Cenizo Journal Fall 2022 - Page 16

PHOTO ESSAY • by Chris Greta

BIG BEND CAUGHT UP TO ME
It ’ s Jim Bob ’ s fault .
My old friend James Moore has always loved the Big Bend area and after years of listening to him waxing poetic , I finally rode out to see for myself .
The first time it didn ’ t get me . The second time it was starting to set the hook and the third time , it felt like home .
There is something there . I don ’ t have the skills to accurately describe what it is , but it ’ s there . Maybe it ’ s the dramatic simplicity of the views that are everywhere you look . The huge , dramatic sky or the clouds or the plants or the cool nights or the whatever , it goes on forever .
But there is something that eludes you until it engulfs you .
Once it ’ s in your soul , it ’ s just there and will probably never leave .
I live in Austin . Nice town . Getting too big and since I ’ m out on the outskirts , I don ’ t get into town all that often these days . I ’ m another cliche guy who rode motorcycles all through his misspent youth , gave them up to be a responsible citizen and raise kids , then decided to take a trip back into the misspent youth idea . I ’ ve spent months at a time riding all over the country , camping in the woods and being lost .
I call it Going Nowhere . No real plan , no agenda . If a road looks good , ride it . If a camping spot has a nice view , put up the hammock . Going nowhere with no agenda has great benefits . One stranger I ’ d met on a trip said it ’ s the greatest luxury in the world . He may be right .
Riding around Big Bend is a great luxury . The roads are good and when there are curves , they ’ re wonderful . Everywhere you look is beyond description and even when it ’ s mid-day hot , it ’ s likeable with the right gear ( us motorcycle types can wear heavy duty mesh jackets that flow a lot of fresh air ).
We generally land in Marathon . Danny ’ s Marathon Motel is home base and bourbon by the fire at night is the perfect dessert . Ride down to the park , Santa Elena Canyon , take a run over to Alpine for a meal or a new tire or roll up to Marfa for a burrito . Ride the loop and see pretty much nobody else but stop at the drug store for a milkshake and onion rings .
Time moves slower . People are nicer . The sky is bluer and everything in the distance is so far away , but feels like home .
Once Big Bend gets in you , accept it , embrace it and come back for it whenever you can . �

16 Cenizo Fall 2022