This will be a long blog. Sorry. Grab a beer/wine or coffee or delete if you don't have two minutes.
I was returning to my campsite at the Rio Grande Village when I noticed my cheap Walmart camp chair was gone. My solar shower had been kicked around like a soccer ball too. Crap! I left my Coleman stove in the storage box and sure enough it had also gone missing. Double Crap!
I looked yonder to a neighbors camp. Hmmm! That looks like my chair. It was. Maybe my Coleman stove is in their storage box. It was. I grabbed my gear and flung it in Barley the van.
Off I went to explain my plight to the campground host.
I must have interrupted the volunteer in the midst of a Vincent Van Gogh ear amputation surgery. One third of his ear was detached from his head and still bleeding. (I'm not making this up!) I tried my best to be as nonchalant as he was. This wasn't a "I cut myself shaving" wound.
He assured me he would look into the matter and speak to the accused when they returned. I moved campsites knowing the culprits were Texans and carried a U.S. Army Reserve's worth of weapons in their Mini-Van. I own a dull Swiss Army knife. I wouldn't stand a chance.
The thieves pleaded ignorance. They reckoned I left Big Bend NP and couldn't be bothered with taking my gear with me. Hey! I'm in Texas! They really believed that. So they picked up my valuables in order to keep the campground litter free. They were being good Lone Star State citizens. God Bless them for trying to make a difference.
So Jeff...what's your epiphany?
There are times it's best to just hunker down in a real town in the "tweener" seasons. Between fall/winter. Between winter/spring.
Barley the Van living is based upon warm and long days. A van gets awfully small in inclement weather or 13 hours or more of darkness. I have too much time to think and ponder things. Thinking too much is the arch-enemy of single people. You actually realize you are alone.
In my future I'll rent temporary pads in places where there's hiking, a few pubs, more humans, warmer temperatures and Spring Training Baseball.
In 10 days, I'll be hunkering in Tucson. That will be another blog.
Good night from Big Bend Bandits National Park.
I'm going to sleep with one-eye open and my Swiss Army knife under my pillow.
PS. Those are real live Mexican horses. The Border Patrol didn't bother them about "Green Cards."