Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Sounds of Big Bend

View from a rock shelter in
Big Bend Ranch State Park
One of the great joys of visiting our region isn't discussed much, because, frankly, it is hard to convey.  When you're here, if you let yourself stop a few minutes and concentrate, you can experience absolute  quiet.  What you see in our landscape are unspoiled vistas, but what you HEAR--because we are so remote--is what early man heard, what the Apache and Comanche heard, what Cabeza de Vaca heard, what the early settlers heard as they moved through our region.

We were reminded of this when we heard a podcast by "How Sound" about the sounds of Elizabethan England.  It is worth a listen in that it forces you to think about the sound of today's world, and the sounds we've lost from the past.  If there is a place in Texas to reclaim the sounds of the past, of the true frontier, it is in our region. 
Santa Elena Canyon
Big Bend National Park

We offer a private wilderness experience, trails to hike where you see no one for many minutes (and perhaps hours), so it is easier stop and listen to the silence.  Maybe you'll hear your heart beat, maybe you'll hear a rock tumble as an animal scampers about, maybe you'll hear the wind swell and then wane.

This is why we often advise people to explore the region by bicycle:  you're out in the open, not protected by your car.  There's no metal box to divide you from the land. 

Metate left near rock shelter in
Big Bend Ranch State Park
And when you happen upon remnants of early cultures in Big Bend, take a few minutes to experience the sound of their world as they did. 

What were the sounds of grain being ground in the metate at the rock shelters? 

What were the sounds of rock art being created? 
Rock art in Big Bend Ranch State Park

What were the bird songs?

What was the sound of the Rio Grande, lapping against the rock canyons?

Take a river trip and experience it yourself.  And a hike.  Have a great time in the Big Bend of Texas.

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