I missed you all, my blogging friends! I was out in West Texas hiking in the the Guadalupe Mountains National Park with a great friend. We kept this trip super low budget, slept in her Honda Odyssey van with seats removed, brought all of our own food and drinks, and only bought one souvenir, a t-shirt. We hiked to the highest point in Texas, Guadalupe Peak, 8751 feet, along with my fear of heights which I told to hush up and keep going. That took us about 6 hours round trip including leisurely breaks. Then we hiked another almost 2 hours after that on a flat, extremely rocky trail, basically a creek bed (wash) full of boulders and rocks with no trail markings, called Devils Hall trail. The reward was worth it.
The next day we hiked two easy trails, Frijole and McKittrick Canyon, but there was very little shade and the second trail was all loose gravel so my calves are super, super tight today. Some historical buildings and a cool cave with stalactites are at the end of that one. After a quick snack and shoe change, we got back on the road and drove 9 hours back to my house! Then she had to drive another hour to her house. A whirlwind trip, but those can be the best sometimes. No time to get bored or cranky! Getting a shower and a real bed felt so awesome even if it was 1:00 in the morning. Today I will be doing laundry and eating real, cooked food. I just had to check in with my blog friends. I will get caught up on your posts ASAP!
The view driving up to the mountains and from the Pine Springs Visitor Center.
The blowout on the way there. After a hundred trucks passed, finally a good man stopped and helped us.
A few hiking photos. Me at the peak. Devil’s Hall trail. Really amazing. I highly recommend this park! But please don’t be like a few people we passed, bring water and don’t start your hike too late in the afternoon. It gets pretty warm. The Peak trail is a mix of moderate to very sketchy. Be prepared for steep climbing. I’m in shape and my heart was pounding! The first mile or so is steep, then it is a little easier, then harder again before the peak. Worth the trip!
A few more pics. Sorry they are not in chronological order. The view from the peak was literally breath-taking. I had to sit down to gather my courage to look around, but I am so thrilled that I conquered my fear and made it up there with my friend. We were both nervous about having to climb back down but the climb down was actually easier. It’s a really nicely maintained trail with only a few scary parts but those will test you if you are afraid of heights. You can do it!
My friend just uploaded the pics she took of me. Here they are.
For equipment, I wore my New Balance Mt910 trail shoes, hiking pants and t-shirt ( had to shed my jacket early, took my Walmart trekking poles on the Peak climb, a 2 liter Walmart hiking pack plus two bottles. I drank a gallon water and bottle of Powerade the first day and was still thirsty, but my friend drank about half a gallon. We didn’t bring a stove so we ate sandwiches and chips and other easy snacks. I also brought chicken salad and that was delicious. There is no ice available for purchase nearby, so be prepared with a good cooler. I put frozen water bottles in my cooler and that worked great. The temps were only in the mid-70s during the day but it got warm inside the van. We slept on air mattresses in the van. A battery powered fan would have been nice to have. The cell service for AT&T was better than TMobile but neither worked in the valleys . There are no showers and there were no lights in the bathroom. Be self-sufficient if you go. Headlamps work great. There are some picnic tables in the parking/RV camping area. We slept in the hiking parking area the first night but they made us move to the overflow area the second night which was fine, just no real bathrooms there, only chemical toilets. Happy hiking!