautiful...quite an incline at times, but absolutely stunning scenery. We were a bit concerned that we would not be able to find a camp site there since all sites are on a first come first serve basis. But, as I have mentioned before, one of the perks of being a senior is being able to travel when most other people are in school or working. We were traveling in early April and although many people were in the park, it was not crowded. We found a great spot! The minute we saw it we knew we wanted to stay right there. So, in order to make sure the site stayed in our possession, I retrieved my other James Lee Burke novel, my cooler of Diet Cokes, my comfortable camp chair and the dog, parked myself right down under the covered shelter and waved good-bye to Skip as he headed back to the Rio Grande Village to hook up the trusty little Chalet and bring her back to the Chisos Basin. The dog and I were alone there at the campsite for several hours. That's how long it took for Skip to get back to the Rio Grande, hook up and get back to the Basin. It was a wonderful time. I tried to read, but I couldn't take my eyes off of the scenery. I saw something new everywhere I looked. The rock formations were alive. Now, my children have often accused me of being on drugs because I see things that no one else sees. But I promise, if you look closely, you can see the same things. I saw an elderly Indian woman climbing the mountain, I saw a great beast of the mountain holding on to his territory for dear life, I saw praying hands, I saw a nativity, and I saw an Indian chief and his wife. I decided they were Peta Nocona and Cynthia Anne Parker on their wedding day. I'll post the pictures. See if you don't agree. These formations were all seen while sitting and looking in one direction from our campsite. It was beautiful.

"Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker"

See his high cheek bones and deep set eyes, and the strong Indian nose? She is right beside him with a smile on her small mouth, the lace from her wedding veil between her eyes and over the ears, and a small pearl earring in her left ear lobe. You can see it, can't you? Actually, I think her mouth looks a little like Barbara Bush. This is a beautiful carving.

"The Nativity"

You can see it, can't you? The three wise men on the left, a little lamb in the center, and Mary, Joseph and an angel all hovering over the baby Jesus? There's a little lamb there, too. Or maybe it's a puppy. Were there puppies at the Nativity? Should have been.

"The Praying Hands"

See how beautifully they are folded in prayer? How long have they been there, lifted up to God in praise? Or, what body lies beneath with only the million year old hands visable? You can see it, can't you? It's amazing.

"Indian Maiden Climbing the Mountain"
There she is. You can see her can't you? At first I thought it was an old Indian woman climbing the mountain, but on reflection I think it is probably a young Indian maiden being sacrificed to the Gods. She is slowly walking to her destiny and has been frozen there for a million years. She is beautiful. You can see her, can't you? Her long beaded robe flowing down behind?

"The Great Creature of the Mountain"

Here he is. You can see him, can't you? His knarled paws lying on either side of his long trunk. He has been holding on to his side of the mountain for many years. He's not about to let go now. I think I even heard him rumble from deep within during the night. I assured him I did not want a piece of his mountain. His space was safe with me.

This was the absolutely perfect place to set up camp, and we made it our home base for three days...definitely not too long. There is so much to see in this beautiful section of our country. I feel a little sorry for the people in the big rigs. They can't set up base here. They can't navigate the steep rises and sharp turns. So, the "Basin" is left for tenters and people like us who travel with little rigs.

There is also a motel type lodge with 58 rooms and some rustic cabins located in the Chisos Basin. The facility has a nice restaurant and gift shop located within. The Chisos Mountains are a grand place to be.


  1. Great story! I live in Texas and I've never been to Big Bend but hope to get to go soon. And I saw all the things you pointed out!

  2. Thanks for checking in on my blog. I'm always so happy when someone reads something that I have written. I'm even happier that you saw all of the same things in the mountains that I saw.

  3. Absolutely beautiful. I've always been able to see the things you see in your rock formations, or in the clouds, or in the knotty pine Skip has put on the walls!

    Had a little trouble with the Chief and Cynthia Ann, but after enlarging I could see just what you were talking about!

  4. The only place I've camped at Big Bend has been the basin.

    Although I've often wondered how it would be at other campgrounds, I've always wimped out and opted for the security of the known. We've managed to camp at Campsite 43 on four consecutive trips, and have declared it our favorite.

    I tried to imagine which campsite was yours from the photo, but couldn't.

    Our campsite has a good view of your "Nativity", and I've spent a lot of time looking at it, without seeing the scene you describe so well. Now I will never see it the same as before.

    I had imagined the formation on the right as a pioneer woman with a small child, holding it tightly as a young bear, perhaps a pet, stretches up from the floor trying to reach the baby.

    One thing I can say with absolute certainty about the basin, is that the rock formations are strongly dependent on the position of the sun. You will see different things at different times, but I'm sure that I will, from now on, forever, see The Nativity in Chisos Basin!

  5. I find that I don't have to be anonymous (again. I never can remember that the profile I should choose is "Google account". The WWW is such a mystery! It only does what you tell it to do, not what you wish it to do).

    Consider this to be a PS to the preceding comment.

    Willie C

  6. So glad that Willie fixed the Anonymous problem! You should check out his blog, LK, at Meander3081!

  7. wow grandma, all your pictures are truly amazing. you have a wonderful gift of seeing the magic in everything. i loved them all. love you and papa, be safe and ill see you soon.

    love always,

  8. Hi,

    This is Zara Karim. This is my second time to your blog and I am highly impressed by the quality of writing and freshness of content. I would like to be in touch with you. My email address is It would be an honor for me.


  9. Now this is what I call big. The closest I think we have in Western Australia is Wave Rock, not sure but I have never seen as big an outcrop of rocks as these, thanks for the pictures and post. Love the view from your campsite.

  10. Big Bend is so beautiful. Here in East Texas we don't have such pretty landscapes. Can't wait for my next trip out that way. Great photos and great imagination

  11. Spent many happy months in Big Bend. Now in AZ on a continuous 10 year camping trip. Search YouTube for nick-howard-desert-hideout.

  12. It certainly looks like a great place to go camping. Just make sure that your bags are packed with the essentials!