It’s time for another post! Aren’t you so happy? And I’m finding it hard to believe it takes so long to find the time to do these, but I guess that means we’re keeping busy. Anyway, the theme for these pictures, taken at Big Bend National Park, is “perspective helps develop gratitude.” Finding opportunities to demonstrate that to our children is something that “works for us!”This was the hike to Dog Canyon. It was sometimes difficult to follow the trail, especially after it went into the creek bed and there were no more cairns. There was also some mud to slop through. However, we were grateful those sections were short, and that it wasn’t totally filled with water so we could actually complete the hike. And then it was great on our return to see the car in the distance and know we were just about done.

Then we explored a couple of dirt roads. The park map said these were easily traversed by passenger vehicles. The park map was wrong. There were a few scary stretches where you really needed 4-wheel drive – like when you’re actually driving in the creek bed! However, my adventurous husband totally enjoyed the experience, and we only got stuck in the sand once, on the Dagger Flats Road. (That was once too often, but he did manage to get us unstuck.) Being back on paved roads was a wonderfully thankful moment!The last hike of the day was to Balanced Rock. It was a great little hike, and we appreciated the view of the valley once we reached our destination.

Earlier I briefly mentioned our hike to Emory Peak. You can see the pictures on that post of “far away,” “closer,” “there!” to show one sense of perspective. And you can just imagine the sense of accomplishment and gratitude once we reached the peak.

On this hike we were also introduced to the engineering wonder called the composting toilet. Now, ordinarily you’d think using an outhouse with no door and open to the sky would not be an experience you’d willingly choose. However, when the only option for miles around is a tree, you begin to appreciate the fact that someone lugged all these materials up the trail and constructed a privacy screen.

This is the view of Appetite Peak from partway up the trail. Here’s the story about that landmark from the NPS website:
If you think Big Bend is isolated today, imagine what it must have been like in the 1930s, before air conditioned comfort and paved roads. Many CCC boys were away from their families for the first time. Because the camps were run by the Army, they had typical barracks and a mess hall. Legend has it that those complaining about food quality had to climb a steep hill before the next meal. Located directly north of the Chisos Basin Visitor Center, the hill is still known as “Appetite Peak.” This is another view of Appetite Peak. (The little point in the center.) It looks pretty tiny, doesn’t it? We decided that if those CCC boys really wanted to appreciate their dinner, they should climb Emory Peak first! A sense of perspective really does affect our attitudes; the same event can be negative or positive depending on what you’re comparing it to, so try looking for the good in everything and have a wonderful day!!