Big Bend is awesome, but a long way and this time of year is usually pretty crowded. If you like canyons there is Palo Duro canyon by Amarillo or Caprock Canyons which may be a little closer. Both very nice. Area's around San Antonio are plenty and
I agree: that’s why I said “problems to overcome” instead of deal-breakers.” That’s also interesting that you were using dry leaves, and they were lofty after being chopped. At one time, I’m sure someone thought cotton was a weed, too.