Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas – 7 April, 2006
We left the Big Bend Park two days ago and drove though the mountains on the border along the Rio Grande River to the small border town of Presidio. It had lots of unpaved dusty streets. We see herds of brown and white antelope as we drive. We turn north and end up camped in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park on the Texas/New Mexico border.
A lady with a German accent glares at me and asks if I plan to use my generator. She has been parked in Big Bend next to a man who ran his all day so he could watch TV in air-conditioned comfort. Apparently he felt it was too hot to venture outside. I ask her if her dogs bark and promise not to crank it up. She softens a little and tells me about an Arizona State Park where she has been a Ranger that has much better caverns than Carlsbad.
We took a two hour hike yesterday morning here in the Guadalupe Park. Mrs Phred catches me taking another picture of a cactus and questions my judgment. There aren't many animals or water sources here. The hike to the Guadalupe peak had a 3,000 foot elevation gain. (I'm not ready for one like that yet).
In the afternoon we drive 50 miles north to see Carlsbad Caverns again. The last time we saw them was 1982 on a long camping trip in a van with our twelve year old son and one of his friends. Both of them are lawyers now with children of their own. There are only 300,000 Mexican Free-tail bats left in the cave. A paltry number after seeing the Austin Bridge. I use a tripod for the long exposures in the darkened caverns.