As it was, I saw many along the dirt road leading to Pine Canyon. A little earlier would have worked. The sign there says the trail is 4 miles round trip. When I had walked about a mile, I stopped to photograph a butterfly and couldn't get my Lumix zoom to work.
Reluctantly, almost tearfully, I decided there was no point in continuing, so headed back toward my pickup. After about 5 minutes I found a spot of shade and sat down to study the camera some more. Turned it on and, presto, the zoom worked. So I turned and headed back up the trail. During a break about 2/3 of the way to where the trail ends at a box canyon, I put my camera on a rock and set the timer to document my adventure.
If I had it to do over again, I would have left half the water (the two quarts that I ended up lugging back to my vehicle) and carried my Canon. Oh well, I did get one lifer, a Golden Banded-Skipper. It would have been almost impossible not to get it. There were lots of them everywhere.
Pine Canyon is the most magical place in the Big Bend, in my opinion. A relict from the last ice age, still filled with Texas Madrones, Big Tooth Maples, and Ponderosa Pines. Plus a waterfall at the end (when there's water, which isn't often).
I'm none the worse for the wear, except my feet really hurt.
UPDATE: My sister called me a while ago saying she had heard on the radio that a hiker had died in Big Bend National Park today. She knew I was going to Pine Canyon and said her heart just dropped. And then the announcer said it happened in Dog Canyon, so she breathed again. I hate that she had to suffer that moment of agony. I can only imagine how terrible it must have been. Actually, a 46 year old woman died yesterday, but it didn't make the news until today. The headlines my sister heard didn't say when, apparently. Pine Canyon today would not have been quite as hot as Dog Canyon was yesterday, I don't think. I never saw another person all the while I was in the park today other than a couple of cars on the highway when I was leaving.