Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 17, 2019

A Passion for Adventure

As a boy, I read about and listened to stories of great adventures — stories that stirred something deep within me. I loved listening to my Dad recount tales of his travels. The black and white photos that chronicled his adventures became my window to the world. I wanted to be in those photos and at those places.

Adventure, I believe, is central to manliness. Sadly, it’s easy for boys, as they get older, to lose the passion for adventure that filled their childhood. Adventure is easily crowded out by the pressures of making a living and juggling a myriad of adult responsibilities. Regaining our passion for adventure, however, is worth the effort and the struggle.

One of the key components of my Band of Fathers core group is shared adventure. In addition to studying and serving together, we set aside time to enjoy adventures. Our adventures are not about the cheap thrills of adrenaline but about making valuable discoveries about ourselves in the context of the great outdoors.

This month several of the guys in my Band of Fathers core group and I traveled west to Big Bend, that magnificent and wide part of the Lone Star State that lies beyond the Pecos River. We wanted to spend some time camping, biking, and hiking in what is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

We always enjoy our time outdoors. The food and fellowship are always great. Meals just seem to taste better when we are on an adventure. We have the added benefit of having James Meredith in our group — unquestionably one of the best camp cooks in the world (in my humble estimation). His Dutch oven desserts are truly amazing!

Some of the guys in our group headed to Big Bend Ranch State Park to hit the bike trails. This park has miles of challenging bike trails that wind through the rugged terrain of the Chihuahuan Desert. Several of us have participated in the Chihuahuan Desert Mountain Bike Endurance Ride at Big Bend Ranch State Park over the years and have logged lots of miles on these trails.

A few of the guys hung around to help me insulate and install the ceiling in my off-grid cabin in Big Bend. My cabin was our base camp for this adventure. I am excited to make progress on our property and to share the site with my fellow adventurers. It’s a great place to pitch a tent and enjoy a campfire under big Texas skies.

We also hiked a couple of trails at Big Bend National Park, located less than an hour from my front gate. This national park is one of the most beautiful in the country and features the darkest skies in Texas. The vistas are beyond expansive and beyond description. This is iconic cowboy country. It’s easy to let your imagination run wild with thoughts of what it must have been like for those early settlers who were the original off-gridders.

After our Band of Fathers headed for home, my friend Doyle Lowry drove out for some camping and hiking time. We had hoped to summit another 8,000+ foot peak in Guadalupe Mountains National Park located four hours to the north. Wind gusts in excess of 50 mph dictated that we live to summit another day.

Undeterred, we changed gears and headed back to Big Bend National Park to hike for a couple of days. Although we were a bit bummed about not being able to do another peak in the Guadalupe Mountains, we were more than happy to hike at Big Bend. We had some bad weather that eventually cleared and rewarded us with magnificent skies.

I returned home late Friday night refreshed and renewed by my time of shared adventure with good men. I enjoy taking advantage of every opportunity to opt outside and to engage in adventure. As I get older I want to keep my passion for adventure strong, even if it hurts to hike or to paddle or peddle. In the words of county singer Toby Keith, “don’t let the old man in” — lest he come in and quench your passion for adventure. I am committed to keeping the old man from breaking in!


  1. Enjoyable reading I ha e driven close by, but stopped yo visit

    • Thanks, Gil. Truly an amazing place.

  2. Omar & Band of Fathers,
    I miss you all and I want you to know I love you and pray for you all the time. Please tell everyone at KBC hello and we send our love from the York Family.

    • Thanks so much, Todd. Will definitely pass along your greetings. Love and miss you all as well.

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