Despite an ambitious plan to leave at five am, we stumbled out of my Aunt’s house in Boerne around eight am. The drive to Big Bend is a seven hour drive west into the desolate confines of the Chihuahua Desert. The park runs across the U.S.-Mexican border for over one hundred miles. Soaring peaks abruptly jut from a lonesome bed of dirt, cactus, and scrubby grass.
Driving through this vast expanse of nothingness made the world seem so big. One stoplight towns, abandoned taquerias, and the rubble of once elegant Spanish style brick homes reminded me that some, just hundreds of miles away, endure in a very different reality.
Little things on a road trip stand out. I pressed scan on the radio dial and the numbers kept moving until they stopped on the only station in range, an abhorrent frequency wave of battered country troubadours who nearly drove us all to insanity. We settled for my little brother’s iPhone spitting out Bob Dylan tracks in soft whispers because my Mom’s 200,000 mile warrior of a Sequoia did not have the right inputs.
I saw nothing but open road, desert, and a couple of sleeping brothers. This was the solitude I needed after surviving the cacophony of a middle school science room for months. We all tried on my Mom’s sunglasses and we looked equally asinine. A road trip with just the brothers is as close to childhood as I can get.