Saturday, March 23, 2013

Big Bend Update

Well, it's been a few days since I've posted and it's been a busy couple of weeks! Our blog will probably be a lot like this for the whole trip, as we go in and out of places with no cell reception/wifi. I'll try to post as often as I can. I'm currently drafting this section while sitting in our campsite at Big Bend National Park while the wind threatens to rip our shelter apart. Fun!

At two weeks into the road trip (and three weeks of homelessness), I think we're adjusting pretty well. We went pretty hard at SXSW (as to be expected) but had a day off before we left Austin (when I last posted). Now, we just spent the last five days pushing ourselves pretty hard to see everything there is to see here in the park. We're taking today off to relax, read, write and spend some planning time online up at the visitors center (hooray for free wifi!). We still need to figure out what our two days between Big Bend and Ruidoso, NM will look like. If we have time today, we may even tidy our car (which is a complete mess!).

At three week, my beard is also at a pretty good length, where I usually like to have it. I predict by week five or six, it will already be quite ridiculous. As for our food, we brought a lot of random stuff from our apartment in Houston and spent $70 at a grocery store in Fort Stockton (more on that adventure later) and it's been lasting pretty well. We've just about finished the perishables and things that need to be kept cool (and only needed to buy one bag of ice all week). It's been surprisingly fun planning our meals to try to stretch the food out as long as possible. We've also been pretty good at not spending money this week, except on some ice cream and beer after exceptionally long/hot days or hikes.

We started the trip (as I mentioned in a previous post) in Austin, first staying for a couple of nights at McKinney Falls State Park (highly recommended!). On our first real, non-travel day of the road trip, rather than relaxing or exploring, we went to the state capitol to take part in an Equality Texas Lobby Day, talking to State Senators and Representatives about the employment non-discrimination bills currently under consideration. It was both frustrating and fulfilling, as politics usually is, and we met some great people!

After that we moved into the apartment of my friend Laura and headed out to the craziness that is SXSW. After five very full days of mostly Canadian music, poutine, bacon candy, free beer and tacos, not-so-free BBQ, hipster/brony spotting, chatting up rappers, insane crowds (but no riots), finding out what my beard will soon look like (see photo below), late nights, early mornings, sore feet and good friends, we took one day of rest and laundry (and hanging out with our Austinite friends) and started the long drive west to Big Bend. That's got to be all for right now, as both my laptop and phone batteries are about to die, but I'm hoping to get something up about our adventures here in the park soon!

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