This part 2. If you haven’t read it yet here is part 1.
The following day the wind has subsided but it is cold. Below freezing. Perhaps Jesús will be there today. There is no schedule here so perhaps he won’t be there or wait until afternoon when the sun warms up the land. I drive over to the trail head. It’s a popular trail but when I arrive I’m the only one there. Maybe it’s the cold. The desert is silent. I grab my little pack filled with what nut bars and sweets we had and head up over the rock outcrop.
Around the corner in the trail and there is the opening. Jesús is not there. I look across the river. His canoe is not to be seen. Disappointing.
Perhaps the cold, or something came up. No reason he should come because of me. At least I can go on to see into the canyon.
Then from across the river “Amigo. You come.” Jesús has appeared from nowhere on the opposite bank. I wave. “Un momento.” (one minute) he shouts and he disappears behind a rock and comes back out dragging his canoe.
Jesús secures his canoe. He is wearing a pull over knit cap beneath his cowboy hat. A pair of gloves is in his back pocket.
“There was no one in the parking lot.” I say.
He hesitates a few seconds, “No parking.”
“Es frio.” (It’s cold)
He goes about setting up first putting out a small stone with the word “Boquillas” painted on it by the trail then carefully bending each wire sculpture so it will stand in the sand. He lays out his walking sticks explaining his nephew makes them.
“Painted walking stick $10.” Then he motions with hands as if working the wood.
I pull the plastic bag of nut bars and candy out of my backpack and hand it to him.
“Si, por los niños. Gracias.” and he puts them in his canoe.
I had planned to go to Boquillas. It’s part of the Big Bend experience. Perhaps I could meet Jesús there. It’s a good time to ask him. The sun is taking the edge off the chill. He takes off the knit cap and places it and the gloves in a plastic bag.
I put my newly purchased paisano y ocotillo wire sculpture in my pack, say adios to Jesús and head back along the trail.