“I really love the outdoors and I especially love hiking and camping,” I told him about three months ago when he asked what I like to do for fun. They were words spoken out of a genuine and honest heart I promise. I may not seem like an outdoorsy kind of gal but don’t let looks deceive you! I gain great peace from being in God’s creation and it is seriously one of my favorite activities. Just check my Facebook info. Facebook bios DO NOT LIE people!
As honest as that statement was, I admit that when he asked if I’d like to go on a four day camping/hiking trip into the mountainous desert of soooo-outh (notice the emphasis on the south part) Texas, I was a little apprehensive. No, actually I was really excited until I found out that it would just be me, him and his brother on this adventure…where my girls at? Oh and then my anxiety took a little bit more of a surge when I heard that all the campsites were full the first night so we would literally be backpacking into the desert and finding the best place to make camp. What are we John Wayne? At least the ‘King of the West’ had the camera crew to help him if he got into a pickle! Not to mention he was teeming with masculinity. I on the other hand…well…am not.
“So, were you just talking a big game?” he said teasingly the night before we left as my inner anxieties may have begun to show through. “Of course not! I can handle it!” I said determined to not be THAT girl. You know, the one who can’t get dirt under her nails, sweat a little bit and use mother nature as her outhouse. I refuse to ever be THAT girl.
So, on a Monday morning bright and early, the three of us set out on an adventure that I’ll never forget. Big Bend National Park welcomed us with its dry ground, amazingly warm March temperatures and unique mountainous terrain. The sun was just beginning to make its daily farewell as we put on our backpacks (mine was about 3/4 the size of me…for real) and headed out into the desert. After about an hour of hiking through the hills, with my legs screaming in anger and my lungs yelling in rebellion, we found a flat hilltop with a perfect view of the sunset. Deciding it would serve well as our temporary home, we pitched our tents and began to cook dinner. Since the area has been in extreme drought, there are no fires which meant cooking on this awesome little gas stove. I loved that little stove by the end of the trip. I think I should give it a name in honor of its hard work. Maybe Bessie. That’s a good hard-working name.
AAAHHH but I digress. The sun began to set and with the wind as our only iPod and the stars as our only lamp, we laughed over a game of cards and then curled up, welcoming a slumber in God’s perfect creation. The next few days were filled with LOTS of hiking, LOTS of annoying flies, LOTS of laughter and LOTS of great conversation. I am proud to say that I managed to hold my own (both of my companions are over 6′ 1″ compared to my 5’2″), becoming a champ at Mother Nature’s outhouse (sorry if that is TMI) and rocking the ‘I haven’t showered in four days’ look. We sat in a natural hot tub along the Rio Grande, stood 50 yards from Mexico and made great memories. I may not have become Mrs. John Wayne but it was a great trip cause well…all in all…I really do love the outdoors 🙂
P.S. So, I promise I haven’t abandoned this blog. Really I haven’t. I’ve just been a little MIA because excited things are happening for Mary Fields Photography! It’s been a bit insane for the last week but I’m excited to share some of the progress I’ve made soon so stay tuned. Unfortunately until then, my blogging may be a bit sporadic but don’t worry, it is only for a short season.
Quick funny story: this picture below shows our hike the second day. We literally hiked down the side of this thing. It was not that bad except when I began to think of the inevitable. We would have to hike back up!! We got to the bottom about an hour and a half before sunset…having left our head lamps back at the tents. Not good. Trying to decide if we should risk it or not, we ran into a fun and interesting local who thankfully offered to give us a ride to the top. It was a comical car ride…if you could have been there you’d understand, but we were incredibly grateful for his kindness. Can you imagine me stuck on the side of this thing all night?!?! I’m not that hard core.
Ha ha he was using my lens as a mirror. Love the alfalfa hair.
Even the desert is pretty.
We almost lost this frisbee numerous times…and it was usually my fault.
So…this was a comforting sign. Especially since I am not much bigger than a child. This was one of those, “Now Mary, don’t be a girl,” moments.
Apparently, according to them, guys don’t smile in pictures cause its not very masculine. Who knew.
We climbed down into this old waterfall ledge. Pretty cool.
I brought out my camera in the morning and starting taking pictures cause hello, thats what I do. The boys decided to mock me by doing silly poses. Oh dear. Again…where my girls at?
Everyone…meet Bessie. I love you Bessie.
I ate out of this cup for every meal for four days. If that’s not a John Wayne move I don’t know what is.
Oatmeal. Everything tastes better when you eat it outside.
That’s Bessie on the left. I may name my first child Bessie as a thank you.
Sorry if this grosses you out…
Bessie and I. She looks a lot better than I do. Seriously. My eyes are literally bleary, but no worries. I’m practically Mrs. John Wayne remember? We don’t worry about things like bleary eyes…
Brothers. Look they are actually smiling for a picture. It’s monumental.
Cute 🙂 He’s a retired athlete (not really…it’s a joke) and I’m a hard core mountain woman. We are too cool for school.
If you could have heard the echo. It was awesome.
So yeah, they fell off the cliff and I took pictures but don’t worry though. They are strong so they pulled themselves up. It was no big deal.
Our fearless trip leader and true outdoorsman.