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Topic: Guadalupe Mountains, A little walk down a trail or two< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 12:19 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sitting here at my desk daydreaming of the next adventure the thought crosses my mind on what makes a day in our lives an adventure? Or what classifies an excursion into the wilderness as an adventure? I know that in truth each and every day of our lives is an adventure in itself. But of course I am talking about our reality of being on the trail. Is there a need to cover many days, weeks or more before it is classified as an adventure? Does one have to do high mileage days or hard trails before it becomes an adventure? Or do we just have to wound ourselves on the trail to be classified as an adventure?

Perhaps when it comes to adventures I am but a simpleton, an adventure to me is simply anything that brings or pushes a person past their envelope of comfort. Be it a little or a lot, physical or mental. Then of course an adventure whether it is physical or mental could be the simple process of bringing a person closer to their envelope of comfort. In the end an adventure is just what one feels was an adventure, so differently the same for each of us.

I may not say it often enough but in truth I truly enjoy reading and getting small glimpses of the many adventures that so many of you good people take the time to put together and post for our enjoyment.  For this I thank so many of you.

Today, I would like to share with you a small peek into my mini adventure in the Guadalupe Mountains.  On this little walk down some trails I knew and felt that traveling solo down the trail doesn’t mean that you are alone, the good thoughts that run through our minds as we travel down the trail is simply a symphony of excellent company.

This little hike down some trails has brought back a lesson that many of us can relate to and for some reason some of us are predestined to relearn from time to time, relearning throughout the years how it feels to do two back to back trails that are both classified as strenuous trails, well the trails brought back a saying from the legendary movie the Outlaw Josey Wales.

Quote: Indian Lone Watie  - We thought about it for a long time,  “Endeavor to persevere.” And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union (The Trail).

Of course one of the things about hiking in the Guadalupe Mountains is the need for water. Water, water is here and there.  Water, water is not there for you.

With, that thought in mind, my plan was a simple one, hike up Guadalupe Peak, camp out and then hike back to the motorcycle to re-supply my water and food for the hike up the other side of the Guadalupe Mountains.



My Iron horse loaded with my backpack on her back, water, gas, food and some tools in her saddles.  There is no gas between El Paso and Guadalupe Park, also with a round trip being right at the cusp of my tanks gas carrying capacity, this gives me the reason for carrying an extra gallon of gas.  Having the extra gas gives me some peace of mind.    

Now I have been ecstatic and I have been miserable on my Iron Horse.  Sometimes a mixture of both extreme feelings, added with a touch of this and some of that. But through it all I have found and experienced places of such incredible beauty that it stops me in my tracks and brings me just to the other side of ecstasy.  Sometimes taking a trip on my motorcycle or doing some backpacking gives me the feeling of being a modern day cowboy, roaming the land, being alone with your thoughts, dreams and demons. Then when there are times that I can mix the two together, it is all the better.


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It never hurts to do good – Eek the Cat

The quest for adventure is a never ending pursuit, an all consuming way to live life, it is a deep feeling that will never go away, embrace that feeling and have fun with your adventures.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 12:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE



El Capitan at the southern end of the Guadalupe Mountain range.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park was established on the 30 of September 1972. The park had just celebrated its 40th anniversary a couple of days before I arrived.



It’s time to saunter down the trail.







This little fellow from head to the tip of its tail was no bigger then my pinky finger.



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It never hurts to do good – Eek the Cat

The quest for adventure is a never ending pursuit, an all consuming way to live life, it is a deep feeling that will never go away, embrace that feeling and have fun with your adventures.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 12:22 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Looking across the valley at some of tomorrows trail (The Tejas Trail), looks to be a good hike.



Back to the business at hand, the trail.









Just totally mind-boggling, some ………… hiked up to the Guadalupe Peak campground, with an elevation gain of over 2,000 feet and with all the surrounding magnificent splendor of nature and then to leave their trash. There was more then what’s in the picture, I did a little camp cleaning before I setup my camp site.  Just a little more $#!t to pack out in the morning. (Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.)



This is where I will call home tonight. The campground is located on the Guadalupe Peak trail, 3.1 miles from the Pine Springs trailhead, and 1 mile below the Peak. It is located on a small knoll that offers only minimal protection from high winds. It did get a little gusty with light to medium winds during the night, all in all, excellent for a night on a mountain top.  There are five camping sites and the best thing is that there are no other hikers camping up here tonight to share the campsites with. :D



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It never hurts to do good – Eek the Cat

The quest for adventure is a never ending pursuit, an all consuming way to live life, it is a deep feeling that will never go away, embrace that feeling and have fun with your adventures.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 12:25 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

After I setup the campsite I grabbed half a liter of water, a power-bar and the cell phone and headed up to the peak.  Yes I said cell phone.  The Park Ranger told me that you can get a cell phone connection on top of Guadalupe Peak.  I thought it would be cool and all to give CW a call from the highest peak in Texas, was not to be, I had no connection on the top of the peak.









