Guadalupe National Park

Guadalupe National Park

Saturday, November 4, 2017

On the way to our campground north of Carlsbad, New Mexico, we stopped by Guadalupe National Park to pick up a map, newspaper, and souvenirs – we’d use the map and park newspaper to help us plan the next day. While at the park Alan grabbed my camera (I was indisposed) and snapped a great photo of a Phainopelpa (bird)! We’d seen these pretty black feathered creatures at Saguaro, but couldn’t get a photo. Now we had one. (we have yet to identify the bird next to him though).

On the way to our campsite, Alan slammed on the brakes and backed up (we were about the only car/truck on the road at the time) and I got some photos of a group of Javelinas!  We were having a good critter spotting day so far!

Once we’d set up camp, we relaxed a bit, then went out to watch the desert sunset – and we saw an odd rainbow. It was short and kept changing shape. Nice way to end the day.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

We had a good breakfast at camp, and then started out for our first hike. As we were leaving the campgrounds we spotted some Scaled Quail near the entrance. They were so funny in how they dashed across the road – the only things moving were their feet. For some reason they reminded me of Aunt Bee from the Andy Griffith Show.

Along the drive to Guadalupe National Park, we saw a couple of flocks of White Pelicans. The pictures did not turn out.

Having made the decision where to hike the day before, we drove straight to Frijole Ranch Trailhead to hike Smith Spring trail. The Frijole Ranch is an historic location in the Guadalupe Mountains, and we stopped there first to see and read a bit more about it, then onto the trail. It was 1.4 miles uphill, about a 460+ elevation gain – but we were all for it and the reward was the springs at the peak of the trail. How pretty and out of place this was. We’d just hiked from the desert up to an oasis. We stopped there and enjoyed listening to the trickle of the water and enjoyed the cool shade of the maple trees, then began the ascent back down the mountain.

By the time we finished up, we had agreed that we would let this be the only hike for the day. We were pretty tuckered out.

I cooked ribeye steaks on the grill at our campsite and made mashed potatoes, and we had a salad too. Oreo cookies were our dessert.