My friend @micah5326 started @heroesandhorses. Last year they adopted 16 mustangs, trained them, and completed a 500 mile ride to prepare the horses for his Veterans Backcountry therapy school in Montana. I got to go on part of the trip and help shoot a film they made on the experience called @500milesproject . Micah is in Austin for a screening tonight at the @filson1897 store at 6PM. See y’all there!
RIP Barbara Bush. The Bush Library at Texas A&M hosted a screening of Unbranded and I got to sit next to her, one of the biggest honors of my life. She talked the whole movie but you can’t tell a First Lady that’s bad manners. I’ll never forget her quick wit, loving eyes, and commanding personality. My only regret was failing to convince her to adopt a mustang. Grateful to meet such an amazing lady. #rip #barbarabush
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to accompany Theodore Roosevelt IV, Senator Tom Udall, and a group from @americanrivers on a 4 day canoe trip along the Rio Grande river. I was the trip’s camera op to make a short film about the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and writer Nick Paumgarten was there to write a story for The New Yorker. That story just released, link in profile, goes into the W&S Rivers Act, TRs thoughts on the Wall, immigration, and river flows. It also describes how I’m scared of spiders, got duped into eating a bobcat, and got a senator to play drinking games in Mexico. So proud! Never thought those facets of my life would make the New Yorker! Link in profile, it’s a full 15 minute read and pretty interesting. #riogrande #lowercanyons #boquillas
Last summer @cliffandcactus and I spent a few months filming bears and desert Bighorn in West Texas. We didn’t even try to get mountain lion footy because seeing one in the wild is so rare. We were trying to glass bears one evening and on the way home, this mountain lion darted across the road in front of us. I slammed on the breaks, grabbed my camera and got set up on an exposed ridge 100 yards away hoping the cat would cross. It never did. Logan then ducked down to get a different angle into the brush and saw these big beautiful yellow eyes staring at us from a mere 15 yards away. The cat gave us just enough time to reposition the camera where he stared straight into the lens for a few seconds before slipping away. I’ll never forget that moment or the fear that my camera settings were off. Seeing a cat is rare, getting one in the wild on film might be a once in a lifetime opportunity. It makes me wonder how many times I’ve walked within 20 yards of a mountain lion and had absolutely no clue. They’re such awesome animals. #mountainlion #r3d @reddigitalcinema
Boquillas standoff. Donkey for a camera.
This cemetery is about 10 miles north of the ghost town of Porvenir, TX near the Rio Grande and US-Mexico Border. I got the creeps getting this nightlapse. 100 years ago this year, a group of Texas rangers and US Calvary soldiers separated 15 Mexican men and boys from the town of Porvenir, marched them out of town, lined them up, and executed them on a hill via firing squad. Supposably they were thieves, despite having no evidence, who were part of a raid that killed a few settlers on the Texas side of the river. At that point in history, there was a lot of anti-Mexican sentiment, anger, and fear along the border in the wake of Pancho Villas raids. The massacre wasn’t reported for over a month and the reports are conflicting. What exactly happened is still murky. In the aftermath, the Texas Ranger company was disbanded and Rangers as a whole were more scrutinized and had stricter recruitment. The Texas Observer did a really good article on the massacre this year on the 100th anniversary. Google it, it’s worth reading. #porvenir #timelapse
Gotten a lot of messages asking about where to float a canoe on The Rio Grande and if it’s safe on the border. The whole river and the landscapes it goes through are incredible. I suggest doing the whole thing if you can swing two months but if you can’t, here’s a few suggestions. 7 day 83 mile trip from La Linda to Dryden through the Lower Canyons, it’ll blow your mind. in my opinion, the LC is the greatest wilderness experience left in Texas. A good 2 day trip is hike over Mariscal (pictured) mountain 10 miles then float through the canyon on day 2. Classic 1 day is santa Elena canyon. Another great spot, especially if you like to fish, is downstream from Lake Amistad near Del Rio. The river is perfectly clear here b/c of the dam and is loaded with smallmouth bass and an insane amount of waterfowl. Regarding safety on the border, I’ve never had a dangerous encounter paddling, have never heard of a paddler having a nefarious encounter, and think a lot of the border “danger” is way overhyped. On the Wild & Scenic stretch and in @bigbendnps you can camp in Mexico and there’s a lot of neat Border towns to check out. You kind of forget river right is Mexico sometimes. There’s a great book “Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande” if you’re interested in floating the lowers. There’s a lot of literature on the river in the State and Nationsl Park as well. There’s almost no literature or on paddling from Del Rio to the Gulf, a shame b/c the river goes through some really amazing landscapes down there and the fishing is awesome. If you’re going to float in West Texas, my friend @austintorios can set you straight with the right boat, a shuttle, and logistics. Spring & fall is “busy” season and fall typically has higher water. See more @theriverandthewall #riogrande #mariscal
My dog is such a millennial. @mollyvizsla
