RV Life: Prepping for Texas High Point

Saturday May 18th 2019

Day 36

I was very curious when I awoke to what this Marfa Lights Viewing Area was all about. Turns out just a uniquely built bathroom with view area and ample place to park.

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After a quick breakfast we continued on highway 90 north passing by many a strange things. Starting with the tethered Aerostat Radar System aka a blimp like surveillance system to aid the border patrol with detecting low flying objects.

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Next a completely random thing I was not expecting whatsoever and didn’t even get a damn picture so I had to borrow this one off the internet cause I need you all to believe that this damn thing really does exist in the middle of absolutely nowhere. As we were passing by there was a gaggle of ladies all fancied up running across the road to snap that perfect insta photo.

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Shortly after Prada was a picnic area where we got out enjoyed our freedom and literally just ran around taking random pictures everywhere, discovering all the little insects crawling about pondering their lives in this harsh environment, even getting on the RV roof for a few pics.

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4th interesting site was the ghost town of Lobo. Backstory with Lobo is it was once a thriving town because of cotton but eventually the population of barely 100 overwhelmed the water table, ran dry and by 1991 it was left for nothing. 10 years later the land was purchased by some desert loving fellows who now host a biennial film festival – Desert Dust Cinema Festival. So every other year people dwell is this ghost town for 3 days of art, music and film. I personally think it would be a unique venue to check out. Add that one to the Bucketlist I suppose.

Van Horn was our last chance at getting everything we needed for our next grand adventure at our 5th National Park of the trip. Dollar General would have to suffice being the closest Walmart was 2 hours away either direction. We stocked up on some easy to pack lightweight foods, smart water bottles and a pizza.

Our final destination of the day laid 1 hour north of Van Horn where we had lots of packing and final prepping to do.

The ride into Guadalupe Mountains National Park was just beautiful, the wind was fierce but loved the ride. I’ll let the pics and video speak their thousand words.

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We reached GMNP around 1:30 and had some lunch in the RV before going and obtaining our backcountry permit from the visitor center. Walking out with a junior ranger hat and our patches we started to collect for the blanket idea also.

So our next grand adventure is backpacking the highest peak in Texas which this National Park happens to hold. Everyone who camps in the backcountry must pertain a permit so the rangers can go over some very important and vital information of this area. You are also required to show your drivers license, license plate and your itinerary.  They were not nervous with us bringing Phoenix after we talked of our experiences with him and knew the amount of water needed. Top things they warned us about were you MUST CARRY ALL YOUR WATER, there are no water sources out there, RATTLESNAKES and its steep dangerous terrain. 8.5 miles round trip hiking gaining over 3,000 feet in the dry Texas heat. We got this!

Its recommended that you carry 1 gallon of water per person per day and that’s just for drinking don’t forget any extra you need for cooking. Fires are not permitted anywhere within the park boundaries. Rattlesnakes are prevalent and have had several sightings on trail. Also this park has their fair share of rescues and deaths each year.

We also had to figure out overnight parking for the RV. The rangers were kind enough to let us park the RV in the general parking with our Annual National Park pass showing on the dash along with one of the overnight permit slips. That happens tomorrow thou.

We parked way early for the night 10 mins away at the Pine Springs Safety Rest Area. Wonderful facilities with ample parking. Didn’t feel uneasy really ever that could have been from our full attention being on packing and prepping. Did feel weird being there so early in the afternoon but it was needed.

We began the exciting process of packing for a backpacking trip with a toddler in the desert. This one was a bit tricky and our first ever trip with having to carry all our water and Phoenix. We are very use to always having water somewhere you could filter. But very excited and understanding of the challenge. Not to mention this is our first backpacking trip of our #6monthjourney!

We laid everything out went through all gear twice, packed the bags several different times trying to get that perfect fit and easy flow functionality. I may post a seperate blog about what we packed, why and what extra special things we bring especially with having Phoenix.

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With the main task of the night done it was time to relax and rest the bodies for the big hike tomorrow. We read lots of books, talked with family back home, watched various truckers and their weird habits. Eventually we ended up on the roof again to watch what we could of the sunset. We got several honks from passerby’s and even a couple who stopped mistaken us for someone else. With the sun down for the night it was time for all of us to be also. 8.5 mile round trip hike with a 3,000 foot gain in the desert called for any sleep we could get and starting any minute we could before the sun tomorrow morning.

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