An update from David on Outdoor Adventures’ Spring Break trip to Big Bend National Park:

This trips never ceases to amaze us. Relatively easy to plan and pull off. Beautiful scenery, easy river, able to pack a lot of food (we weren’t going to starve on this one), and incredible people. This really should be a regular trip.

With OA represented by Chris and I, we were fortunate to have Jin-Chen, Sam, Breanna, Sarah, Kristin, Arden, Jessica and Logan on board. What a fantastic group!!! From “never befores” to “old timers,” this group was composed of various outdoors people, or soon to be. AND we only experienced two fatalities: canoeing egos (mine anyway) and 1 jackrabbit unable to get out of the way of the mack-daddy OA van.

Instead of the normal trip summary, we decided to do a “What did we learn?”
So, what did we learn?

There is very little to look at between Abilene and Alpine.
Don’t buy DVDs from a pawn shop
We theorized that male Jack-O-Lopes have big antlers for mating. They want to intimidate male jackrabbits. It’s an inadequacy thing. Kind of like big SUVs and trucks.
Do not disregard a bed after 12+ hours in a passenger van, even if you question the cleanliness.
In the desert, a horse has no name.
Nobody in Terlingua showers or shaves on a regular basis.
A heavily loaded canoe will not turn at the last minute … no matter how good you think your canoeing skills might be.
When trying to teach fundamental paddling, make sure everyone knows the difference between right/left and front/back before you use the canoeing terms.
Dancers are tough!
Is it just me, or are people from Pittsburgh loud?
Bathing, washing hair, or even wearing deodorant in the backcountry does nothing to cover up the smell.
Whether making things or cooking things, it is truly amazing to see creativity.
From a distance and in an arroyo (canyon for you that don’t know), donkeys sound like people laughing.
Don’t drink water from the Rio Grande.
Do not eat the last can of Mandarin Oranges before checking with EVERYBODY.
The Marfa Lights do exist, but not on this trip.
At 5:30 in the morning and in large groups (+ or – 8), the border patrol does not have a sense of humor.
It’s amazing what a little adversity, remoteness, good people and a common goal will do to bring a group of strangers together as a team.