I have a ritual of sorts when I go to Big Bend National Park, which sits along the border of West Texas and Mexico, and this ritual always begins with hiking the Lost Mine Trail. The 4.6 mile hike serves as my way of greeting the place. It also serves as a gauge of what has changed between visits, both physically and emotionally.
At the top, I take off my shoes, climb to the very highest rock, right up to the edge, and look out over the land. There is a range of endless blue mountains ahead, a lush canon valley to the right, a vibrant stretch of hills to the left, and the desert behind. From an elevation of 7,550 ft you can see for over one hundred miles. It feels like you’re at the top of Texas.