I set out on the 24th of October in the year 1913 from the Hotel Holland in the town of Alpine, nestled in the Alps of Texas. I was to follow creek beds (sometimes no more than dry washes) due south to the Rio Grande, in search of the "big bend" country upon which few white men have laid eyes and of which fewer still have shared stories. It was my fervent hope that water would be available as needed for myself and my horse in springs, or -- at least -- in pot holes carved from the unforgiving rock. I was well aware of the heartless nature of the desert, but perhaps there would be some standing refreshment still from the great thunderheads of August, as the winter dry period had not yet begun. My meanderings were also dependent on the state of unrest between American and Mexican contenders for this sparse and spacious land, and so I gingerly picked a route between areas of recent bloodshed. A third caution was the green mountainous area north of the river's great bend, due to wild animals such as bear and panther that would find in me and my steed ample nourishment. And so I began my travels, aware of these above-mentioned dangers and yet eager to record for others the wonder of this vast and uncharted territory. The only peril encountered was one cloaked in the guise of a giver of life. It was into the Ernst Tinjaha (Pool) where two saddle bags of photographic negatives came to rest. I thus have few depictions to prove my tale of this remarkable journey. I beg the reader who happens upon this scrapbook to forgive a momentary lapse and to use what few photographs remain as a spur to journeying into the Land of the Big Bend. In such fashion may he confirm the truth of what some mere viewers may regard as altogether fabulous claims.
[click on each image to enlarge it]