Well I’ll be darned, it looks like I was not the first to climb to the top. HaHaaHaaa



Well time to head back to the camp, fix up some Chicken and Dumplings and view the evening’s Star light show.





End of the first day of hiking:

Guadalupe Peak campground - 3.1 miles from the Pine Spring Campground trailhead, and 1 mile below the Peak. It is on a small knoll and only minimally protected from high winds. Makeshift windbreaks and rocks left behind on tent pads are a reminder to others to prepare for wind. Elevation gain is 2200 feet.   5 sites

Guadalupe Peak - Strenuous, 3,000 ft of elevation gain. It is said that on a clear day, the views from "The Top of Texas." at 8,749 ft are spectacular.

The Trail – Guadalupe Trail

Hiking Total – 3.1 miles to the campsite and then another mile to Guadalupe Peak, 1 mile back to the campsite, should have been for a total of around 5.1 miles. Not for me, let me see, burned a fat one to appease the forces of nature on the Top of the mountain.  I enjoyed the walk down so much I passed the campsite by around 2 miles or so and had to hike back up the mountain to my campsite.  I knew I had missed the campsite, but then again I was not sure. “I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.” My total was closer to the 9 mile mark.  

Motorcycle Ride - Little over a hundred miles from my door to the parking lot at Pine Spring Campground.

All Said: Just Priceless.


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It never hurts to do good – Eek the Cat

The quest for adventure is a never ending pursuit, an all consuming way to live life, it is a deep feeling that will never go away, embrace that feeling and have fun with your adventures.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 12:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Day 2:

The sun is coming, it was time to pack up and head down the mountain and then to head up the mountain.





Found this little toy at the campsite during the night.  From a distance glowing in the dark it was a little strange seeing it at first.  I think who ever left it used it for a small night light for bathroom breaks at night.  I do not think I would carry it backpacking but for car or motorcycle camping I think it is a cool toy indeed.



Heading down to the motorcycle at Pine Springs camping area to refill my water and food, also to have some lunch.  So much easier going down the mountain then heading up the mountain.



My Iron horse was patiently waiting for me as the mountain was waiting for me to head on up the trail.





A pleasant start on the Tejas Trail headed up to Pine Top Campgrounds.





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It never hurts to do good – Eek the Cat

The quest for adventure is a never ending pursuit, an all consuming way to live life, it is a deep feeling that will never go away, embrace that feeling and have fun with your adventures.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 12:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One thing about heading up to the ridge on this trail is the simple rule that when you come across some shade it is obviously time to take a little break on the trail.











I tell you this sure was some sweet candy for my eyes to look upon. Though for some reason or another it sure was a long .2 miles. :)





My campsite for the night.  I set up the tent with the closed side toward the light winds of the night.  Worked out great, I was able to keep the vestibule open all night.  There are a total of 8 camping spots at Pine Top, again I was the only one camping out under the stars.  The camping spots are better spaced between the sites giving you a little more privacy if others were to be camping there too (more room for the spacing then by the Guadalupe Peak campgrounds.).





Ok I was not alone, I was sharing my camp spot with this little furry guy.  I wonder what he will be when he is all grownup.



End of the second day of hiking:

The Hike – From Guadalupe Peak campground to Pine Springs is 3.1 miles, another 4.2 miles from Pine Springs to Pine Top campground. A total of approximately 7.3 miles.  Easy day, for sure.

Hiking Total – approximately 7.3 miles (Guadalupe Peak trail and part of the Tejas Trail)  The Tejas Trail going up to Pine Top campgrounds is considered a strenuous trail with 2,300 feet of elevation gain.

Camping Site - Pine Top is located at the top of Guadalupe Mountain ridge.  Pine Top offers excellent views of the park’s highest peaks. Elevation gain getting there is 2300 feet. Though it is secluded in trees, the campground is susceptible to high winds and lightning.  There are 8 sites.

All Said: Just Priceless again.


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It never hurts to do good – Eek the Cat

The quest for adventure is a never ending pursuit, an all consuming way to live life, it is a deep feeling that will never go away, embrace that feeling and have fun with your adventures.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 12:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Day 3

The Sun is starting to peek over the horizon, time for some breakfast, breakup camp and to head on down to the other side, the other side.





Remaining water, a little over a liter and a half, there is plenty of water until I get to the Iron Horse down below.







Was just here yesterday, I decided to take a break here again.







Ah, the Naked Indian or Lady's Leg (Texas Arbutus, Madrono).  The tree, which grows to 30 feet tall, has a gnarled trunk. The reddish bark peels with age, revealing younger white or pink bark. The local name "manzanita" refers to the bright red fruit that looks like "little apples." I have always enjoyed seeing these trees.  Not sure how it gets its nickname. :D





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It never hurts to do good – Eek the Cat

The quest for adventure is a never ending pursuit, an all consuming way to live life, it is a deep feeling that will never go away, embrace that feeling and have fun with your adventures.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 12:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well all there is to do is to say goodbye to the mountains, load my Iron Horse and to take a nice leisure ride of 100+ miles and I will be back at home, sweet home.





