Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Guadalupe Peak

This past weekend, we took a short road-trip out to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The goal - hike up Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas before we move to Utah.

It was a fun, Texas-filled trip. On our trip out there on Saturday, we stopped briefly in Fredericksburg and walked down Main Street and browsed in the 10 cent store and in a fancy dog shop. We also stopped in Junction to eat Cooper's famous BBQ.

We got to the campsite at Guadalupe with plenty of time to set up our tent, eat a quick dinner of sandwiches, and make the campfire talk that night. The campfire talk was filled with children who kept interrupting the poor ranger while he tried to give his geology talk, but I suppose it is good that they are inquisitive and interested about the area - even if their questions had nothing to do with the subject on hand.

at our campsite before we put the tent up

The next day, we woke up after a strange night's sleep. It was somewhat loud in the campsite - with a group loudly discussing the merits of wedgies at 10, a group of guys barking loudly at 3 in the morning, and a car alarm incident at some point in the night (though, I actually slept through this, but it sounded amusing from Adrian's memory).

We went to the visitor's center to stamp our passports, buy a magnet, and ask a few questions about the hike. The girl working the desk was Class of '05. :)

Then we set out on the hike. It was a good hike. It is somewhat strenuous at the beginning, then gets easier, and then inclines steeply again until you get to the top. The hike climbs 2,950 feet to reach the 8,749 foot peak. It is cool, because as you climb, you can see how the vegetation changes - from desert plants, like agave and sotol, to ponderosa pines and junipers.


the Texas madrone - one of my favorites


At the top, there is this metal triangle symbol that denotes the peak (complete with the American Airlines symbol). There is also a log book where you can record your ascent to the top. :) We ate lunch at the summit and enjoyed the views for a spell. We met an SCA crew throughout the hike as well.

Here we are at the top. In the second picture, you can see El Capitan in the background.

We made it back down for a total excursion of almost 7 hours. We headed back to the visitor's center to complete our tasks for the senior ranger program. :) We earned our patches and headed back to the campsite, where we looked at the clouds, talked, and read for a spell until it was time for bed.

The next day, we left somewhat early to start on the 10 hour trip back to College Station. We stopped at a peach stand outside of Fredericksburg to buy some fresh, locally grown peaches. Then we stopped at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Site outside of Johnson City. It was very pretty there with lots of wildflowers and cute walking trails along the Pedernales River. We didn't really stay too long, but we did get another stamp in our passports, and were able to see-saw in the adjoining playground area.

It was a fun road-trip, and I am glad that we were finally able to hike up to the highest point in Texas. It was something that I have been wanting to do for a really long time, and I am glad that I was able to do it with Adrian. :)

"I'm king of the world!" ~ Jack in Titanic (although, in this case, it's really king of Texas, perhaps...?)

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