Categories
Texas

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

I said a sad farewell to Big Bend this morning, with a hug from neighbor Neal and exchange of email & Facebook Friendships. I believe we’ll run into each other again somewhere in Arizona this winter. I think this time in early December is a really good time to visit Big Bend….not many people, good weather, and plenty of campsites to choose from. I hardly ever saw another car on the road!  As I was going out our bad dirt road this morning I saw the remains of someone’s bike rack or something in the road….three separate piles of “stuff”. I hope they were able to pick it up and put it back together on their way out.

I drove all day on little 2 lane roads (speed limits usually 70-75, but I only go 60). I was getting tired when I got to Van Horn, TX but I went another hour and made it to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The Pine Springs CG here is just a big paved lot with no shade but the price is right; $4 with the Geezer Pass! There’s a really cool Aussie-style camper across the road from me. I wish I had the guts to ask if I could see the inside….but I don’t.

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Here’s our campsite; barely got set up before dark! Pretty nice view.

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It’s pretty windy here; hope it calms down soon. It seems impossible to keep the wind from blowing straight through the camper, even with all 4 corners stuffed with foam.

(Next morning) The winds remained really gusty all night long…we were really rockin’ and rollin’! I was again giving thanks for my good friend Jenni’s help in installing the handy wind straps that keep the roof closed tight.  I was grumpy this morning because Roxie made me get up at 6:45 but what an amazing sunrise I got to see! And the mountains are bathed in beautiful golden light….compare this sight to the photo at the top that I took yesterday.

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I guess I may as well get an early start on today’s drive….if I do really well, we could get to Whitewater Draw Wildlife Management Area today! It’s 325 miles though, that’s quite a long driving day for me. So we’ll see.

Categories
Texas

Big Bend Day 5

Today we went to Castellon and Santa Elena, where the whitewater trips through the Santa Elena Canyon take out. Without hiking over a mile, I couldn’t get any photos of the canyon. This is the closest I could get, and the river runs through that big vertical crack in the middle of the photo.

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For some reason most of the photos I took today turned out a little bit out of focus, not sure what that’s about! But there was a magnificent sunset and I’m posting one of the blurry photos of that anyway.

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These are from our first day here; I love this purple prickly pear! (Try saying that three times real fast!)

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And these are some kind of quail or ?; can you find them?

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Finally, Neal’s 1969 Playmor camper. Isn’t it cute!

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Uncategorized

We Found The Perfect Weather!

I think we finally found the perfect weather, here outside of Kingman. It is 5-6 degrees cooler here than in town and we’ve been enjoying mid 70’s during the day and low 40’s at night. A little warmer at night would be good but we’re staying comfy, and the daytime temps are much more important to both Deb and I. Thank goodness we both agree that Heat is Horrible!

Mmmm, it’s Pancake Day! We had cherry cheesecake pancakes, and I had hibiscus syrup on mine. I know, sounds really strange, doesn’t it? I’ve never heard of making syrup from hibiscus flowers!  Back when I was staying at Buckeye Hills the first time, my neighbor gave me all his condiments because he was leaving the next day for 6 weeks in New Zealand. He had made this syrup himself! And it’s wonderful….tastes like some kind of berry.

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I’ve been studying up on our future travels to several National Parks with my “Your Guide To The National Parks” book.

51VSAFqXoUL    I purchased this book after seeing friend Linda’s copy in Yuma. It’s fantastic! Chock-full of really great photos, maps, “don’t miss” attractions and sights, and really helpful information. This is better than anything I found on the internet!!  (Whoa, I can’t believe I said that out loud!) I would strongly encourage you to get the actual book, not the Kindle edition. There’s no way you could possibly enjoy the fabulous photos on a little Kindle.  I don’t have space for books but I do carry two….this one, and “Gem Trails of Arizona”. (And 3 Kindles) This one takes up a good bit of space but it’s worth it!  Here’s a link: http://amzn.to/1R7pwxA

There are remains of a calf here at camp! I think that’s what it is anyway; the bones are fairly large in circumference but quite short. Just two forelegs….where’s the rest of him??  Now we are wary of large predators like bear or mountain lions. We try not to go outside much after dark!

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Yesterday we went to Hualapai Mountain Park, about 5 miles from here. Deb paid the $7 entrance fee and we had lunch at the Hualapai Mountain Resort – http://www.hmresort.net/   They have a small herd of resident elk that you can watch from the big windows while you eat! Finally we see some wildlife, though it doesn’t appear to be very “wild”.

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Then we drove around the park roads. The elevation there is around 6500′ and there are some really nice views! The roads are really narrow though and we wondered what would happen if two people in campers met going in opposite directions! It would have been VERY difficult to get past each other. We were not terribly impressed with the Davis campground; The sites were small and looked like they’d be really difficult to get a trailer into. (Maybe they were supposed to be only for tents, but we did see some trailers there). $17 for dry camping or $30 for RV parking in a big flat parking lot across the road from the park! Ours is so much nicer, for FREE!  They also rent teepees for $30 a night, and they were pretty cool….they are real indian-style teepees, with four cots with inflatable mattresses inside. I’ll bet kids would love that! They also rent cute cottages and Kamper Kabins.

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The scenery was gorgeous! There was one overlook that was pretty cool:

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And lots of mountain vistas, some with a bit of snow!

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Here’s Deb and Annie. No, it’s not a Mickey Mouse ear growing out of Deb’s head, it’s the rear view mirror on her bicycle! I’ll have to be more careful. I wish I knew how to work Photoshop; I could get rid of stuff like that.

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I’m also very excited that there’s a Do It Yourself Dog Wash in Kingman for only $10! Princess Roxie and I will be there on Monday, and I’ll be sure to use some cream rinse to try and control her flyaway hairs.