Rest stop on the way home, see we think of the people here in Texas, if you got to go, we do provide you with steps to cross the barbwire. The restroom is the third cactus on the left, or right.



End of the third day of hiking:

Total Miles Hiked – A simple, pleasant down hill hike of 4.2 miles.  There was some wonderful shade with the mountains blocking the early mourning sun for better then half of the trail.

Motorcycle Ride - A little over a hundred sweet miles to get to the front door of house.

New Equipment Used - MSR Carbon Reflex 1 Tent.  I got this tent used from a friend. He never used the tent so it was like getting a new tent but on the cheap.  The CR1 is an easy tent to set up.  The winds during the night were mild with gusts in the 25 to 30+ range, no problems with the tent.  It is a tight tent but I found that it had plenty of room for me and the vestibule area was plenty big enough for my needs.  It is not a so called freestanding tent, though I do believe if you had to you could make the tent freestanding by using your hiking poles to hold the corners apart.  I like the tent, not sure if I will keep it as my main solo tent but I intent to get some decent use out of it just the same.

All Said: Another Priceless little outing.  This was of course just some rambling on from the man from the city.


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It never hurts to do good – Eek the Cat

The quest for adventure is a never ending pursuit, an all consuming way to live life, it is a deep feeling that will never go away, embrace that feeling and have fun with your adventures.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 1:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the report and pics.  Yep, I'd say that classifies as an adventure.
Hike Your Own Hike!
What kind of temps did you encounter?
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 11:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Looks like some great trails and a most excellent adventure.  I enjoyed the dayhike you steered us towards in GNP.

Funny about hiking right on by the campsite...way to "go the extra mile!"  :p


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 3:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

dude....that was one great trip report and some awesome pics also....good to hear you smoked a sacrifice to the mountain gods on top of the peak....thanks so much for lettin' me join in on this adventure....too cool...I'll make sure the brownmouse enjoys it after she awakens.......take care my friend....LG...

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 7:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We took our sons there when they were preteens.  They beat us to the top, and beat us back to the bottom.  We dayhiked the Peak and it is still talked about by both of them.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 27 2012, 11:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

CityMan!! Thanks for sharing this adventure with us! I loved it. I have been telling my son, Kyle, who of course lives there in EPT by you, to go up there. I am gonna email this TR to him. Your pics are awesome. Love the ironhorse. I really have always enjoyed my trips to GMNP. And I think the hikes are really tough, esp carrying all the water. Never have gone up Guadalupe Peak, though. You made me wanna give it a try.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 27 2012, 1:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

John - The temperatures averaged from the mid 70s to lower 80s at the lower elevations  and around the lower 60s near the mountain peaks during the day. During the evening and nights on the mountain ridges it was around the mid to upper 40s.  The last night on the mountain ridge there was a 30 percent chance of rain; I rolled the dice and won this time. There was no rain at all, mostly clear skies all night.  The winds during the evening and night averaged around 15 to 25 mph.  Though there were a few good gusts of wind every so often.

Firedancer – I had that fuzzy feeling that I passed the campsite, but walking the trail was just so nice and all.  When I cleared a corner around the ridge and was looking at the parking lot down the trail the conception came to me that just maybe I should head on back up the trail.  :laugh:

Lonesomegeorge – I look forward to sharing a trail with you one day, for sure  :D

Starwalker – Ah, the energy of preteens – priceless.

Brownmouse – Just read your trip report on Big Ben, excellent adv.   The hike up Guadalupe Peak is an excellent hike.  Though I think that next time I do Guadalupe Peak I will just camp at Pine Springs and make it a day hike, a lot less to carry up the mountain.  :)


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The quest for adventure is a never ending pursuit, an all consuming way to live life, it is a deep feeling that will never go away, embrace that feeling and have fun with your adventures.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 27 2012, 4:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow, that's spectacular. Thanks man.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 31 2012, 10:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the TR and pictures, outstanding.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2012, 12:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nice TR!

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2012, 1:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nice!  GMNP is on our list. . . though it's a long list.  One of these years at spring break we'll hit that part of the world.  Your trip makes it look like a good idea :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2012, 11:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yep. Creating adventures. That's what backpackers do best. It's nice to execute a plan.

Great write up and pictures. Thanks.

Hiking for the sake of hiking. What a great idea.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 06 2012, 10:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I love your take. Sometimes adventure is all about your attitude.
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(desert dweller @ Nov. 01 2012, 11:40 pm)
QUOTE
Yep. Creating adventures. That's what backpackers do best. It's nice to execute a plan.

Hiking for the sake of hiking. What a great idea.

Words that ring so true in one’s head.

Starting to look at some trails in Arizona for next year, so many trails, so little time, what can we do but enjoy the ones that we get the pleasure to be on.


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It never hurts to do good – Eek the Cat

The quest for adventure is a never ending pursuit, an all consuming way to live life, it is a deep feeling that will never go away, embrace that feeling and have fun with your adventures.
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