I was told to be on the lookout for the Singing Mexican if I headed out to Boquillas Canyon. I really didn’t know what that meant, but on a glorious December morning I make the trek out to the eastern edge of Big Bend to check out this area.
The hike would be short due to the level of the river in the canyon, only 1.4 miles round trip. As I climb the first hill I get a glimpse of Boquillas in the midday sun, its sheering cliffside walls looking mighty impressive out here in West Texas.
I see families hiking along the trail with sleds and laundry baskets in tow. My curiosity gets the best of me, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why they would be bringing these items with them while hiking. Perhaps to gather rocks?
I keep hiking and come across a little souvenir shop, Big Bend style. Mexican crafts are on display with a sign telling you of the prices and a tin can for you to leave your money. It’s all on the honor system out here, a gesture that makes me feel even safer.
As I start going deeper into the canyon, I hear the gleeful screams of children and find out what the sleds and laundry baskets are for.
Boquillas has sand hills along the canyon walls, the West Texas version of snow. The kids are riding the laundry baskets down the hill to the delight of their parents. Just another day out here.
I come to the end of the trail quickly enough, then start heading back out from whence I came. The sound of a gent singing reverberates off the steep canyon walls.
Jesus #4, as he is known (fourth generation of singing Mexicans in this canyon), asks me if I would like to buy one of his Mexican crafts. I select a couple of hand made wire scorpions, give him some water and granola, then continue on my way.
Jesus starts singing a beautiful Mexican tune, the words of which I do not know, but it doesn’t matter. If you watch the video to completion, you can hear Jesus singing to me at the end, and I highly recommend that you do.