BlogHer
Flickr
Really Old Archives
Ravelry
@owilderness
Sprout Dispatch
YouTube

Interviews
The Trail Show Interview about the Florida Trail
Florida Hikes! Wild Women Interview
A Trail Life Appalachian Trail Hike Interview








Follow on Bloglovin

Read OW in your inbox!:

Delivered by FeedBurner



Contests & Other Items
Creative
Food
Family & Friends
Gardening
Journeys
Local Adventures
Local Coffee
Memes
Nature In The City
Outdoors
Thoughts

+Selected Posts+

Thru-Hiking the Florida Trail How-To
Little Lake Creek Loop, SHNF
Our Work in Print
Thru-Hiker Deliciousness
The Greatest Mountain























LINKwithlove


  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • July 2016
  • June 2016
  • May 2016
  • April 2016
  • March 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009



  • We arrived at the Pine Springs Visitors Center at Guadalupe Mountains National Park somewhere around 11am MST. Patrice and Justin were going to be meeting us in a few hours and I was surprised that we’d arrived at the visitors center so quickly. That and we didn’t anticipate a time change though I should have figured that we were going far enough west to have one. The extra hour was definitely a bonus.

    Inside the center we filled out our backcountry slips and took a look around the exhibits, watching the video in the small room behind the main desk. Killing time, we decided to get everything together so we could book it as soon as they arrived. A few texts were exchanged and they were going to arrive around 1:30 MST, which they did pretty much promptly. Chris was anxious to get to the top of Guadalupe Peak, the 8,749′ mountain that reigns as the highest point in Texas, for sunset. The ranger at the visitors center said that three hours would be a fast time for anyone to climb the mountain, but he didn’t know that there were two recent Appalachian Trail thru-hikers that could probably whip that out pretty fast (Deal and Steadee) and though our thru-hike was well over a year ago we figured we could do pretty well. (I think it was somewhere around 2.5 hours to the top for us…Patrice can verify, she had a Garmin Forerunner clocking our time and altitude).

    We were the only ones to start up that late and most folks were coming down by that time. I took my time, slowly and steadily, and not feeling so great from the slowly increasing altitude and from not eating a good lunch. Bad choice on my part! A mule deer was scared from its resting place just off the trail about a quarter of the way up and we encountered an obnoxious if informative kid saying that “we had a long way to go” still. Yeah, we know, dude. Then, since we were all A.T. thru-hikers we lamented about the ever persistent question on the trail when descending a mountain “How far to the top?”. The answer in our head would have been “Well, for you or for me?” After one has covered so many miles it is easy to become quickly efficient at hiking up and down a mountain. Of course we didn’t answer so snidely and are nice about it, “Well, it’ll be awhile, sorry!” This time though I definitely felt on the other end of the stick since I was out of mountain shape and my lungs were feeling the pressure.

    The peak we thought was the summit turned out to not be the summit, of course. This is the ever annoying curse of “That must be it!” and it really isn’t. The false summit was instead the 1-mile from summit campground. Looked promising.

    Up, and up, and up. Round, and round, and round. We spotted the horse hitching posts and then Chris noticed the monument on the top of the summit.

    We’d made it! The rotten thing was I was so shaky and had started having leg cramps on the way up (a banana would have made me feel a lot better!) that I immediately started making dinner. That, compounded with the wind chill at the top didn’t allow me to share in the hub-bub of making it to the summit. I just wanted food and to get in the tent. We decided to find a good patch of rock to set the tent up on instead of descending the mile down to the campground and pitched the tent on the summit instead.

    It was a great choice, the view was magnificent and the stars—-wow, the stars! We left the fly off the tent that night so every time we woke up to turn over, our view was to the beautiful stars above. Before we went to bed we were stunned by the amount of cars driving down the road to the east of the park. The lights were endless and we only guessed that it was holiday travel coming to the park or going to areas in southeastern New Mexico (Carlsbad is less than an hour away) and west Texas. Chris took some great shots of the lights and when he gets them downloaded and processed I’ll post them here.

    The next morning was awesome! Sunrise was wonderful…perhaps almost as good as Sunrise on Katahdin, I mean, I think the 2,179 miles behind that summit made that one, but it was still pretty awesome.

    sunrise
    Was not going for composition here. I literally reached out of the tent for my backpack, got my camera (we carried our good dSLRs up) and shot the photo out the door of the tent.

    tent2

    tent

    shadow
    Looking west, the shadow from Guadalupe Peak on the flats below.

    lavignes2
    Deal and Steadee

    dawn

    elcapitan2
    View south to El Capitan and the salt flats

    elcapitan

    saltflats
    The salt flats again

    view2
    Looking northwest towards the rest of the range

    view

    summit1
    We camped directly on the other side of the canyon, there, our last night. You can see the trail, the Tejas trail, that goes down the mountain on the far right side of the photo.

    top2
    About the monument erected by American Airlines in 1958 honoring the Butterfield Overland mail route that went through the region.

    top1

    morning

    lavignes
    Deal and Steadee studying the map…

    mistisummit2
    I took Ridley, the little sea turtle mascot my niece gave me when we did the Florida Trail, to the top.

    mistisummit

    Next up, we’ll descend and then hit up McKittrick Canyon for some strenuous, but beautiful, hiking!

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
    Facebook Twitter Email

    2 Comments

    1. Patrice says:

      OMG, for feeling sick, you got some really beautiful shots. I am so bummed I didn’t get any pictures of the 2 of you with my camera (aside from one of you guys hiking, but it’s far away). With no pictures, people are still asking me, who is Misti & Chris???

      Can’t wait for the rest of your post!

    2. Moosie says:

      Beautiful pictures! to bad i will never see in person

    Leave a Reply

    ``