18-19 October 2014
18.10.2014 75 °F
Ah, finally a chance for another getaway. I'm excited even if its only for one night. So here was the idea.....we drive to Carlsbad, New Mexico and stay the night in the Trinity Hotel in town. On day two, wake up and be close enough to Guadalupe Mountains National Park to start the eight hour hike to the peak early in the morning. It worked out almost like that!
We did drive to Carlsbad and stay in the delightful Trinity Hotel. It is a bit pricey but as soon as we arrived we were offered a wine tasting which we quickly accepted. They have their own vineyard and also sell others that is made in Deming, New Mexico. With the free wine tasting we also got crackers with goat cheese and besito caliente (a blackberry and jabanero sauce).
Carlsbad Caverns, about 30 minutes away has a bat flight program that we hurried back to the caverns to check out. Its a free program that allows people in to an amphitheater at the mouth of a cavern that houses thousands of bats. A ranger gives an informational talk while you are waiting for the bats to start swirling out of the caves. No one knows why they swirl but their end destination is likely a water source about thirty miles from the cave. We were informed that each bat eats half its body weight in insects each night.
After the show we headed back to the hotel for an excellent dinner with some more great wine for me and pecan beer for Curt.
The next day we woke up early in the attempt to hike to the highest point in Texas, Guadalupe Peak. The hike is estimated to take 6-8 hours so we wanted an early start. Unfortunately it was pouring down rain when we left the hotel, while we ate breakfast and IHOP and most of the drive back to the park. The visitors center said the rain chances were only 20% but we opted for a shorter and less strenuous hike in case the weather got bad.
We met our friends, Rhiannon and Chelsea and set out for Devil's Hall which ends in a staircase of natural rock in Pine Springs Canyon. The trail is 4.2 miles round trip and the weather turned out to be gorgeous. I was really surprised by all the fall colors that Texas had to offer!