Today we packed up and said goodbye to our fantastic dispersed camping location in Big Bend National Park. Big Bend was so much more than we had imagined, we saw and learned quite a bit this past week:
We drove up to the visitor center where I filled the RV’s water tanks by ferrying water from the spigot to the RV using our 7-gallon jerry can and B’s scooter:
Trish spotted a bird nest in this plant:
We drove west out of the park, stopped in Terlingua for some groceries, then drove north spend a couple days with PPG pilot John Wells. Little did I know when I found John in an online PPG pilot directory that he was the founder and owner of the Southwest Texas Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living Field Laboratory, his one-man experiment in off-grid living, now in it’s ninth year. John maintains a daily blog where he shares his experiences.
We parked the RV on John’s 40-acre plot with fantastic vistas and no visible neighbors. He introduced us to Ben, a Texas Longhorn John adopted at 10 days old after Ben’s mother drowned. Three and a half years later, Ben is all grown up:
John took us up the road to see his house:
John built his house (right), and greenhouse (left). He’s currently restoring an old airstream trailer:
John’s three roosters are for the most part well behaved:
View from the RV:
Looking down on the Field Lab and the RV:
B mounted her off-road tires:
On my walk, I found this crystal-encrusted rock:
I assembled the PPG and tried to launch. I haven’t flown since August, and no-wind launches at 3,500 feet are a bit tricky. The first time I didn’t run hard enough, and the second time the wing came up perfectly, but when my brain said “full throttle!” my thumb pushed the kill button. By then, it was too dark to fly:
John gave Ben his dinner:
John also feeds his local rabbit neighbors:
Tomorrow I’ll try to fly again.
See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.