January 10, 2008

Hot spring evening

The drive, if rugged and beautiful, began to seem interminable. 15 miles on pretty much rubble, up and down through canyons and valleys and across hills. I watched the sun with trepidation, desperate to get to where I was going before dark so I could set up my tent. The previous 35 miles were smooth and quick, but the road suddenly turned into this boulder-strewn path. So long along it that I began to wonder if I had missed a turning, and if so what would I do? Or if I had a puncture here, what would I do? No cellphone signal in this far-off part of south Texas, unless there was something from across the Mexican border, and that wasn't likely either. No reasonable town anywhere for miles.

Then I passed, first, a roadrunner on a big stone next to the road. Just sat there watching me, arm's length from my passenger window. Second, a donkey munching placidly by the side of the road. Somehow, the two animals lifted my spirits, and in fact I got here only ten minutes past the donkey.

And I had enough light to put up the tent, then to go soak in a tub fed by one of the hot springs. 110 degrees, the man warned me. Just like I like it.

And now I sit here on a swing under the darkening sky, a clear sky that holds the promise of many stars. A fingernail moon is in the west, just above the shadowy hills.

A guest who has arrived after me stumbles past in the darkness, but then sees me and asks "Hey, that wireless?" I say yes, and he turns to his girlfriend stumbling behind him and says "Hey, they have wireless here!" And she says "Yayyyyy!" and dances a little jig. I tell her that was my reaction. Minus the jig. There's no cellphone signal, but I can use the wireless signal to call anywhere in the world from this back of beyond spot.

I think Fiji is first on the list. Why not?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love that jig too! The name of your place reminded me of the story of Chinaman Spring in Yellowstone. did someone try to make tea here?

btw, are you going to the place(s) of 90 degree bend in big bend NP? On Google earth it looks like the boundaries are formed by the face of the mountain, so even if you go there can you make out the angle? I would be interested to see how big a fence they have built there!