Saturday, January 31, 2009

Vacation from Terlingua

Feeling the need to go to Green Valley, Arizona to visit Marie, Vic, (John’s sister and brother in law) Dorothy, and Earl (John’s parents); to celebrate Marie’s birthday.  (How old you ask? I can’t tell you. But she looks much younger than she is and I get a bottle of 2 Dog for not telling.)

So we leave our home (trailer) in Terlingua in the hands of our friends, heading out at 6:00AM. (Quit groaning at the time!)  We are dressed in shorts and t-shirts knowing its going to warm up, but its only 38 degrees now.  (IT WILL WARM UP)

Moving north, on 118, the sun comes up about 7:30AM, and its very cool, NO, ITS $@%& COLD, 21 DEGREES just north of Marfa!  I’m thinking, this truck better not stop, if it does I could freeze something off.

As we are driving along with the cold air and the warmth of the desert floor, mirages everywhere, I look and see cliffs where there really are no cliffs; shimmering in the distance.  As I look ahead, way out in front of me, the road appears to move and wiggle as I approach.  Occasionally, off to my side, about ¼ to ½ mile out, I see an object that is pacing me, which I think is some kind of reflection of our truck.  It kind of makes you think, we are in the area of Marfa where we have seen the lights of Marfa, what could this be?  (Click here for more on the lights:  http://www.texasescapes.com/TOWNS/Marfa_Texas/MarfaLightsMarfaTexasMysteryLightsFestival.htm )

 

Now its time to take in a local Shop, out here, on our way to Green Valley, right next to Nowhere, yes its Prada, nothing for miles but this little shop.  Yes we took pictures, just for you.  Don’t ask why its there, because we don’t know, but you can see it for yourself.

 

As we made it to Green Valley the temperature was in the 70’s

 

Marie’s request, for her 29th birthday, is for John to cook his world famous pork ribs on the grille.  Friends gather at Marie and Vic’s (including our new best friends from New York, Kim and Chris; they were staying in a state park less than an hour away) and the party begins.  Ah, the smell of ribs being cooked, perfectly on the grille.  The homemade rib sauce simmering.  This is going to be GOOD.  Suddenly there is that bad feeling, Houston we have a problem!  Seems that the dripping grease from the ribs has caught FIRE.  Squirting with water isn’t working, turning off the burners isn’t working, and closing the lid on the grille isn’t working. OH CRAP, get the ribs off!  Finally the fire burns it self out and the ribs go back on.  The smaller ones look a little BURNED, oh well just dunk them in sauce and no one will notice. (I hope)

Lets just say, people that had meaty ribs were happy and gave out complements but those that picked those dinky ribs didn’t have anything to say, hmm?

Guess the folks that had the dinky ribs didn’t have enough to drink, or they don’t like charcoal. You decide.

 

What to do in Green Valley with sunny skies temps in the 70’s how about a car show…at the golf course?  Wonder how the golfers feel about that? …Like John would care! Check out the pictures.

 

John and his mother always plan a Mother and Son day and this year was no exception. A great Mexican lunch and a little sight seeing.

How about a visit to a Mission that has been in operation since 1692?  Yes that’s 1-6-9-2.  There are still services on Sundays and it seems to be in a constant state of restoration.  (No, the roof did not fall in when John walked in!  He did have his steel umbrella, just in case.)

 

The Jesuit missionary and explorer, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, first visited Bac (Yes, Bac is the name of the town) in 1692.  Eight years later in 1700, Father Kino laid the foundations of the first church, some two miles north of the present site of the Mission.  He named it San Xavier in honor of his chosen patron, St. Francis Xavier, the illustrious Jesuit "Apostle of the Indies."

The Franciscan Fathers Juan Bautista Velderrain and Juan Bautista Llorenz built the present church from 1783 - 1797.  Little is known about the actual labor of the construction of the church, who was the architect, or who were the artisans, but many believe it was the Tohono O’Odham who fulfilled these roles. Why the one tower was never completed is still a mystery, but hopefully one day this question will be answered.

