West Texas was good, caught some elevation hiking Big Bend, climbing the 3rd highest peak in Texas, Emory, (the other two being in the Guadalupe region of Texas, i.e. “El Capitan”). Confessionally speaking, I sort of struggled at first seeking to find the physical beauty of it for some sort of documentation photographically. About the third day in, on the way back and forth from Terlingua to Alpine, (six hours that day just in search of a 30-20 amp tandum breaker that went bad in the “Bubble” and getting to know the border inspectors REAL well, “Hey, there’s Dave again!”), it finally dawned on me. West Texas is a feeling.
A landscape within and without, the physical and emotional topography of it an amalgam that exists in it’s inhabitants. Cowboy existentialism. Mysterious, barren, minimalist, a quiet enigma, the will to live despite the harsh terrain. A place where an honest day’s work doesn’t need to be acknowledged by a survey at the end of it wanting to know “how we did?”, just for doing your job.
Expansive and quiet, the wind at times the only sound, not needing anything from me, I exist or I don’t, I started to get it. With the same bold independence of the mountain ranges rising up out of the middle of the flat and arrid desert, these good people are strong and quiet and go about their daily work, no complaints no gripes no grievances no protestations no whining, none of the emotional debris that we have gotten a little too much permission these days to luxuriate in. My father was a child of the depression. Stoic and hard working, a lion hearted man with a generosity to others unmatched by anyone I have known so far. Always drawn to the Texas landscape for what reason I never understood until now. His cowboy hat is always with me on these trips in the backseat. He liked this trip.
I was in our local Tom Thumb yesterday idly thumbing through their vast array of Dr Scholl’s shoe inserts for men knowing, but refusing to believe, that the Simple brand clogs that I have had for years were on their way out and this was only going to be a temporary patch. I get attached to things. Just recently coming off a month long hiking trip in the mountains of Big Bend, Tx and Sedona, Az, things became especially alluring when I started reading the variety of options available. Should I go with “Air Pillo” (the font italicized suggesting a flow of comfort). Or maybe the “Massaging Gel Work Insoles” “massaging”. . . ooh that sounds nice, “work”. . . not so much. Could it be the “Dr Scholl’s Odor-X Odor Fighting Insoles?”, not wishing to encourage a full scale war in the lower extremities of my body, I moved on to the “DreamWalk Comfort Insoles”. Aaaaahhh… “DreamWalk”, perhaps little clouds for my feet suggesting a possible somnambulant barrier to the more challenging realities of life these days. All my “dreams” come true for the low, low price of $8.99. Seriously, does it get any better? Maybe I’ll buy a case of these things and gaff tape them to my entire body before I leave in the mornings.
So as I headed confidently toward the cashier with my “DreamWalk Comfort Sole Inserts” in hand, I wondered, which Dr Scholl’s do they prefer in West Texas?
Check out the video below, next up posting will be Part Two: Sedona, Az.