Thank you Big Bend for reminding us why we started traveling in the first place. It was breathtaking! The last time it was so refreshing, we were in Colorado.
Second least visited National park in US had hidden treasures in its canyons and Mexicans along the country border trying to find a new home. A warm desert, coyotes, stars, no reception and a powerful muddy river was just what was needed by our company of six, which was overwhelmed with holiday cooking.
Taking turns babysitting was a relief. While Vėjas was staying at a cozy camper in the parking lot with Margarita, Sofia, and Arnas, we hiked trough an unofficial and dangerous trail (the main path was flooded) through Santa Elena Canyon and the view was definitely worth the risk.
After Big Bend we spent all day on the road traveling to a Rodeo Show in Odessa - our last stop in Texas. During this long day in the car we passed:
- a house on a semi-trailer truck going straight at us that was taking up all the lanes (both ways),
- a truck driver who went crazy on a highway and was stopped by an armed police officer and tackled to the ground. We got the front row seat for this show. This was not the first time we saw police officers/border patrols tackling people to the ground in Texas.
And finally - the RODEO SHOW. We have a lot to share here. First of all, we are not fans of activities, where animals are included, but we have a "once in a lifetime" rule and it was applied here.
The beginning of the show was majestic in a bizarre way: the national anthem performed live, light effects, loud music, federal and state flags and a prayer by a priest, who was attending the show for the first time. Then there were crazy cowboys on the backs of horses, even crazier cowboys on the backs of bulls, cowboys jumping off of a horse and catching a calf by its horns and then... roping. Roping the calf by its neck broke my heart and we left early.
Even though it was interesting and, at times, unbelievable to see the rodeo live, it felt like a show that has no place in 2020 or any future time. It is an event that will probably be killed by millennials, like a lot of other things that the previous generations identified themselves with. We have witnessed a piece of history live. This part of Texas felt to us like a village full of villagers who gathered to remember their days in the prairies. Unfortunately, those days have passed and instead they all work at oil pumping stations and oil refineries. But in their dreams they still try to catch that calf!
In the second part of the Texas trip, the state was what we originally expected it to be. If in the beginning it was surprisingly green and Dallas was young and progressive, eventually the memories were overwhelmed by tumble weeds, deserts and wild cowboys.
Texas, you are big! From artsy and foodie Dallas, through Hill Country, to the wild wild west, you have plenty to offer to any type of visitor.