Chihuahua, April 2003

By , April 18, 2003 8:44 pm
 Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Gypsum Dunes, Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Gypsum dunes, Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Day 1…

•Nine-hour drive to Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. I arrived early enough to get the key to the gate that allowed me to photograph the gypsum dunes on the west end of the park. There are four keys to the gate, but I had the only one checked out, so I was entirely alone.

Gypsum dunes at last light

Gypsum dunes at last light

Two-hour star trace from Pine Springs campground

Two-hour star trace from Pine Springs campground

•Set up camp in the Pine Springs Campground. Set up my camp chair and discovered I had excellent cellular service, so I talked to Abby for over an hour.

•With two deer right next to my tent watching, I made a two-hour star trace photo.

Day 2…

•Hiked the El Capitan Trail, where I met a guy named John from San Antonio, who told me he was training for the Appalachian Trail. I hiked with him for a couple of hours.

Agave lines the El Capitan trail.

Agave lines the El Capitan trail.

El Capitan with Wildflowers

El Capitan with Wildflowers

•Hiked the Smith Spring Trail in the afternoon. Fair images on both.

•Warned of forecast for 60mph winds for the night, so I broke camp and headed to Carlsbad.

Day 3…

Carlsbad Caverns natural entrance

Carlsbad Caverns natural entrance

•Took the Natural Entrance at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Made some decent pictures, since I had my tripod.

•Drove long, lonely county road to Sitting Bull Falls in the Lincoln National Forest west of the Carlsbad area.

•I’m 39. The last time I saw Carlsbad Caverns, my parents were 39.

Sitting Bull Falls

Sitting Bull Falls

Day 4…

Posing with Postal Service marker, Guadalupe Peak

Posing with Postal Service marker, Guadalupe Peak

•Hiked to the top of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas. It was, as the Park Service claims, strenuous, ascending about 3000 feet from the trailhead to an elevation of 8749. It was hazy all day, but still very fun. I called Abby from the top.

After sunset, Pine Springs campground

After sunset, Pine Springs campground

Overall, I had an exceptional trip, and I felt like I accomplished all my goals.

Additional images:

Stalactities and stalagmites, Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Stalactities and stalagmites, Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Carlsbad's famous "soda straw" formation.

Carlsbad's famous "soda straw" formation.

Lone Gazebo on the road to Sitting Bull Falls, New Mexico

Lone Gazebo on the road to Sitting Bull Falls, New Mexico

Contrails over Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Contrails over Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Sitting Bull Falls

Sitting Bull Falls

On the Guadalupe Peak Trail

On the Guadalupe Peak Trail

Putnam, Texas

Putnam, Texas

Looking South from Salt Flat, Texas

Looking South from Salt Flat, Texas

Looking Northeast from Salt Flat, Texas

Looking Northeast from Salt Flat, Texas

Postal Marker and Cirrus Clouds, Guadalupe Peak

Postal Marker and Cirrus Clouds, Guadalupe Peak

Abandoned filling station south of Whites City, New Mexico.

Abandoned filling station south of Whites City, New Mexico.

Air Power Museum, Midland, Texas

Air Power Museum, Midland, Texas

Air Power Museum, Midland, Texas

Air Power Museum, Midland, Texas

Gypsum dunes, Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Gypsum dunes, Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Gypsum dunes and setting sun.

Gypsum dunes and setting sun.

Light and shadow, gypsum dunes.

Light and shadow, gypsum dunes.

Yucca, gypsum dunes.

Yucca, gypsum dunes.

Grass and dunes as sunset approaches.

Grass and dunes as sunset approaches.

El Capitan Peak viewed from the U. S. 180 turnout, morning.

El Capitan Peak viewed from the U. S. 180 turnout, morning.

Looking west from Guadalupe Mountains National Park at distant mountains, sunset.

Looking west from Guadalupe Mountains National Park at distant mountains, sunset.

Fisheye view, gypsum dunes and Guadalupe Mountains, sunset.

Fisheye view, gypsum dunes and Guadalupe Mountains, sunset.

The gypsum dunes viewed from atop Guadalupe Peak, the high point of Texas.

The gypsum dunes viewed from atop Guadalupe Peak, the high point of Texas.

Hunter Peak.

Hunter Peak, which is across Pine Spring Canyon to the north from Guadalupe Peak.

Manzanita Spring and Nipple Hill.

Manzanita Spring and Nipple Hill.

El Capitan and Sky, Last Light

El Capitan and Sky, Last Light

Watch the Chihuahua QuickTime movie here…

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