We are in need of some serious adventure vacations! OK need is a strong word; WANT…..
When the Memorial day weekend rolled around we procrastinated too long to book any flights ahead of time so we opted for the next best thing; Road Trip! The road trip had us leaving out of Austin heading west for 8 hours of driving down the long stretch of Interstate 10. Our hope was to arrive last minute late Friday evening on a Holiday weekend at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, which doesn’t take campsite reservations (be it out in the middle of nowhere), and pray we find a place to sleep.
We arrived after hours and raced to the much needed bathrooms only to find all but one closed. A queue of people were waiting in line as EmSue did the PeePee dance while banging on the door yelling at the people locked inside for using the restroom sink to clean their camp dishes (as the sign outside prohibited). It did however give us a chance to learn that all the campsites had been full since early morning and there were no nearby overflow campsites in Texas. Not sure how this happens because when you visit the Park there is literally nothing in a 60 mile radius. Unfortunately this is what we get living in a state with no Public Lands.
Thankfully due to the great state of New Mexico, the campers washing their dishes, and a new favorite website of mine http://freecampsites.net we did find a place to sleep some 26 miles away across the New Mexico border at Carlsbad Caverns BLM land. It turned out to be better than being crammed in tiny campsites on top of other campers five feet away blasting some Colt Ford memorial day weekend crap music (Mark knows what I am talking about). Having the solitude of just mountains to ourselves, a far off thunderstorm, and the occasional big rig cruising by to find a sleeping spot for the night; we had found our Glampsite.
Nothing like sleeping in a tent to help you rise at the crack of dawn to the earth desert smell and then enjoying a freshly brewed cup of joe. That was enough to kick us into gear breaking down camp so we would have an early start before the heat hit. We made the twenty-some mile drive back to the park and hit the trail early.
Given it was a holiday weekend there was no way we would get the trail or summit to ourselves, but we were nicely surprised to find we didn’t have to hike in a single file line or wade through groups of people as we made our way up the 8.3 mile round trip to the top of Texas. The first 1.5 miles was definitely the steepest section and made you question if it was going to be this way all the way up. However, after turning the bend around the 2 mile mark we were treated to the shade and cooler temps of a high desert forest. The last half mile had us heading out of the trees to the exposed rocky terrain surrounding the summit where we were treated to 360* panoramic views in all directions; as should be the case with any highest point in a state.
By the time the midday heat had struck we had wound ourselves back down to the parking lot for a quick sink shower, lunch in the car, and started down the long road ahead of us as we made our way to the next adventure.
Texas high point….. Check!