sunshine state of mind marquee
Big Bend 2013
The Window
The 100th day of the year.


Often, to see everything, one must dismount from their ride and take a walk. The Window Walk through Oak Creek Canyon is well worth your time and effort. You must be of hearty stock to traverse this trail. During a rainy season there is often a stream of water that has to be leaped over from time to time as you make your way down a 980 foot drop in 2.8 miles – rock to rock, often a slippery rock. Starting at a different trail-head, the Basin Campground, the distance is reduced to 2.2 miles with a 500 foot descent.

The day I started the hike it was dry, in the middle of a terrible drought, with sunny skies and mild temperatures. I wore my camera sling bag and carried the camera. I would have taken more pix on the way down but I was too busy gawking. I knew if I got too involved in shooting and walking I would most like end up on my butt, or worse. I would not trade the experience for anything.

Comeuppance

I am a fairly hearty fellow. I've been athletic all my life. The walk down was EZPZ and I never considered what goes down has to go up on the return - silly me – I'll talk about this in a minute.
The Walk Down This is the rock. I'll explain a little later. First, I will display some shots I took before and during my descent.


The Basin
Headed up Chisos Mountain

Barren Trail


Looking Back
Nameless Friend
Step Descent Easy Path
Two totally different types of paths - same route.
This is where it starts to get tricky. If you're careful – it is really fun!
Sausage Man is proud of his sausage
Steep Descent
Window to Big Bend
The Window Vista
Well worth the effort!

Ok, the rock, remember the rock?

On my way down to The Window, I passed a couple of elderly people, almost blocking the path. I got a little attitude but was smart enough to keep it to myself. I proceeded down the path. It was a breeze, with the occasional slow down to ease by way through some slippery footing. I wondered if the old folks were going to be able to make it. When I got to the bottom, there were a couple of 50ish women taking in the scene. They were nice enough to take my picture. We chatted, other people came down – we chatted. Here comes my peeps – the path blockers.

What I haven't told you is that I had contracted some sort of cold that settled into my lungs. We had started the trip on a cold and damp morning. It wasn't until we reached Southwest Texas that it warmed up. By then I was wheezing, hacking, and coughing. It was bad enough that I was worried the rasp coming from my tent at night would keep other campers awake. I didn't really notice it on the way down – the reality hit me, nobody there to help me back up — not to worry, It isn't that far.

I started trudging up the mountain. At first it wasn't too bad but within a quarter mile I was huffing and puffing like a coal burning, steam locomotive climbing a steep grade. No time at all and I was under a little tree, leaning on the trunk, making a racket like a rutting bull elephant. About the time I could see clearly again, I looked down the trail and I spied the old couple making their way up the trail. Taking a deep breath I pushed myself from the tree and vowed to not let them pass me by. Alas, I was only fooling myself. I stopped two more times, each time noticing that those two, who had now become my nemesis, were gaining on me. I made a valiant effort and put everything I had into the climb. My flesh was weak. I saw the rock and had to sit to rest, I simply could not go on. About the time my pants back pockets hit the stone the old folks strode by me like they were doing a walk in the park, nodding their recognition as the swung their walking sticks with each step. My pride dashed, I soon followed with my head bowed. I had been defeated. All I could do now is offer my weapon in surrender and take the ridicule like an adult.

I made it to the top and thanked the air and all those I could imagine for providing a picnic table for me to sit upon. I was relieved to know the worst was over. I held onto that. I looked up and couldn't believe my eyes. The gray haired grandma was walking towards me with a cold bottle of water. Oh the insult rubbed into the injury, the salt in the wound. I was mortified. She was such a kindly spoken woman. I couldn't be mad. I thanked her profusely. I told her how I had a lung infection and how tough it was getting back to the top. She nodded knowingly and gave the the mental pat on the head I was looking for. Then she explained that she'd recently undergone surgery and that this was the first walk she was on since getting out of the hospital. Her spine was crooked so they put a titanium rod along her spine to straighten and strengthen it. Well that deflated my pitiful lung story. Trampled it in the dirt it did – I was sure at that moment she wouldn't even accept my sword. I was destined for obscurity, me deeds ignored forever. We parted with her smiling at me with that grandmother smile. I walked back to my camp, a broken man, a mere shell of my former glory.

Before you start feeling too bad for me, I have to add – it was such a beautiful day. I had gas in my tank. It was time to head to a different part of the park. I pretty much forgot "The Window" and moved on to "The Big Bend."


Buckaroo's, this concludes the Window Walk presentation.


Page One
Riders





















Good Bye!