Sunday, September 2, 2012

Texas to New Mexico

The first day of our road trip brought The Best Man and me to Monahans Sandhills State Park. We made camp nestled between sand dunes, leaving the rain fly off the tent in hopes of feeling the breeze all night. We both tossed and turned for hours, unable to get comfortable in the sticky heat of the desert sand. Eventually, the night grew cool. Then, we battled the need to stay warm and the want to remain in the relative safety of our tent. Around 4:30 AM the desire for warmth drew us to our cars for jackets and a blanket. We spied several nocturnal creatures. One was very close to crawling into The Best Man's shoes. It looked like an enormous ant. It had 3 body segments, 6 legs, 2 antennae. However, it was 2 inches long. We snapped a quick picture in order to figure out it was in the morning (and by morning I mean when the morning starts for me...which is hopefully AFTER the sun is up- any time before that is still the night in my world). Upon returning to the tent we noticed a large toad perched under the edge of the tent. He quickly hopped away after we got inside. We were finally able to get a couple of hours of sleep until sunrise.

After taking plenty of pictures on the sand dunes as the sun rose we planned to clean up and get on the road. At this point, we had had our fill of the desert's creatures and sand which seemed to stick to everything. The ranger, Arturo, pulled up at this time. He asked if we had reservations/had paid and then gave us a short (by Texas standards) history of the sand dunes, the park, Indians and some creatures. He tried to excuse himself sevearl times, yet kept on talking. After an hour he went on his way and we finally got to freshen up.

The bathroom was crowded when I got out of the shower, so I headed to the car to finish getting ready. I turned on the radio in the car, but didn't turn on the engine in an attempt to save gas. . . this then lead to a dead battery, which was a quick fix. Lesson learned. Burning gas saves your battery. I know, I know. I should know these things.

Next we went to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico where we explored the caves and later saw the bats flight. The caves were enormous. I felt like I was in The Lord of The Rings, down in caves of Moria. Yes, I'm a nerd (to the point that some friends and I once watched all 3 movies- extended versions- in one day). Seriously overwhelmingly huge place. Loved it, but felt a bit of self imposed time crunch because we hadn't mastered the whole time zone thing. Cut us some slack though because we were relying on our phones which got horrible reception. Which reminds me, I need to find my watch. . .

Tomorrow we plan to hike Guadalupe Peak, which is the highest point in Texas.

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