A Mexican stand off with Texas Bison.


A snake in the tent, a random blizzard, or attracting the undesired attention of a large predatory cat, and yes all of this has happened to me. By its nature Adventure requires random variables which surprise and at times frighten us. I am a meticulous planner, an obsessive details driven, often over-prepared person.  Yet somehow Adventure always finds me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

DSC_0539Caprock Canyons is extraordinary ,but something was missing. Sure the red powder-like soil is layered in a strata of varying gradients and shades of pinks and reds separated by thick layers of white gypsum. Hoodoos form in clusters crafting giant columns like obelisk pointing to blue skies ornately robed in white clouds.

As we hiked Ruth pulled as if she were an Alaskan sled dog, sniffing at the soil, the air, always listening and looking.She like Lauren and I was overwhelmed; our senses taken by the colors and composition of this wonderful terrain. Yet where was Adventure, had adventure forgotten we were on holiday? I had yet to fall from a cliff face, or been chased by a clan of banjo playing inbred mountain men. Our trip was only days from being over and I wasn’t bleeding, or filling out a police report.  Joking, sort of?

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As we gazed at one of Caprocks famous formations, a set of hoodoos known as “The Last Dance”  a formation resembling a couple salsa dancing frozen in stone, I began to feel a bit mushy. I’m a husband who is hopelessly in love with my wife, and a deeply horrible romantic. This formation accompanied by the presence of heart shaped cactus amiss the beauty of the canyons caused my gaze to shift more often unto my bride. Perhaps it was good for us to have a nice peaceful trip.

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At the trail head we began ridding, but  no amount of gear ratio could compensate for our fatigue on these steep roads. As we huffed  and puffed like the big bad wolf taking a breathing treatment I heard a rustle, not that of a bird or a squire, but something larger.

DSC_0561 1 There upon the peak emerged a herd of bison. They became aware of our presence only to start snorting and stomping their hooves. Taking Lauren by the backpack, which contained little Ruth, I pulled them into the Juniper trees. The only thing separating us from these giant animals was 12 feet,  two bikes, and a guard rail.


There we were, I with my opposable thumbs, and higher thinking, versus the Bison with nearly 1 ton of body mass, horns, and the ability to run at 35mph.  We remained quietly in the trees as most of the Bison ran past.  This wasn’t in the park handbook, there were no directions on how to handle this situation.

Countless hours of National Geographics documentaries don’t fail me now. 1.  Look unintimidating , that was easy, after all I’m a short ginger hiding in the bushes. 2. Don’t make eye contact, well now I can’t help but notice what pretty eyes you have Ms.Bison 3. Wait them out, like we had other options. With every snort and stomp my heart raced faster and faster. Behind us was a steep drop off, in front a guard rail, and bison.


We waited, until someone saw our situation and using their vehicle encouraged the herd to move on. That afternoon I sat  heavy in my chair with a Grinch like smirk upon my face. My friend Adventure,I love when you show up upon the trail, creek, river, swamp, rock face, and randomly as I am standing on the top rung of a 10 foot ladder trying to install a ceiling fan. However, that is a story for another day.


30 thoughts on “A Mexican stand off with Texas Bison.

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