Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Seminole Canyon State Park, Texas

On the Border Northwest of Del Rio, Texas

It will be dawn shortly. The clouds offer the possibility of some good sunrise photos. This place is on the Mexican border a short distance from the Rio Grande river. You can hike down into the canyon about two hours to see some impressive Indian ruins on a guided tour. They cancel the hike when the temperature exceeds 100 degrees, which seems very probable today.

We were treated to a fine display of nature’s fireworks last evening when a flock of heavy thunderstorms rolled over the desert. The rainfall approached four inches an hour in spots, triggering flash floods in the dry desert creek beds. Underground Weather has warnings of 60 MPH winds, flash floods and baseball-size hail. We were spared the worst of that. The storm did kill the Park electricity, so we are ran on batteries last night.

Before the storm, we were running both air conditioners, but couldn’t get the temperature below 87 degrees. We keep tripping the 30 amp Park breaker so I switched the refrigerator and water heater to propane and gave up on the ham hocks and beans in the crock pot.

We met Guy and Redding after we parked. They are a father and son who are bicycling from Georgia to San Diego in support of prostate cancer awareness. Guy is the 58 year old dad. The next 500 miles are steeply up and down in brutal desert heat. He seems a little surprised by the 60 to 80 mile distances between tiny Texas towns, many of which have no services. Redding is 18. I get the feeeling that this trip was a last minute father and son adventure before college, put together with minimal planning and research. They seem lightly laden with tents and a few other essentials. Out here, if they run out of water, they will die quickly.

After reading their blog , I realized they needed a computer. I took the laptop down to their campsite so they could do an update without having to find a library on this desolate stretch of Texas road.

I told them about a tent-friendly campsite 100 miles ahead in Marathon. Guy is a Urologist. I hope he is checked out on heat stroke prevention. We rode our motorcycle here a couple of years ago. It feels like riding into a giant hair-dryer.

The picture above was taken in darkened conditions with a long shutter speed. You can see Mrs. Phred's feet as she stares out at the lightning strikes. Mrs. Phred worries about Guy and Redding during the storm. The Camp Host told them to shelter in the Park’s bathroom.

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