Monday May 20 2019
I never did mention in the past few post about the cell tower issue with Guadalupe Mtn National Park. They sit so close on the border of time change that depending on what tower your phone is pinging you could have the wrong time and that most certainly happened with our alarm this morning. It was such a restless nights sleep with the fierce wind that made its way in I didn’t mind rolling out for a cautious bathroom break. Especially when greeted with a Texas sunrise on Guadalupe Mountain.
The boys made the final stages of sunrise and we were the first of 4 groups to break camp. We started our decent at about 6:45am and the winds were already going strong and expected to get worse as the day goes on plus the thought of guzzling water was a huge motivator.
Knowing the descent was going to take half the time as yesterday we paused for the interesting fauna. Amazing how much the trail is different on the way back seemed almost new. The wind made it chilly and added to the danger of the trail.
Within an hour of hiking we ran into a New Zealand couple who thought Milwaukee is the soul of America. We loved conversating with them, they had such a passion for life and Wisconsin! Shortly after that we stopped for a 2nd breakfast. Then before we knew it we were back at the trailhead. Got a final group picture then practically ran for the water filling station. Jason and I both downed a liter instantly then refilled all bottles. It was well deserved!
Back at the RV we plopped down in a sigh of short relief before eventually scavenging for some easy food as we were on a new mission of getting Phoenix is second Junior Ranger badge. To achieve the badge we had to succeed at a visitor center scavenger hunt. All 3 of us learned quite a few facts on this hunt and we plus all in attendance were so proud of Phoenix for staying focused for this whole activity and getting his badge. This lil man is my hiking buddy for life and I could not be more happy about this!!
Badge in hand next mission was to fulfill our hiker hunger with a good ole pizza. Who doesn’t love pizza after a brutally beautiful backpacking trip. So we headed towards Whites City, New Mexico 30 minutes away with high hopes. Our 12th state!
Whites City is the entrance town to Carlsbad Caverns National Park but its allure may be its quirkiness. You find that and then some throughout the town with a whooping population of 7 (2010 census) especially the gift shop. Giant wood carved aliens greet you outside and the inside leaves you speechless. Typical touristy knickknacks blended in with a unique array of taxidermy, extra large carved animals and one of a kind bar stools. What you don’t find is pizza 😦 the selection of food is for those in despair. We reluctantly left with some hot dogs.
An open field with free range cattle on BLM land would be our resting spot, right off the highway, free boondocking and less than 20 mins from our 6th National Park!! Hot, dusty and so windy several dust tornados made their way down the rutted road.
We made our measly meal that didn’t even begin to touch our post hike hunger washed it down with lots of water and topped it with a chocolate bar meant for our smores whenever we were allowed to have a fire again. Out of complete exhaustion I laid down in the back with the windows open, the wind was blowing a perfect coolness through that I feel asleep fast and was in coma for the next couple hours. Phoenix played his little heart out while Jason fussed around on mini projects.
When I finally joined the world again we facetimed with our parents before hunkering in for the night. The generator ran its best performance this night and thank the lord as sleep would be damn near off the menu. We were able to have a family movie while munching on some popcorn. After Phoenix closed his eyes for the night Jason and I started in on a 70’s show marathon trying to keep our minds off the ever increasing winds and the advisory NOAA released.
Eventually I had to pee. I opened the front door but before stepping out I noticed a large almost translucent creature, I thought it was a scorpion so I slammed the door and opted to piss in a bucket. Our black tank was nearing dangerously full so bucket was next best option. Curious Jaosn opened the door for a second look and discovered it was a spider. I’m not kidding when I say that is by far the biggest spider I have ever seen. I will be in this RV till day break.
Trying to settle back into bed the wind decided to increase by tenfold. We were so nervous and honestly thinking this was enough force to tip the whole RV. Our nose was facing north but the wind forced us well Jason to reposition facing West to East. He braved the conditions and spiders to move around the leveling ramps and chock blocks aka pieces of wood that get the job done.
Being I was not able to sleep most the night I was able to witness our one and only neighbors who were tent camping come home around midnight and frantically try to save what they could. The sight of them wrestling their belongings in the wind gave for a good needed chuckle. Their tents poles had been meeting the ground all night.
Remember Life begins outside your comfort zone!
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