Guadalupe Overnighter

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President’s Day Weekend meant crowds at Big Bend so I headed back to my old stomping grounds in the Guadalupe Mountains.

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As expected there was no problem getting a permit (meanwhile Big Bend was essentially full at least in the Chiso area).

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No matter where you start you always have to climb a lot to really get into the Guadalupe Mountains.  Usually this means a steep hike up Tejas Trail.

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The “Bowl” or forested center of the Gaudalupe Mountains may be my favorite spot in West Texas.  It doesn’t have the dramatic scenery of the canyons but having a mountain forest to hike through in the middle of a desert is cool.  And the fact that I can enjoy it while New Mexico and Colorado are buried under snow makes it even cooler.

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If there had been more time I would have done a side trip to Hunter Peak and a hike along the Canyon Rim.  But daylight was fading so I headed across the Bowl toward my campsite.

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I often don’t set up a shelter in West Texas.  But since I was unsure of the weather forecast I went ahead and pitched my tarp.  It was a good thing I did because it rained pretty hard about 2 AM.  I would have gotten pretty wet in just my bivy.

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In the morning clouds hung over the mountain tops.  I decided to skip a trip to Bush Mountain and just go straight out on Tejas Trail.  Another good call as it turned out.

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At the edge of the canyon the fog was thick enough to block all views.

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This trip was a chance to try out my second version of a pack built on the Seek Outside Unaweep frame and hipbelt.  This version had side pockets and was a bit shorter in the torso and wider.

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The sky began to clear as I finished the hike out to my car.  Another fun weekend in West Texas was over.

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