Ben H. English

Ben. H. English Texas

What a difference a year makes. When I wrote this, ‘Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend’ was being readied for publication. Moreover, ‘The Uvalde Raider’ was still in development under the working title of ‘Winter Eagles.’

Hit the fast forward button and both books are now in print and doing well. ‘Out There’ turned out to be my first hardbound offering, as well as my first audio book with myself doing the narration. That was one steep learning curve!

‘The Uvalde Raider’ has caused a good deal of social media buzz and holds a near perfect review average on Amazon. Most importantly, many readers have given the book this summation: It made them proud to be a Texan and an American.

Folks, for me it does not get any better than that.

Please keep those reviews coming! Your thoughts and words make for the best advertising any writer could ever have.

Thank you and God bless to all,

Ben“The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for.”
― Louis L’Amour

The remains of nameless paths, trails and wagon tracks from antiquity crisscross across the face of the lower Big Bend in a bewildering maze of forgotten individual histories. Each had their own reason, their own purpose, and their own special direction and way. For each one you find on any map, dozens more run unmarked, waiting for the curious as well as the observant to rediscover them.

And so it was on this day.

I was on the scout swinging a loop past Gano Spring, named for the Gano brothers who established the first ranch in what is now Big Bend National Park. ‘Big’ is a relative term, but in this case an understatement as their holdings extended from the Chisos to Anguila Mesa, and from the river to the Agua Fria. The ranch was called the G4.

The Gano Spring area is a clash among eras and cultures, but also with a continuity that is only found in spots of this desert providing a reliable source of water. Nearby are the remnants of Indian camps, shelters, diggings and what is left of a later ranch once known as the Culpepper. All dissimilar, yet all now joined together as fading testaments of what once existed here.

Then there are the natural features, as bizarre and dissimilar as created by man’s hand but on a far grander scale. This photo was taken a bit below the spring itself and illustrates well why this land had such a hold on my ancestors, and on me. Majestic mountains and canyons, rich grasslands, rocks and boulders of every size and description, arid desert and eroding badlands where the scarce, hardy vegetation fights a daily battle just to survive.

Take a closer look at that photo; those are not fence lines, folks …

God bless to all,


Ben H. English
Alpine, Texas
USMC: 1976-1983
THP: 1986-2008

Author of ‘Yonderings’ (TCU Press)
‘Destiny’s Way’ (Creative Texts Publishers)
‘Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend’ (Creative Texts Publishers)
‘The Uvalde Raider’ (Creative Texts Publishers)
Facebook: Ben H. English
‘Graying but still game’

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By Peace Truth

Life is like a bunch of roses. Some sparkle like raindrops. Some fade when there's no sun. Some just fade away in time. Some dance in many colors. Some drop with hanging wings. Some make you fall in love. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Life you can be sure of, you will not get out ALIVE.(sorry about that)