Almost as an afterthought, I dipped into the cargo box of backcountry maps, grabbed the Big Bend bag, and threw it in the luggage for our Thanksgiving 2004 visit to "Villa Acosta" in Terlingua, Texas—the family home of my wife Iselda.
Our first stop was El Paso, home of Gisela, Gabriel, and nephew Alejandro. Gabe is Iselda's youngest brother and, thanks to the lovely German woman who wandered into the Kiva one winter day in 1995, is nearly a bona fide Euromex. While there, I rooted around in the map bag and found a journal I had forgotten about. Occasionally I would keep a journal on my solo hikes, and, as always, opening this one brought a gust of familiar scents.
I will post chapters as I write them here in Eugene, Oregon, for submission to Lane Community College's "Nature Writers Journal." I never carried a camera but there are plenty of geographical references.
So, if you have a curiosity about the far reaches of Big Bend and the near reaches of wild Coahuilla, grab an atlas or two and ramble along as I reminisce.