It has been a year of not much camping and hiking due to Covid, but a couple of weeks ago we got our first vaccination, and finally got out. Marci and I did a river trip with three other friends and a guide. The river was very low, and we had to drag the canoe across the rocks several times, but the low water made for the clearest Rio Grande I’ve ever witnessed. We camped three nights, and each night it got a little colder. Marci is a good camper. Unlike me, she plans it out, slowly packs all week. I, on the other hand, am throwing everything in a bag 30 minutes before we leave. OK, I do have a packing list. I am not a good boatman. I am more like dead weight with a camera, so there were a few frustrating moments between Marci and me, and fortunately they design the canoe longer than the oars or I would have been whacked on the back of the head several times. Along with our guide Matthew, was Kimery, Hawk Eye, Duda. She is a well travelled athlete that owns and operates the Expedition School in Austin. www.expeditionschool.com. She partnered with Wild Adventures Outfitters www.wildadventureoutfitters.com, so we were well taken care of by professionals. I mention this because, we ate like royalty, and all of our needs were met without asking. About 30 minutes before the end of the trip I was changing lenses and dropped the 25mm lens into the Rio Grande. The canoes are constantly moving, and me with my eyes only on what’s in front of me had no idea where it fell. Kimery, however, was so observant. She pulled her canoe off to the beach, and within minutes found it with her feet, dove down and recovered it. I could hardly believe it. I had written it off as soon as it hit the water. At dinner, I asked her how she did that, and she explained how she knew about where I was as well as the other canoes, and triangulated off the land around us, and knew basically where to start looking. When you are camping, personalities unfold as natural situations occur. Kimery teaches and oversees hundreds of children at the Expedition School. This was probably an easy gig for her just caring for the five of us. Kimery was the hawk in a tree, I knew we were being well taken care of, but I didn't know to what extent until the lens hit the water.
**Texas Country Reporter**
27 years ago Texas Country Reporter did a story on me. At that time I was making photo lampshades, an idea that Big Bend photographer W D Smithers created. (Chronicles of the Big Bend, Kenneth Ragsdale.) When I moved here I had seen a few of his shades in people’s houses, and pursued the idea. It took me about 8 months from the idea to actuality. The material made by Kodak was called Translite. About a month after I started making them I called to get another roll and they told me they no longer made it. I said, but I just bought a roll a month ago. Anyway, the material was over, but I learned they had a 100 foot roll in Chicago, and a 100 foot roll in Rochester, New York, and so I purchased them both. I made a little less than 200 lamps, all unique. I had bases made in El Paso, and the frames made in Shiner Texas. I can’t remember where the lamp parts came from. I put everything you can think of on those lampshades. My ultimate intention was to tie my name to Smithers. When I brought one to the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Roy Flukinger, said, ahhh, a Smither’s lamp. I said no Roy, an Evans’ lamp. Mission accomplished. Anyway, they did a kind of what’s he doing today kind of story, and Bob Phillips asked thoughtful questions. I will let you know when it airs.
When people ask me where I was born, and I tell them West Virginia, I add, you do not have any say in where or what state your parents conceive you in. It’s my attempt at a comedic response, but more thoughtfully, you never know how far from home you are born or how long it will take you to find it. Where I grew up, I came to know where I was raised was not where I belonged. I headed west, living in Corpus Christi, then Austin, before discovering Big Bend. I have lived here half my life, and it took me half my life to find it.
**Crazy From the Heat**
My second book has now gone out of print. I’ve been working on a retrospective book and a book of geology, and frankly I’ve been pathetically slow. I hope to finish the edits soon, as well as filling in the images I need.
**The Beginning of The End**
With our second vaccine to be administered next week I am hoping that this is the beginning of the end of Covid era. We have relaxed our concern, but not totally, and I am still sensitive when I do something that a month ago I wouldn’t have. I hope that you and your family gets through this unscathed. We have lost a few friends, but for Marci and I, no family members. We feel lucky and blessed.
As always, thank you very much for your support. Your purchases literally keep us alive in the desert and through these strange times.
Happy Full Moon. Get Outside.