Big Bend -- Big Wind
The sound around me shook me from my sleep. It was about 1 a.m., the wind had returned, and a thick blanket of clouds smothered the Milky Way. The night was much darker, and I looked for the moon while the wind whipped the tarp at my shoulder. I pulled my bedroll bag out from under the tarp, stuffing a large rock and everything else nearby into it, and used it to anchor the tarp.
It was cold and the wind made it a lot colder, but I was cozy in my mummy bag. The distant sound of the wind reminded me of a little place I like to visit near Marble, Colorado. Up the side of a mountain, thereís a good-sized stream that cascades down the steep and rocky walls of the mountains lining each bank. You can hear the water as it crashes against rock, hollow, and limb on its way down to Beaver Lake, and the constant rumble of the wind in the distance reminded me of that water, but the feeling was a world away.
The gusts announced themselves before they arrived. As the force increased, so did the hiss and rumble, but this time with whistles and roars from the wind forcing its way through wiry scrub brush and thorn. It approached in steps and turns, and sometimes I could hear it scream past me in the desert, but when it hit, I could hear nothing else until the assault subsided twenty or thirty seconds later.
The clouds had been little cause for concern until Dad asked whether I had been feeling the drops. I had, but just a few, and I hadnít been ready to convince myself that it would rain. Now a convert, I jumped up, grabbed the tent bag, and with my back bearing the brunt of the gale, started fumbling with the string, while scattered drops fell all about. Dad yelled to leave it, and I climbed back into my bedroll, folding half the tarp over us. Whistle and the hiss was replaced by crack and pop as the wind whipped the plastic tarp into a frenzied dance about my face and ears. At least we were dry, I thought, as our breath collected in the folds of the tarp and chilled our cheeks whenever it touched. The last time I looked at my clock it was around 4:15.
Breaking camp was tough, since the wind was still very strong, and cooking bacon and eggs is tougher. Next time, the eggs go into a sanitized bottle before we leave home, and we cook in the arroyo. A couple of hours later, we were off.
How you park your bike is as important as where you park your bike.
And Iím replacing the bushing in the sidestand.
The store at Rio Grande campground has gas, supplies, recycling boxes, and a place to clean up. You pay twice as much as the gas pump reads. Aaah, the good old days. The video is just of the building as I drive up.
A short way away is Boquillas Canyon. I didnít have the camera on and didnít realize it until weíd driven away from it. Hereís a shot from a distance:
With Boquillas Canyon behind us, we skipped the hot springs and headed straight for River Road East!