Mariscal Canyon on the Rio Grande River and the US-Mexico Border. Hiked the rim upriver yesterday, floated down the Rio today back to the truck. Awesome 2 day trip. This canyon is, in my opinion, the most dramatic in West Texas. These photos don’t do it justice. The cliffs soar well over 1,000 feet high and the sides of the canyon pinch together where you have to look straight up to see sky. Entering the canyon gave me the same feeling I had the first time I saw the Grand Canyon, disbelief. Mariscal Canyon is the beginning of the 196 miles of designated Wild & Scenic River on the Rio, Texas’ only W&S river. #mariscal #riogrande
Look in the mud, that’s a bear track. The black bear stepped out onto the bank at the exact same time @kgsmasters and I were floating past on the Rio Grande. It was about 7 yards away and I don’t know who was more surprised, the bear or us. After a few second stare down the bear went back into the forest of river cane on the banks of the Rio and disappeared. A few minutes later, she reappeared going up the hill, along with two of last year’s cubs, all of which look healthy (pic 2, sorry all I had was a wide angle)This pic was taken on the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande in the Texas-Mexico Border 30 miles south of Sanderson just downstream of the Sentinels rock formation. To my knowledge, it’s the only pic of a bear in the lower canyons and I’m really lucky to get it. My friend Keith Bowden has floated this stretch over 70 times and hasn’t seen one. It’s a harsh desert environment but the bears somehow are make a living / comeback here. Sightings outside of Big Bend NP and Black Gap WMA (where a population has taken hold), though still rare, are up in West Texas but research and data is scarce. Nobody really knows how many bears there are in West Texas but they’re making a comeback. Black bears were completely killed out of West Texas and its only been in my lifetime where they’ve begun to restore their former habitat by dispersing north out of their source population in Mexico. What got me so excited about seeing these bears is the cubs. Not only is the habitat suitable for a mature bear, it’s suitable for a mama to successfully raise two cubs that are now probably 14-16 months old. They’ll be leaving their mother within a year and who knows, maybe they’ll disperse into Texas, further into their historic habitat. 🤞 #lowercanyons #riogrande #texasbear #blackbear
My wife just took me on an 83 mile paddle through the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande on the US-Mexico Border from La Linda to Dryden. This section of the Rio is insanely beautiful and really remote. We saw zero other paddlers and there’s no development for the entire stretch. There’s a handful of gnarly rapids but most of the time you just stare in awe at the cliffs above. Spotted some newly reintroduced Desert Bighorn still wearing GPS collars, a pair of peregrine falcons, javelina, turkeys, and a really big treat; bears. One sow and two cubs at mile 63 just past the sintenels. Thanks for the hot date @kgsmasters #lowercanyons
My dog has become obsessed with video editing. It’s a problem and she drools on the keyboard when reviewing footage she likes, especially Horses and mountain lions.
I’m trying to get a picture of a wild mountain lion in ou just outside of Austin’s city limits. I realize it’s a really long shot but Ive heard rumors of sightings and I’ve got 12 nice motion sensor trail cams and want to get them running while I’m in town editing @theriverandthewall . If you’ve seen one in Austin, know of anyone who has, or have any leads, please message me as I’m looking for good places to put out the cams. Thanks!
I keep coming back to this 10-minute short film called The Important Places while looking for inspiration for editing @theriverandthewall. It's about a father/son relationship, the Grand Canyon, time, and as the name implies, the important places. The story, cinematography, editing, music, everything about it is just awesome. I don't know @forestwoodward or @gnarlybay but congrats on this beautiful piece. It is truly work to aspire to.
There’s some really important bipartisan legislation you should be aware of. The “Recovering America’s Wildlife Act” has gotten support from both some Dems and some Republican to annually give 1.3 Billion dollars from federal oil royalties to fund conservation efforts nationwide. That’s as much money as the better known Pittman Robertson and Dingell Johnson Acts combined. I’ve urged my congressmen to support the bill and urge you to do the same. @hurdonthehill and @betoorourke surely y’all are in? Link in Bio to the @nationalwildlife federation to learn more about the bill, what the money would be used for, and how to sign your support. Pic taken in SW Montana’s gallatin Mountains #recoveringamericaswildlifeact
Just finished this book. I found it fascinating. It’s written by a former Border Patrol agent with deep roots along the border who worked in New Mexico and Arizona sectors. Good insight into what the border patrol does, some examples of why people immigrate, and interesting historical context to the borderlands, the border wall, and US immigration system. It dives into nuance and doesn’t tell you how to think, which I love. #brainscramble #thelinebecomesariver
Made a Spotify playlist of all your Border music suggestions. Link in profile. Y’all have good taste! The playlist is collaborative so check it out and add some jams. Pic is Castolon Peak on the Texas-Mexico border with the Chisos in the back. #borderlands #theriverandthewall #spotify
Calling all Marfans. I’m on @marfapublicradio tomorrow at 6:30 PM talking about @theriverandthewall , the border, bears, the Rio Grande, sheep, and mountain lions. Tune in if you’re in the area, it’s pretty much the only radio station. #marfa #westtexas #theriverandthewall