The Window

We decided to camp at the Chisos Basin Campground our first night in Big Bend. A journey in itself as we drove up curved roads and headed toward a mountain range reminiscent of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The ride up sent us switchbacking down into the mouth of a rocky bowl. We set up our REI tent, made rice and beans, and under the dusky sky, drank peppermint tea. I even saw a gray fox on my way back from the loo. 

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The early morning greeted us with frigid temperatures and a near-flat tire. The tire strikes again. We had planned to hike Emery Peak, but the car dampened our early start. The camp host recommended we get a compressed can of air and tire sealant, luckily only a mile away at the camp store. 

Nicholas and I discovered the trailhead to The Window on our way back. A hike the lone Texan had recommended to us during the flat tire debacle. He had said, “If you’re goin’ into Big Bend country, then you have to hike to The Window–there’s nothing quite like it.” Our serendipitous encounter of the trailhead was a sign. 

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We both agree that this is one of our top hikes. The unique path winds 5.5 miles through a canyon. Mountains tower on both sides and giant cacti border the trail. Near the “summit,” stone steps lead to the vista, the window. A fitting name as we looked out at a vast landscape through a narrow gap, as if God had sliced rock. The rocks sheened a silver mirror finish. Presumably polished by time and water. It was serene. A window worthy for God, yet I was there, staring dumbfounded. The Texan was right, there’s nothing quite like it.

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December 2013

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