Big Bend, I’ve always planned to go there. It’s something I dreamed of, thought about, considered but never made happen. Last week, I arrived at the long anticipated Big Bend National Park. Before my departure to the desert, a friend of mine said, “Way to make things happen!” Dreaming, considering, thinking about things is not the same as making it happen. “It” only happens as a result of action.
Even after a long drive and unloading at an airbnb in a nearby town, eighty miles separated us from the park. In the park, our winding road rose over two thousand feet above the desert floor. After an hour of driving through the park and a series of hairpin turns, we arrived at the trail head. In life, even after it feels like you should be there, a long series of actions are still required in order to arrive. It’s easy to get discouraged by the long list of things that need to be done before we can even get started on something.
I was giddy with excitement as we started down into the Chisos Basin. A wise choice to start on a trail that is going down, leaving the uphill climb for later. The drive through the Chisos Basin is breathtaking, but walking it is an up close and personal experience unlike any other. Seeing the lines and patterns on the erosion formed peaks and watching the critters scamper across the trail leaves you awestruck. The trail down was taken at break-neck speed, all the time passing those coming back up. Their faces red, breathing shallow and pace slowed to a crawl. Still we persist. After some weaving and climbing, we arrive at the Window. At first glance, it’s stunning. Then you move a little closer and words escape you — only moans and groans pass through your lips. The views of the vista peaks cannot be captured in photo or words. The realization that I’m standing in a place were less than .000002% of the world have stood this year, overwhelms me. It’s hair-raising and heart stopping to take the road less traveled.
Once you get to the window, there is no alternative but to climb back out. One women going up said “I’m a wimp!” Another said, “It’s so hard.” Some used trekking poles and others stopped often. Certainly, I took a completely different pace on the way up, than I did on the way down. In life even after “it” happens, there is hard work to be done. To stay the course, it’s important to remember: this is worth it. Making “it” happen wasn’t easy but so worth it. Going all the way to the end of the road can take you to a splendid place, few experience.
Let’s go make things happen!