Behind the Scenes on Recent Big Bend Trip

I’ve emphasized the photos and locations in my posts about the badlands I visited. But I wanted to show you a few other aspects of my trip just for fun.

Big Bend National Park is a long way from anywhere. For me, living in Houston, it takes quite an effort to reach the park. From my house to the center of the park is well over 600 miles.

The Looong Drive
(click for larger version)

I decided it was best to spend the night in the areas I was interested in photographing. It allowed me to spend more time shooting and be present for all lighting conditions from afternoon until the following morning. Plus it’s interesting and worthwhile to shoot the same area both in afternoon/eve and morning light.

Packing, managing, and carrying all the gear I would need was quite an effort. Anyone who has done overnight backpacking will appreciate what’s required and the hardships encountered when you forget just one, little item.

It’s also hard to overcome that spoiled desire for a cold beer or frozen margarita late in the evening. A few hours of sweating and hiking will bring about strong cravings that just can’t be satisfied easily way out in the desert ;-)

Goin’ Hikin’
(click for larger version)

I know, looks like I packed a little too much :-) But that was for my first night only. I took less junk… er, gear the second and third nights.

The areas I visited were not accessible by any trail. There were no campgrounds at my destinations. I expected to see no one during my hikes, and I didn’t. I was “way out there” in every sense of the term. My life was completely in my hands and help was far away.

Of course this is what I wanted. The solitude and time alone in the desert by itself made the trip worthwhile. I need this type of experience to reset my spirit and soul and remind me what is most important in my life (my family).

Making an Early Breakfast
(click for larger version)

Aside from spending great amounts of time photographing, tending to the necessities of life alone in the desert required a lot of work. Making/breaking camp, eating, cleaning, and packing/repacking gear (especially when camping at a different spot each day) occupied a lot of time.

But after all the required activities of my plan, I still found a few moments here and there to sit back and really connect with my emotions and savor the experience.

A moment to relax
(click for larger version)

Having a camp chair was awful nice too.

4 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes on Recent Big Bend Trip

  1. I’ve enjoyed the wander over from Timelive to follow you on your quest.
    This trip sounds like it was for the release of toxins from the soul.

    If so then you picked a beautifull, yet rugged and unforgiving place to explore.
    I have found that the images as displayed do not do justice to your words, not the quality, just the size.

    I’d really enjoy seeing these much larger but understand the web limitations.
    I really can feel the openness in the image that I see while typing this comment.
    Sitting back and just enjoying the space.

    Was good to read and view.


  2. Thanks for you comments, Stephen. I appreciate them.

    Big Bend is definitely a place to release toxins from your soul, as you put it. That’s exactly it. Going there usually is an amazing experience, and every time I leave, I find myself planning the next trip back.

  3. TJ, I hadn’t read this before my last comment, now I’m doubly impressed, my lens cap is off for you. You have a great passion, spirit and love of this country and I’m glad I know you!! I like the camp chair shot…

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