Saturday, March 15, 2008
Seminole Canyon 039
It's not a really pleasant place, and it's been described by some as a place with absolutely nothing to do. I've always found that "a place with nothing to do" appeals to me.
The coffee fixation can be directly attributed to our first trip out in the "traveling rig". When we arrived at the canyon, which is a little more than half a day's drive from home, we set up camp, and decided to make some coffee. We then noticed that, as green campers, we had simply forgotten to bring the coffee.
I drove over to Comstock, a village which is probably bigger than MaryL's La Joya, but still a very rural little place. I looked all around the town, which probably took about four minutes, and decided that a little old gas station/"convenience store", tucked into the corner of an old building, was the place to buy anything in that town.
I found a small canister of Folger's coffee and paid about double what I considered it worth. The proprietor lady explained that her business was too small to receive route deliveries, and she drove to Del Rio once a week to replenish her stock from retail purchases at WalMart and HEB (a Texas based grocery chain).
As far as anything else about Seminole Canyon goes, it's very difficult to explain. At certain times of day, it's infested by tiny flying insects which you must be careful not to inhale, and when the wind comes in to disperse the insects, it makes you feel as if your skin might blow off.
It's cold at night, and any time after April, quite hot in the daytime. It lies just outside the boundaries of the Chihuahuan Desert, so it cannot claim desert as its attraction. It's relatively flat and featureless between the limestone canyons, but, if the archaeological hype can be believed, it has attracted human habitation for at least 10,000 years.
And when Spring comes around, I wander in my mind to the Rio Grande, and to the clear, crisp mornings and beautiful starlit nights of Seminole Canyon. It was there that I encountered my first Cactus Wren, which I never was privileged to see. I was inside the bathhouse, and the bird was outside. I could not imagine what sort of creature this was, but was fascinated by the rowdy story this unseen creature was telling so enthusiastically.
It was also there that I heard other birds which I mistook for a burbling fountain. I looked and looked for the fountain, and practically called the campground host a liar when she said she didn't have a fountain. When we finally discovered that the burbling water was a group of small black birds outside the window, I was still thinking there must be a fountain somewhere.
I've been told by more than one source that the gurgling birds were cowbirds, and perhaps they are a variety called "Green Headed Cowbirds", but I'm still skeptical.