My puppies were dog-tired.
It was after ten hours of hiking, a few packages of trail snacks and finding my car that the facts hit me: I hadn’t sat down or had a meal since 10:00 in the morning and it was now 10:30 at night!
Managing to drag out my Fold-N-Go stove, I cooked a freeze dried meal by the driver’s side of the car. I wanted coffee, too, but was just too worn-out to mess with the steps necessary to make that happen. I left the stove right there on the ground and slept in the car. This is why one should set-up camp before wandering off into the unknown. I had intended to spent no more than perhaps an hour in search of the red buffalo rock art and then drive further west.
So here’s another lesson about surviving the desert: Any “brief” or “short trip” into the desert can turn into a struggle of endurance (for your very life sometimes). Whenever you set out on foot in Big Bend, dress for extreme swings in temperature and carry food and water. Always be prepared.
Visiting Big Bend means walking—a lot of walking. I chose to do that in a heavy pair of leather boots that afforded protection against ankle injury during adverse hiking conditions and weather. And indeed, too numerous to count are the times that these boots prevented injury and probably saved my life. While this particular boot model is no longer made, similar versions are available. To get an idea of the kind of footwear these are see this review of these Red Wing Beckman Style 9010 boots.
The photograph on this web page (above) is of my one booted-foot and the other terrain-chewed Red Wing boot that I had tossed onto the dashboard (there wasn’t room to toss it anywhere else). As may not be readily discernable in the image, I had vigorously conditioned these brand-spanking-new boots and added New Balance running shoe inserts. These changes—along with later replacing the soles with Neoprene—increased the combined weight of these boots to 4.4 lbs. (more than twice their new weight of just under 2 lbs.).
The original image is a Tagged Image Format File (TIFF) with a file data size of 35 megabytes (MB).
For display on this web site the TIFF was duplicated and the duplicate re-formatted as a Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPG/JPEG) image with a file data size of 7.38 MB. To approximate detail visible at the time of capture the image was sharpened as necessary and resampled via the Photoshop Bicubic Sharpen algorithm. The re-sampling increases the image resolution from 300 Dots Per Square Inch (DPI) to 360 DPI.
Unless otherwise noted the image was corrected to offset color shift and balance. This restores black (shadows), white (highlights) and neutral gray (neutral mid-tones).
• An unnumbered image is the only one of the subject matter.
• A number corresponds to the sequential order in a subject-matter-related sequence.
• The letter “B” indicates color correction to approximate what was visible when the image was captured.
• The letter “C” indicates enhancement beyond an approximation of what was visible at the time of capture.