Annual Big Bend Country Pilgrimage

Every year for as long as I can remember, and insofar as I was living in the United States, I have made an annual pilgrimage to the Big Bend Country. My expectations earlier this year were to go with the same company I’d been with the last four years. Alas, life doesn’t quite work out as we expect, does it? The Window
So, this year I decided to take my favorite person in the whole world: I am taking my Mom.

It’s her first time. As a matter of fact, it’s the first time her and I have traveled together since we took my little sister to college in Princeton, New Jersey in 1990. The drive up there was tense, as my sister was ready to get away from us. But on the drive back, Mom and I meandered across America and American history, stopping in Monticello, Gettysburg and a couple of other interesting places, the highlight of which was the Blue Ridge Mountains Trace, a road that follows the peaks of the mountains. Just lovely. But that was a long time ago. Pronghorn Antelope

Mom’s a war horse and damn good traveler. She’s got 15-20 different countries under her belt and she’s going to Cuba in January, so she knows the rules of the road. I’m also looking forward to spending some quality time with her and learning more about her side of the family, mostly aristocratic Italians who fled Italy in the 1870s for Mexico. Classy folks, much unlike the heathen, drunken Irish on my father’s side. Santa Elena Canyon

I’m super excited to share my knowledge of West Texas with her: geology, Indian lore, birds, mammals, stories of cattle rustlers, cowboys and old Judge Roy Bean all make so good bullshit. And we all know I have an absolute profusion of that.

2 Responses to “Annual Big Bend Country Pilgrimage”

  1. T for Texas

    Nice photo of the Pronghorn! I understand they are not easy to approach so closely, but these may be juveniles, based on the antlers? Enjoy your travels with your mom.

  2. Sean Paul

    T, I’m very fortunate to have a rather large camera lens. It’s a 300mm. Not the top of the line version, those are way out of my range. But this lens can do wonders at times. These Pronghorns were about 50 yards from me, sauntering around in a field just north of Marfa. I’ve seen them out in this parts many times. I’ve never noticed them to be totally skittish of people, but they are wary. I have some photos of Pronghorns in New Mexico that allowed me to get astonishingly close. I guess it just depends. I don’t know the Pronghorns well enough to say if they are adults of juveniles, but as I recall these were not as large as I have seen them get.

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