A friend who had never visited Big Bend wanted me, a veteran of the region, to join him on an extended weekend of hiking to serve as a tour guide of sorts. I’m used to hiking in the hot sunny conditions characteristic of that part of the country, and warned him in advance that the weather could be harsh, despite the fact that we had planned our trip for late September. Just prior to arriving, a rare, early season Pacific cold front descended on the park, dumping over an inch of rain in the mountains and dropping daytime highs into the upper 60’s. Embarking the South Rim trailhead via the Pinnacles, the towering Chisos were enveloped in a halo of ethereal clouds. Our environ had the feel of the Elfin village in The Lord of the Rings; clouds spilled up and over the North and West edges of the Basin, pouring in through the Window to envelop the camp area below us. Climbing to the Emory Peak trailhead we ascended into the dense, sound-deadening mist. I exclaimed to my friend that this was just not normal as we approached Boot Canyon. Collecting mist dripped from leaves. Water streamed beside and along the trail. A distant, muffled sound grew louder as we approached what is normally a dry streambed. Now it had the appearance of an Appalachian stream, waterfalls dotting its course between clear, shallow pools. We waded across and continued to hike along and through the flowing creek, up the canyon towards our destination. As we approached the South Rim, the stream split into three or four headwaters, each running swift and clear. Stepping to the Rim edge, the clouds momentarily broke, revealing a breathtaking view descending two thousand feet to the Chihuahuan desert floor below and stretching nearly a hundred miles into Mexico. As quickly as the clouds broke, they enveloped us again, muffling all sound and leaving us standing on a ledge that fell away into nothingness. It was as if we had entered a dream.