Robert Earl Keen wrote this song about a visit to Boquillas del Carmen, a small Mexican village along the banks of the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park. In the late 1990s, Boquillas del Carmen was a small (300 resident) town with a bar, restaurant, taco stands, and children outside the mission selling rocks collected in the desert or from nearby caves. Today, the unofficial border crossing in Big Bend has been closed indefinitely. As a result, the population in Boquillas del Carmen has been devastated. As of this writing, there are no future plans to reopen this crossing.
This song is known to be quite accurate; there was indeed a man who operated a rowboat across the river for tourists. Robert Earl Keen was known to frequently visit the village, and the small town has become somewhat of a legend in Texas.
Suggestion credit: Jeremy - Fort worth, TX, for above 2
Tat from MarfaBoquillas crossing reopened a few years ago. I was there yesterday. Danny Hinkle was the man running from the DEA. He moved away when they closed the crossing. Too bad. He's a legend in Boquillas.