Friday, September 23, 2016

Guadalupe Mountain National Park, Texas

      From Carlsbad we visited Guadalupe Mountain National Park located in West Texas.

The park in home to the highest peak in Texas. It was a very dry desert  drive from Carlsbad.

Because of the dryness there were several large fires in the park which limited access to many areas of the park. Most trails were closed but we did find a few short areas to hike.


     The area is a desert landscape with  some desert plants blooming.


We did hike a trail from the visitors center that took us to the remnant of a Butterfield Stage overland mail route facility.

       We did have lunch at the Pipe Spring parks campground behind the visitor center. Park is a paved "parking lot", with 39 sites and flush toilets. Water is available. 

We also visited the Frijole Ranch not far from the visitors center.

Very interesting history about a half mile of gravel road to the ranch. It was extremely hot but a little cooler at the shade at the ranch.

The spring make living here possible

The school house and quarters of the teacher

Then it was back to Carlsbad for the night. The next morning we were off for Santa Fe.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

    June 5th to the 9th. Not only did we want to visit the caverns at Carlsbad Caverns National Park  we wanted to see the bats. Several times we were close to this area but the bats were somewhere in Mexico and not at the caverns.
     The caverns were spectacle. We did the Kings Palace tour. Our guide was super. She told all about the history of the finding of the caverns to present day. You take and elevator down 75 stories. It is a little chilly. Many wet floors so wear the appropriate footwear and bring a jacket.  When she turned out the lights it was black dark, the only way I can describe the darkness.

The road to the caverns has a few switch backs and a few steep parts.

Lunch 75 stories below ground level

So many pictures we had a hard time choosing just a few. Again this is one of those you have to go there to really appreciate the beauty.

 A great relief from the 100 + degrees above ground.

      The amphitheater looking at the opening where the bats fly out of was very nice. The only problem was the seats are concrete and very hard to sit on for any length of  time. Tip - take a cushion. It did get fairly full.    

The white looking spots are the bats coming out of the cave. Hard to  get a good photo. We did see some larger groups but by time you get the camera up they are gone.
 thanks for following along.

Need help idenifing these two pictures

Need a little help
 What type of quail, if this is what it is?  Scaled Quail see comments

Is this a otter? Never saw one with spots. It was near a water source.  Spotted ground squirrel   see comments, thank you Susan

Saw these both in New Mexico.

Trip From Pecos TX to Carlsbad Caverns Nal Pk, NM

     The trip from Pecos Texas to Carlsbad Caverns  National Park in New Mexico along route 285 was a bit rough. It was 105 degrees in and around Pecos. The road was just 2 lanes with very narrow shoulders. Many tank trucks and oil rig equipment on the road made the road rough. Not much to see other them oil rigs, many burning off gas.