Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

< Previous | List | Next > Attempt to hike Guadalupe Peak in the National Park of the same name, then go underground at Carlsbad Caverns National Park

I got up before sunrise to sneak out of the campground before anyone would notice I'd ever been there in the first place. That probably wasn't a noble gesture, I was thinking later on, but if I have to decide between my limited travel budget and support for the NPS, I know which side I take. Or at least which side I took this morning.

Butterfield Stage Ruins in Guadalupe Peak National Park Drove to a rest area just one mile from the visitor center and took a few photographs of the sunrise. They didn't came out too well, perhaps because there was so much wind that it was hard to keep the camera straight.

I had two hours to kill until the visitor center opened, so I had breakfast, wrote yesterday's trip report, arranged photographs and planned wherever to go in the next days (still haven't reached a decision on that though).

When the visitor center opened, I made use of their rest room to brush my teeth, and then ventured into the center itself to get a map. Equipped with a map, and dressing up in warm clothes, windbreaker and head cover (?), I hiked towards Guadalupe Peak. Originally, I had just planned to go for half an hour, but I ended up making good progress and going up for 1:45. At times, there wasn't just wind, there was a real storm, and a few times I almost had problems staying on the trail. In the end, I decided to head down again, even though I must have been not too far from the peak as far as elevation was concerned. Perhaps half an hour to an hour would have been enough to make it to the top, but that would also have meant an additional hour to hike down, so...

I arrived back at the visitor center before noon, drank quite a bit (had made the mistake of not taking any water with me on the hike seeing how I thought it wasn't very warm and I wouldn't be long).

Random shot while walking down the Natural Entrance into Carlsbad Caverns Drove on to Carlsbad Caverns, less than an hour away, and took the Natural Entrance trail down to the Big Cave. I think I took about 250 pictures in the 2,5 hours I was down there.

The caves really have to be seen, since photographs will probably not do them justice. Hand-held photographs with exposures of sometimes over one second will probably make for a lot of blurry pictures.

After taking the lift back to the top, I took Highway 25 to Roswell, where I arrived around sunset. The city is bigger than I would have thought, and accommodations slightly more expensive than other places I drove through today. Still, I didn't have much choice, seeing how I had been pretty tired all day long.

I stopped at Zuni Motel and took their least expensive room, weighing in at $25.65 for the night. Least expensive in this case probably translates to "rat hole", but I suppose that's just a minor inconvenience. The room was clean, even if the furniture was very worn and the carpet looks and feels awful. The fact that the room won't even securely lock was a minor concern, as were the electricity sockets that were not even inside of a wall, but I survived to tell the tale, so everything's okay...

Miles driven: 156mi (251km)

Motel/Hotel Accommodation: Zuni Motel (Roswell, NM): $25.65