The Face Of a Stranger

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Boquillas, Mexico circa 1980’s by charlie schuler

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A Light In the Bend

The Rio Grande River, looking from Mexico into Texas

looking across Rio Bravo, from Mexico into Texas

Rio Bravo. It is known as Rio Grande in the USA. I prefer the Spanish. As a boy, I stood on the far bank chucking rocks into Mexico and wondering how the English managed to give this diminutive river such a name. It didn’t look very grand to me. Of course, as a boy I had no idea that it is a magnificent drainage system with headwaters in Colorado. And now, all grown up, I understand how powerful a river can be, separating nations and cultures and economies.

Boquillas Del Carmen, Mexico, circa 1980

La Villa de Boquillas del Carmen, Mexico, circa 1980

Boquillas del Carmen, Mexico. I traveled here with dad several times and I believe it was one of his favorite places. My brother Mark lives just across the river and he, too, visits Boquillas often. He told me that it has only this year acquired electricity.

A las familias de la villa de Boquillas del Carmen, felicidades y salud!

The Cactus Rose

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Big Bend, 2006. This is the Chihuahuan desert, arid and spartan by the standards of many. But life is abundant here and after a rain this brown land blossoms into a delicate thing of beauty. This is the flower of the prickly pear cactus. Many confuse it with The Yellow Rose of Texas, but there is no connection. The latter refers to Emily D. West who, legend tells, aided the Texans in their victory at San Jacinto.

Whenever I see this delicate but wild flower I think about Tom Doniphon who expressed his love for Hallie by giving her a cactus rose. In another post I related the undying love of Delores Gavino Doporto. Tom loved like that, too. and sacrificed his personal dreams to ensure the future happiness of his girl. If you do not know his story, I highly recommend John Ford’s wonderful movie, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

Who Is That Girl In the Window?

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The Window at Big Bend, Texas, 2006. The 5.6 mile trail winds through Oak Canyon. Eons of intermittent waters have carved the Window through the mountain fortress that you see rising to Lindsay’s left and right. The water has polished the floor to a high gloss, hard and slick. Watch out – that is a 200 foot drop out there! Even in March, the walk left us warm and sweaty. There is always a breeze in the cut, though, cooled by the massive stone walls that never feel the touch of the sun, and before long we donned our long-sleeved shirts.