Our trip started on Sunday. We didn't leave earlier in the weekend because I really wanted time to finish up my work, so I could be entirely free during our vacation, and Matt was eager to play in his soccer game on Sunday. At the last minute, we learned that we couldn't take our bloodhound, Hoss, into Big Bend National Park with us, so I had to take him to Camp Canine.
After a brief spat with each other (we were both irritated about various things), we drove six hours to Uvalde, a small Texas town that offers concealed handgun classes for a mere $25. We checked into a cheap hotel and attempted to swim. We quickly realized, however, that the pool was quite arctic, and that we would rather cozy up under the comforter and watch the National Geographic station (which, by the way, was showing an amazing special about sperm).
The next morning we indulged in the delicious free breakfast (they actually had a waffle iron that made Texas-shaped waffles!) and headed west. Thanks to my iPhone, we realized that we were heading into some nasty weather and that it might not make sense to camp at Big Bend that night. Again, thanks to my trusty iPhone, I booked us a room at a very fancy hotel for a mere $97. We indulged in the most scrumptious veggie burgers we'd eaten in a long time and started a game of Scrabble. We also stopped by the local book store, and I wrote down some books I want to read. Specifically, This Organic Life and Farm City.
The next morning, we headed into Big Bend. The weather was still sub-optimal, but we were eager to camp. As we entered the park, we saw a sign that indicated all the camp sites were full. Fight #2 ensued as we debated about what to do. Finally, we decided to stand in line for a primitive camping permit, even though our chances were looking quite abysmal.
Much to the shock of the obsessive planner that dwells within my head, a spot opened up at a primitive campsite right when it was our turn in line. The ranger booked us in the spot quickly, and gave us the run-down about what to do in case of mountain lion and bear spottings.
We trekked approximately 1.5 miles to our campsite and set up shop. Our spot was completely secluded from the main trail and also secluded from the side trail it was on. Heavenly! After ditching our heavy packs, we continued to follow the South Rim trail for about 12 miles. Then we hiked back down for dinner at the lodge. That night, we barely slept due to the frigid temperatures and the fact that my Therm-a-Rest had a dreadful hole in it, and I essentially had to sleep on the rocky ground. Ouch! No worries. The night sky completely made up for our discomfort. I've never seen so many stars. God bless rural Texas!
The next day, we headed to Marfa, the artist mecca of rural Texas. We ate at the Food Shark, imbibed delicious drinks at Squeeze, got our burning questions answered at the Chamber of Commerce, met Lorna Leedy of Fancy Pony Land fame, and relaxed at our B&B. That night, we journeyed up the mountain to the McDonald Observatory and then to the platform of the mysterious Marfa Lights.
At some point, we stopped along the highway to take photos in the Blue Bonnets. Anyone from Texas understands that it is very important to take annual photos in the wildflowers.
The next day, we ended our trip by driving all the way home. Matt then headed to Austin to hang out with his brothers and friends at South by Southwest. I flew to New York for a consulting job.
The trip reminded me of how lucky I am to have found my Partner in Adventure and Awesomeness. He makes me laugh. He challenges me. His hand always feels good in mine. I'm trying my best to savor this time in our life. We're healthy. We have complete mobility. We have energy. We can drop our dog off at Camp Canine and head west into the sunset.