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Sunday, December 27, 2009
We made a day stop at the Monahans Sandhills...this strange waterless beach land in the middle of nowhere....literally....it is a hundred miles from anything in both latitudinal directions. Sandstone rock was eroded for a godzillion years and blown across the desert until it landed here, stopped by trees whose roots stretch out 70 feet horizontally to hold the dunes in place. The sand is more fine and smooth than ocean sand because it is blown by the wind and erodes evenly. We rented sand disks for $1/hour (!) until a cold storm front blew in and whipped sand against our bare legs, torturing us off its territory...Beautiful place though. Silence is absolutely extraordinary. It is a different kind of silence here because there isn't as much wildlife, cacti don't have leaves and any noise that doesn't exist is hidden in the rolling winds. It is both restful and frightening. One could get lost in this sparse landscape...

(...a tumbleweed Christmas tree!)

From the sandhills, we drove to Hueco Tanks State Park, apparently the world's fifth best bouldering destination - who knew? (we certainly didn't). The ranger asked us if we were going to go bouldering. Us: "Sure, is there room on the bouldering tour or can we just hook up with one that went out?" Him: "Uh, do you know what bouldering is?" Us: "Studying rocks?" We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. People from around the globe, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Bulgaria and other places come to this historic site to free climb...basically climbing up a rock using only your fingers and toes, gripping 1/4 inch huecos (hollows) and hoping to God you don't fall to your crash pad below. It looked amazing! And apparently we looked like climbers because people kept asking us if we were...although we think it had more to do with the fact that our hair was oily, we drank milk out of the carton, ate granola, tented in below freezing weather, and wore whatever mismatched clothes we had....just like them! We aren't alone in the world!

The reason we ended up here is because it was in the State Park Guide and we thought it would be cool to see big rocks and pictographs, the camping was cheap and they advertised wi-fi (which didn't even work...). Felt a little guilty walking amongst the true-blood climbers who spend weeks there just to climb rocks...just had to laugh at our ignorance, I guess. We did go on a guided tour and learned about the natives who lived here, the plant life and saw some pictographs dated thousands of years ago, as well as names carved in from pioneers and rangers in the nineteenth century. Pretty cool...

All we can say is you guys have to go! To all these places we have been. Pictures are so inadequate. They just look like little sandhills, like big rocks, but they are sky and space and color and depth and history and the only stationary beings in this spurting cycle of life. We can't understand how these places could exist and we didn't know about them! The world has become accessible to us. This is what we want to remember.

1 comments to WEST TEXAS!:

Above all else: Love said...

beautiful <3

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