I spent my birthday with Flack in Pine Canyon at @bigbendnps
a few years ago because a Ranger told us there was a waterfall at the top of the trail that only runs during the rainy season, and that it was a magical place. It was indeed, and it was also an experience I'll never forget. Yesterday, I got to go see it once again with another friend, Austin Alvarado. The magic of the Big Bend smiled upon us yesterday in many ways: we both had time to get away for a bit, the rain let up and the sky was the perfect mix of sunshine and cloud cover keeping temps almost perfect, Glenn Springs Road that leads to the trailhead had just been reopened after renovation and was as good as either of us had seen it, and we were both happy to have good company. As we drove, we talked about his upcoming international hike, 500 miles through the Big Bend and northern Coahuila and Chihuahua México, one he and others hope to develop into a future route for long distance thru-hiking in the Northern Chihuahuan Desert. Exciting, to say the least. The desert and the Chisos were green, lush and flush with life, hard to believe that it's ever brown, which it is a lot. As we made our way up the trail, in awe of our surroundings, elated by all the wins of the day already, Austin stopped and let out a yell. This is bear and mountain lion country, so I stopped and looked, raising my camera in hopes of one of the more elusive shots on my wish list. Instead, his was a cry of sheer joy at the first glimpse of the pour off raging down the mountain. We both admitted that our hearts had began to beat faster, and also picked up the pace to sooner see what lie ahead, surely making those beats even faster, still. The last stretch of this trail climbs 1000' of elevation in a short span, and just about the time you need to stop for a breather, the reward is right around the next giant boulder. You can hear the rush of falling water, feel the cool, misty breeze, and you push just a little more. A few more photos in portrait perspective on my highlighted story add to the visual, but again, never enough. Go see it.