Why I like Big Bend

by Andrea Elizabeth

Usually I’m prone to greener places. Perhaps it is my stage of life that has brought me to appreciate the stark beauty of Big Bend.

“That portion of the earth’s surface known as the Big Bend has often been described as a geologist’s paradise. In part this is due to the sparse vegetation of the region, which allows the various strata to be easily observed and studied. It is also due to the complex geologic history of the area, presenting a challenge to students and researchers from all over the world.

Not all field geologists, however, refer to the Big Bend as a paradise. For some, this land of twisted, tortured rock is a nightmare. The abundance, diversity and complexity of visible rock outcrops is staggering, especially to first-time observers. From 500 million year old rocks at Persimmon Gap to modern-day windblown sand dunes at Boquillas Canyon, geologic formations in Big Bend demonstrate amazingly diverse depositional styles over a vast interval of time. For most of us, time is measured by the passing of days, years and generations.” Learn more of the fascinating geological history here.

I identify with some of the above description. For some, Orthodoxy quickly erodes our flimsy facades and layers by cutting off the comforts that fed them, leaving some pretty twisted, tortured nightmares exposed and to be dealt with. This is why one is really not supposed to say The Jesus Prayer too often too soon. But some of us impulsive dramatics can’t help diving in, and then those strong enough to keep it up have to be willing to accept the consequences. To prepare, they say bring plenty of water with you to Big Bend. Maybe I should have been re-baptized.

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