The Down Days of Texas

June 11, 2014 at 10:54 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The storms, they have gone away to greener pastures. Or rather, too far out of our range. After the adventure in Pecos we headed to Del Rio for potential storms. Lo, they jumped the border and headed to Mexico, which is a no-go for this tour group.
While we were heading for Del Rio we crossed the Pecos river and boy that was a surprise to us after seeing nothing but flat plains for a while. Suddenly the ground opened up and there was a river far below us. We decided to stop to get some pictures.

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This bridge was built in 1957 after several other lower bridges were destroyed by flood waters over the years since the late 1800’s. According to the plaque it is 273 feet above the river, however it may be more as the river looks pretty shallow thanks to the ongoing droughts.
This next picture shows vehicles for scale.

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We ended up in Sonora for this night and the next day was once again a storm-potential-free day for us so we went to the Caverns of Sonora and took the guided tour. It was approximately 1 hour 45 minutes to traverse almost two miles underground. Also it is sealed because it is still a mostly living cavern so it was around 70 something degrees with 90 something percent humidity. From the flyer I thought it was pretty well lit but apparently it was not for me. This was a difficult time for me. The guide was very nice and lent me her flashlight and checked on me along the way. My tour buddies also helped me a lot. Counting stairs for me, warning me of outcroppings, pulling me away from other outcroppings, etc. it was very hard not to touch anything. I did bump my shoulders a couple times, as well as scraped my legs a couple times. There were many times during that I felt like I should have stayed above ground. I didn’t see very much because I was concentrating on my feet, my shoulders, where the handrails were, and where the handrails weren’t. A quote from Star Wars popped into my head numerous times. Luke stating “I’m endangering the mission, I shouldn’t have come.”
There were two moments when anxiety nearly took me over. It was right when claustrophobia, acrophobia, fear of damaging everything around me, and not seeing everything around me to feel safe. I almost let it overwhelm me and I teared up but I sucked it back in and kept walking.
There was one moment when we were resting when we experienced total darkness. The guide turned off the lights and we turned off the flashlights. She had us hold our hand in front of our faces and wave it around. She said if anyone saw anything it was just retinal memory. I wanted to cry out to the world, ‘See? This is what I live with every friggin’ day!!!!’ Instead I kind of made a sound of agreement.
I didn’t get very many good photos because I couldn’t hold the railing, the flashlight and the camera at the same time.
Honestly I’m still not sure if it was a good or bad idea that I went down there.
Here’s a couple photos that actually turned out.

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I really liked these. They’re basically straws, they’re hollow as they are made from the inside out. Water drips down inside the straw making it longer with each drop. They had one that was over six feet long but some jackass thought it would be funny to jump up and whack it down. The guide told us of a few moments of vandalism that have occurred over the years. Do they not understand that some of these things take millions of years to be created? Have some respect, people. Also, it’s a federal offense, so just don’t.

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