14 March 2006 Tuesday

We got an early start this morning, we’re hiking to the top of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas.  We headed out before daybreak and got to the park shortly after.  We were among the first ones on the trail, although we were hiking rather slowly.  There were a few spots on the trail where the exposure gave me the heebie-jeebies.  We were passed by a few people, among them, a guy from France we stopped and talked with for a minute.  When we got to the top we had it to ourselves… for a minute.  It’s Spring Break and soon we had a crowd on the peak, maybe 14-16 people.  At the top, we talked with an older guy who has hiked a lot of the 14ers in Colorado and told us many of them were walk up trails like this one, not requiring special equipment.  We started down and passed lots more people on the way up.  Spring Break, too many people!  On the way down, we talked to some volunteers that were helping out with geological research, cataloging fossils along the trail.  Near the bottom of the mountain, we saw the last adult with a scout troop (there were lots of scout troops out too!) who was heading up to the peak with an aluminum lawn chair strapped on his pack.  They were from Denton, TX.  When we asked about his chair, he said the rocks just didn’t fit his… you know.  He left it at that. Smile [:)]  We finished our hike and headed off to the city of Carlsbad for a Chinese Buffet and pigged out!

We got back to our campsite and noticed two other trucks heading down the bumpy dirt road.  We’ve been here three days and haven’t seen anyone, although we talked to a hiker on the trail and they said the rangers at Carlsbad Caverns were sending people to camp on BLM land at MM 5.  One morning we saw maybe three or four vehicles leaving at MM5.  The first truck coming down the road was a couple of guys (on Spring Break) that were looking for a place to camp.  We pointed them to another camp site near the caves here.  The other truck was the rancher tending to his cows that were grazing here and just showing the guys where to camp.  Our private little spot at MM10 was getting crowded, but we’ve been in one place long enough, time to move on. Automobile [au]

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