October 25, 2015

Ocotillos & Javelinas

By Joanna Keane Lopez
Big Bend
October 20, 2015

On our way to Big Bend State Park, we rode the highway through El Paso, Texas. The Rio Grande acts as the physical boundary line between El Paso and Juarez, Mexico. In Arenosa campground, where we are camped, the Rio Grande roars past. The sound of the water thrashing is audible all throughout the day and through the night.

The river is large and alive here. I think to myself how I know the Rio Grande intimately in my own way because I grew up in Albuquerque, where it also runs past. I’ve been to the river so many times throughout my life but I haven’t seen it the way it flows here. In Albuquerque, it is wide, shallow and quiet. There is something holistic about experiencing the rio farther down south. Across the Rio Grande at our campground, the boundary line of Mexican soil is visible.

The animals I’ve seen here include javelinas, a red snake, a preying mantis, walking stick insects, butterflies and ravens. Everywhere are ocotillos, a kind of tree-like cactus. Even though it is late fall, the evening stays warm all throughout the night.

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