And that’s all I have to say about that. (This section may have been written by someone else. http://www.sanxaviermission.org/History.html)

 

June spent the day with Marie at a PEO luncheon and fashion show. PEO is a sisterhood organization to further the education of women nationally and internationally.  To know more see: http://www.peointernational.org/

There were 29 tables of eight women, each table was set to a theme of the place setting, all I can say is it was elegant.  The luncheon was simple, healthy and luscious.  The 24 models were parading throughout; during the meal; we were provided a brochure describing the clothes, accessories, designer and costs.  All models were PEO ladies. The brochure also included a discount coupon for the store who did the fashion show. I did not go shopping, but the clothes and luncheon was a real treat and all for $20.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Years

Let’s catch up on what’s been happening.

Our new best friends, Kim and Chris, have a trailer full of toys.  Motorcycles, bicycles, and two kayaks.  Deciding it was time to get the boats wet, they needed someone to drop them off upstream.  So we load them up and take them to Grassy Flats, where they can launch themselves into the Rio Grande.  Being new at kayaking they got their test shortly after launching with some rapids. We really couldn’t get a good view, due to brush, but there were a number of nervous comments coming from the river, including a little whining.

But not to fear, they made it through without getting wet.

We left Kim and Chris and headed back to camp.  Later, when they got back we found all went well until they went to get out of the river, where we left their truck.  Some how Kim managed to fall in?

 

New Years Eve brought friends and good food together.  How about some steaks on the grille with all the fixings.

Yes there were a few spirits on New Years, too.  And some of us made it past midnight.

 

After a recovery we decided to make a trip into Big Bend National Park to check the damage from flooding. 

Over the summer there were heavy rains, here as well as up stream.  The Mexican dams had too much water to hold so they opened the floodgates and said, “Here it comes.”

The water in the Rio Grande ran high for 30 days.  The best golf course in the area, at Lajitas was washed out, leaving only 4 holes to play.  (Boy, I lost a lot of sleep over that! NOT!)

Going into the Park we made our turn down Old Maverick Rd for the 13-mile trip.  Its gravel and really is 13 miles of bad road.  (http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/roadsides_oldmavrd.htm)

The hiking trail into Santa Elena Canyon was washed out and is closed.  (http://www.americansouthwest.net/texas/big_bend/santa_elena_canyon.html)

Cotton Wood campground was half washed out, with repairs still underway.

Driving up, on pavement, to Castolon for the best ice cream in the park we made our way into the store walked over to the freezer and selected a one of the pre-packaged goodies. (not Baskin Robins…) (http://www.texasescapes.com/TexasGhostTowns/CastolonTexas/CastolonTexas.htm)

It may not sound that good to you but after 13 miles on Old Maverick Rd it’s the only ice cream for 80 miles, and it was great!

We make our circle tour safely back to camp in time for …you guessed it …Happy Hour!

 

On January 4 we rounded everyone up for a trip into Ernst Tinaja, just because we love it so much, and Chris and Kim had never seen it.

Chris and Kim, still having toys in their camper that have not been used, wanting to use bicycles to make the trip from the pavement into Ernst Tinaja.

Giving Chris and Kim a head start we made our way to Old Ore Rd, 6 miles of rough rocky road (not ice cream, ROAD) which leads to Ernst Tinaja.  (Old Ore Rd makes Old Maverick Rd look like a freeway.)  Thanks to Larry and Polly we are in their 4-wheel drive truck.  Finding Chris and Kim’s truck parked and the bicycles gone we make our way down the road.  About a mile or two we see two people hiking down the road.  As we get closer we discover them to be Chris and Kim?  Where are the bicycles we ask?  Seems as though just after they started out one of those bike tires went flat. They stashed the bicycles in the bushes and began hiking in.  They gladly hopped in the back of the truck for the rest of the ride in.

We all looked over the fascinating rock formations, with water in the Tinaja.

Chris, Kim, and I walked up the canyon to what has always been the end of the trail due to a large rock blocking the way.  But Chris, being 6’5” was able to reach up, pull himself up, and get Kim and I up as well.  COOL!

I have been coming here for 6 years and have never been able to get past this point!  We walked up the canyon following its curves and turns enjoying the rock formations.

As with every hike we enjoyed our carried in lunches while relaxing and taking in the beauty of Big Bend.