The trip is from Natchez Trace, Tennessee, to Dodge City, Kansas, by way of Tucson, Arizona.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
After completing the tour of McDonald Observatory, we drove north on Hwy 180. The first part of this drive was interesting, as we wound up and down and around mountains. Then the road leveled out and we came to Interstate 10. Driving west on I-10, we passed through the most desolate part of our trip. There is absolutely nothing along the interstate through this part of west Texas. There is a train track that runs alongside the road, but we never saw a train running on it. The desert landscape is littered with small abandoned and collapsing buildings. So once this area had been populated, but what we saw that day could have been a moonscape for all the signs of life present.
We continued west on I-10 until we came to Van Horn. We headed north on Hwy 90, then shortly continued north on Rte 54. Along this route we passed one ranch after another, this being a much more inhabited countryside than what we had just passed through. Also, we caught up with an unusual motor home. I have seen many vehicles transformed into motor homes, but this motor home had previously been a garbage truck. It couldn’t have been practical, as those are heavy and can’t get very good gas millage. My wife wanted a picture of it, but I never did. But there was no mistaking it, the thing had originally been a garbage truck.
El Capitan greets visitor to Guadalupe Mountains National Park arriving from the south. The tall mountain started coming into view when we were about 20 miles away. The surrounding countryside is so flat it and the other mountains seem to rise up out of nowhere.
The campground wasn’t anything more than a paved parking lot. But it was situated at the foot of Guadalupe Peak, the tallest mountain in the park. Also, all the best hiking trails originate here.
And the view made it worthwhile.
We were so far out in the middle of nowhere, and the wildlife was so tame, we could get up close and personal.
The first hike my wife and I embarked on was from the campground to the visitor center. It also led to what had been a stop on a stage coach line. Of which only one wall remained standing.
It was a nice walk through the desert.
We took another hike that went up into the mountains.
We also walked around the ruins of an old farm.
After a day spent touring an observatory, driving, then hiking in the desert and the mountains, we returned to our campsite to crash.
The next location is Guadalupe Mountains 2