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Cobalto Azul from Roma, Texas

The Journey to Mariposa Go Down Go Up
THE JOURNEY TO MARIPOSA, written by Cobalto Azul, first of eight, born in Roma, Texas.
I was born in the fall of 1946 shortly after the second world war. I grew up in Roma which is located in the Valley in the south of Texas on the border between Texas and Mexico.
My family is of Mexican descent and have been living in the United States for eight generations, myself being the seventh generation of US born citizens. Both my grandparents and my parents, wanting to better their children′s lot in life, choose to speak only English in their homes to their children.
  The Wayƒarers
Although my mother tongue is English, I have learned to speak some Tex-mex, a local blend of English and Spanish. However, I would often tell others, "I don't read or write Spanish but understand it un poco."
I have always been called by my middle name Samuel because I am named after my father who goes by Cobalto and so, I am know by my friends as Sam.
—Cobalto Azul

The Family History Go Down Go Up
COBALTO AZUL, or Sam, was born near the border town of Roma in the south of Texas during the fall of 1946 shortly after the second world war. His family were of Mexican descent and living in the United States for eight generations, he being in the seventh generation of US born citizens. It was because his grandparents and then his parents wanted to better their children′s lot in life that they spoke only English to their children.
Although his mother tongue is English, over the years, he learns to speak some Tex-mex, a local blend of English and Spanish. However, he would often tell others, I don′t read or write Spanish.
His family was very religious and reared Cobalto to love God and to have a high respect for his Word, the Bible. Early in his life, he was given an English translation of the Bible and he would often read from it. Although he gains much comfort from many of it′s verses, he always wished he could understand the Bible more fully. This book became one of his possession that he came to view as a treasure never to be without.

The Early Liƒe Go Down Go Up
WHILE HE IS A YOUNG BOY, he journeys with his parents to the south of Mexico in the states of Jalisco, Colima and Michoacán to visit with their relatives living high on the mountains there. He remembers that even though the people living in these mountains are extremely poor, he clearly recalls that they always would seem so very happy and this makes him desire to return there again to learn more about this life there in the Mexican transcontinental mountains.
In 1962, after graduating from high school, he begins to explore, traveling first to the national park in the Big Bend on the Rio Grande River that he has heard about since a child.
  Cobalto Azul
This large tract of land had been deeded to the federal government by the state of Texas and on the first of July, 1944, while the world waged war in Europe, the land became a national park.
During his first visit there, he spends all his time camping along the river but in the next several years, returns many times to backpack extensively throughout the Chisos mountains. While walking the paths in the mountains, he finds Big Bend park to be many things including a place both to challenge his outdoor skills as well as one to relax from the rigors of modern life.
He comes to particularly enjoy the splendor of wilderness, wildlife, and wonders of the desert ecosystem and spends much time in contemplation of this natural world. He especially enjoyed reading God's Word while he spends time atop this majestic range of mountains.

The First Journeys Go Down Go Up
LATER, AT THE AGE OF thirty-one, when he finds himself between jobs, he decides to do something that he has for several years had the strong desire to do.
That desire would be to walk the high trail atop a much longer range than the Chisos Mountains, a range on the eastern side of this continent, the Appalachians, and the trail of the same name.
During the months prior to this journey, he prepares himself by first setting the start date of the first of April, 1978, and then goes to work getting all of his gear and provision ready.
By March of 1978, his preparations are complete, he has disposed of most all of his possessions, closed out anything that would tie him to his past life.
  Cobalto Azul
He moved out of the apartment where he has been living and stores those things he feels he can not depart with in the attic of his family home. Since he feels that he is now ready, he begins eastward through Texas towards the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail in northern Georgia.
Late in the day on Friday, the thirty-first of March, 1978 he arrives at Springer Mountain and sets up his gear to stay the night in the lean-to. What he experiences this evening becomes subject for an entry in this journal. He writes about the four others who spend the night here.
"Arrive at the lean-to at about an hour before dark, then I prepare my supper and get into my sleeping bag to eat because the temperature hovers just above freezing. Shortly afterwards, two more thru-hikers arrive, Todd Leydan from New Hampshire and Barry Salaslious from New Jersey. Like myself, both set up their gear inside the lean-to, prepare and eat their meal, then quickly get into there bags. It is not much later, about dark-thirty when two mice begin scurrying about inside the lean-to in search for food. Not finding much if any on the deck, they next focus their attention on the three bear bags suspended from the rafters inside the lean-to. It does not take them long to access a bag and we must needs leave the warmth of the bag, light a candle and chase them away.
"As soon as we retreat to the warmth of our bags, their efforts to access the food in our bear bags resumes. Since no one has a mouse trap, this continues for several chasings until finally I pull down my bear bag, take out the gorp, pick out of it ten peanuts and leave the nuts on the deck for them. My thinking is that it would be better for all of us if they were fed and sleeping than to have to continue struggling with them all night long. When I blow out the candle, I hear them in the vicinity of the nuts on the flool and soon after, they depart leaving us in darkness and silence."

The Wayƒaring Journeys Begins Go Down Go Up
THEN, MUCH LATER in his life, he recalls the time as a child when he traveled with his parents to the south of Mexico. He remembers that he was amazed at how happy the people there seemed to be and how he desired to return there again to learn more about those people living in the mountainous areas of the transcontinental plateau. Since he has retired, he reasons that should make the time and effort to visit there again.
  Cobalto Azul

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