Guadalupe Mountains-2007
Aug 16, 2010Public
Photo: Our first stop was on this "Shall-Remain-Nameless" ranch, in search of a long-lost champion yucca.
Photo: This giant yucca (Yucca faxoniana) hadn't been visited since 1990.
Photo: But it sure looks like we were able to find it again!
Photo: Is this Victorio Canyon, named for the famous Apache warrior?
Photo: Good home for an owl.
Photo: Lightning strike!
Photo: You never know what you'll see on a ranch in West Texas! These llamas (or alpacas, not sure which) are used by ranchers to protect livestock from coyotes.
Photo: Highway 54 north of Van Horn has some of the best mountain views in Texas.
Photo: Our first view of the Guadalupes, with the nose of El Capitan just in front of Guadalupe Peak -- the highest point in Texas.
Photo: Our headquarters: Ship-on-the-Desert, the home built by retired Exxon geologist Wallace Pratt in the shape of an ocean-going oil tanker.
Photo: Pratt built the SOD on high ground after leaving his McKittrick Canyon cabin for good following a major flood event that stranded him and his wife.
Photo: Sunrise from the back porch.... Today we're headed up from Pine Springs campground to "The Bowl" for a 14-mile hike in search of big Douglas-firs and aspens!
Photo: On the loop trail from the campground to the foot of the Bear Canyon trail, Oscar spots this deadly centipede.
Photo: Our first breather in Bear Canyon.... This trail climbs about 2,000' in just over a mile and a half. It's an hour-and-a-half stairstepper workout, and a great way to start the day!
Photo: Other insects want to get in on the action, too. This praying mantis may be biting off more than he can chew!
Photo: No place to go but up.
Photo: I huffed and puffed to stay within earshot of Oscar.... 7,500' elevation is a shock to a flatlander's lungs!
Photo: A large Knowlton's hophornbeam along the trail.
Photo: "Wait up, Oscar!"
Photo: "Right behind you, Oscar!"
Photo: From the top, looking back down the canyon trail, with the highway in the distance. From here on out, we're hiking in a Wilderness Area.
Photo: Finally caught Oscar, and he's ready to start out again before I've even had a swallow of water.
Photo: Along the Bowl trail through stands of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii), and southwestern white pine (Pinus strobiformis).