Evening was coming on as I finished the last mile of a day-long loop along the western slopes of the Rosillos. Atop some high ground, I looked behind to watch the golden hour settling in across the face of these reddish toned mountains.

Though somewhat difficult to discern at a distance, much can be seen and experienced in this often overlooked slice of Big Bend National Park. Using the cholla sitting centerpiece in the frame, you can see two canyons coming together.

The one to the left is Trough Canyon. At points barely inside the park boundary, you can follow it up all the way to the very foot of Rosillo Peak. As you do so, you also make your way past Alamo and Lost Spring.

But be forewarned; this is a rough, boulder strewn and sometimes dangerously choked bottom that in sections forces you to climb the ridges to either side. These ridges are often steep, and packed with all manner of unstable stones that can slide away underfoot without warning.

And you are a long way across a lot of rough country to any sort of outside help.

As the canyon snakes off the lower mountain slopes, it passes close to an old windmill. No longer in operation, there are metal tanks and cast away parts scattered about. giving clue to the existential struggles of the past.

Look just left to the highest part of the chollo, the greenery marks the general area.

While crossing this flat, one comes upon the fading remnants of primitive roads. These tracks almost invariably lead the sojourner to the windmill, making for a good base to explore the bottom parts of Trough Canyon.

Now for the canyon to the right.

This is private property, belonging to the Rosillos Ranch. The cut bends and then turns due south, ultimately forming a pass that drops down into the upper fringes of the Tornillo Basin.

The pass is a key to the shortest route horseback from the mouth of Blue Creek all the way to Persimmon Gap. Furthermore, this route forms a foundational theme for my sixth book and third historical novel.

Again I emphasize this is not public land. When I was a boy we had problems with trespassers even then. But now it has become epidemic due to disrespectful, uncaring and disgustingly arrogant people who knowingly do so on purpose.

Visitors please take heed, you will never see all worth seeing in the park systems alone around here. There is no need to trespass on privately owned land.

Again, the operative word is respect. Respect for what is around you, for others around you, and for yourself.

God bless to all,

Ben H. English
Alpine, Texas

USMC: 1976-1983
THP: 1986-2008
HS Teacher: 2008-2010
Author 2016-Present

Facebook: Ben H. English

‘Graying but still game’