Gun Shots and Border Patrol

Santa Elaina Canyon

Santa Elaina canyon. Steep climb and then no problem. Took lots of pictures. Remembered hiking this way on a previous trip and putting my hand on a cactus. The little microscopic splines stuck with me for a long time and clearly left a lasting impression on me.

On the way back I picked up a small bolder and chunked it off towards the river.

The Rio Grande at Santa Elaina Canyon

It didn’t quite make it to the water and it smashed into the stoney riverbank with a sound that very much resembled a gun shot. It was a quite impressive sound. I made another unsuccessful attempt with a slightly smaller rock about the size of a softball which also made a shot like sound.  (Ashton can vouch for me)

About twenty minutes later as we were coming off the trail – we passed two uniformed border patrol carrying an AK47 and other scary looking weapons.

View from river level

Turns out our professor reported hearing gun shots from the canyon area and they were investigating.  A member of our group says he knows gun shots when he hears ’em. I say different, but either way – a pretty exciting day at the Santa Eliana canyon trail.

The Singing Mexican – Boquillas Canyon

January 4th, 2011
7:29am departed Prude Ranch
7:52am Saw a herd of Elk which were reintroduced in the 1980’s.  Looks like their doing just fine.
9:20 Viewing beautiful Chisos mountains Occitillo plants are abundant
On the drive we saw majestic columnar basalts.  (My iPhone didn’t do them justice)

9:53 sparking reflections of Gypsum all over

Boquillas Canyon

It was a little chilly starting this hike up over a embankment into a canyon carved by the Rio Grande.  On the way a fellow student’s much keener eye spotted a prime example of a conglomerate

A conglomerate is a sedimentary rock formed from multiple rounded rocks which have bonded together over time to form one.

which is pictured here.

Extensive irrigation use and damning of the Rio Grande has really sapped the flow of the Rio Grande.  IMG_0667However, the evidence of the once much more powerful river is all around and it is not difficult to picture it twice is far across or more.  Quite a grand river for sure.

As we reached the river a voice singing in Spanish echoed off the canyon walls.  In the middle of the path was a cup and a rock that read,

Donations for singing Mexican

“Donations for the singing Mexican. Victor” under the name Victor was the name Jesus crossed out.

Victor was perched on the Mexico side of the river singing load enough to echo all through the canyon.  It struck me that Victor was really demonstrating true musicianship there on the canyon bluff.  I’ve heard a ton of refined music in concert halls, recital halls, practice rooms, and restaurants and some of it is very powerful, wonderful music.  However, Victor had something raw that often is missing in the music that surrounds us almost 24/7.

Audio clips from the canyon:

Victor sings Cielito Lindo

Victor speaks to Mr. Poston

Victor sings De Colores

Victorio sings Cielito Lindo across the Rio Grande on the Mexican side.